Food

100 Best Restaurants 2012: L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie

From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

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Only a handful of places can summon the aura of grand occasion that this Alsatian restaurant brings to a celebration. Formal old-world service, antique-filled dining rooms, and a prix fixe menu with amuse-bouches and other extras make dinners here special.

On a hilly country lane, the half-timbered cottage is a favored spot for family groups who are longtime fans along with empty-nesters and a smattering of younger couples. Jacques’ Brasserie, with its own entrance, draws a more casual crowd (L’Auberge requests jackets for men), with an à la carte menu that zeroes in on some of the kitchen’s greatest hits.

What to get: At L’Auberge: lobster bisque; choucroute with sausages, duck confit, and foie gras; lobster in Sauternes-butter sauce; hazelnut and Grand Marnier soufflés; plum tart with cinnamon ice cream. At Jacques’: simpler versions of choucroute; Alsatian tart with bacon; chicken in Riesling sauce.

L’Auberge open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Jacques’ open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. L’Auberge very expensive; Jacques’ expensive.

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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.