100 Best Restaurants 2011: Bastille

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

The appeal of this tiny bistro, on a quiet street on the edge of Old Town, isn’t that it delivers soul-stirring French cooking. The appeal is that it’s an old-fashioned mom-and-pop. Christophe and Michelle Poteaux are on the premises daily, giving the operation the intimacy of a family business, right down to the amiable, helpful staff.

Pop does the cooking, and his robust, countrified dishes summon bistros of old: coq au vin, bouillabaisse, a grandmère-style roast chicken. Mom provides the finish, including a decadent Valrhona chocolate pot de crème and a sublime, brandy-spiked apple tarte Tatin. The wines-by-the-glass list is comparable to a good wine bar’s, offering Old and New World selections in a variety of tasting options, including generous half pours.

Also good: Trio of rillettes; pan-seared foie gras with roasted fruits; rock-shrimp beignets; ham-and-cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg (lunch only); hanger steak and French fries; cassoulet.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants


Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.