100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Bastille


Photograph by Chris Campbell.

About Bastille


606 N Fayette St
Alexandria, VA 22314

As more restaurateurs slough off the trappings of fine dining, Christophe Poteaux has gone in the other direction, nudging his restaurant over time toward a greater refinement. The recent arrival of Mark Slater—for years the area’s top sommelier at the late Citronelle—further cemented his desire to move beyond a bistro; the revamped wine list contains several rarities but also shows off its heavy hitters. The sturdy classicism of Poteaux’s cooking is a kind of comfort in an age of twitchy experimentation, and his menu amounts to a showcase of techniques (duck confit) and arrangements (snails in a vibrant pistou) no longer much in fashion. A twist on salade frisée is exceptional, with rich, confit gizzards playing the role usually reserved for bacon bits. Poteaux’s wife, Michelle, handles desserts, and though there are no surprises—crème brûlée, apple cake—she pulls off each with aplomb.

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

Don’t Miss: Rock-shrimp beignets; Marrakesh-style mussels; pan-roasted duck; hanger steak.

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 Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.