100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Bistro Provence

Cost:

Bistro Provence's patio is a lovely date spot. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Bistro Provence

Cost:

cuisines
French
Location(s)
4933 Fairmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

This bistro’s cheek-by-jowl tables evoke Paris more than Provence. Meanwhile, chef Yannick Cam’s cooking ranges from refined (quenelles) to rustic (estouffade, a rich beef stew)—with the occasional pasta thrown into the mix.

A devoted Cam fan club—urbane and skewing older—fills the oak-accented dining room and in the summer spills onto the charming patio. Sit in the back and watch the veteran chef shake his copper sauté pans. Or do as they do in Paris: Argue nonstop about politics—with the couple at the next table.

Go early (between 5:30 and 6:30 daily) to indulge in such gems as a rabbit stew redolent of red wine on the steal of a bistro menu: $26 for two courses, $32 for three.

Don’t miss: Clams stuffed with spinach and walnuts; chestnut gnocchi with Parmesan foam; turbot with lobster sausage and sea urchin; bouillabaisse; molten chocolate cake with milk-chocolate jam; frozen nougat with hazelnut brittle.

Open: Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Expensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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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.