100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 92 Béarnaise


Chef Spike Mendelsohn. Photograph by Chris Flynn.

Spike Mendelsohn’s ode to the Parisian bistro lies on the same Capitol Hill block as his two fast-food spots, Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza. Much of the first floor is devoted to a gorgeously evocative marble bar that makes us crave a pastis. Upstairs—decked out with checkerboard floors and orange banquettes—is where most of the dining goes on.

Interpreted by chef de cuisine Brad Race, whom Mendelsohn met when they worked at New York’s Le Cirque, the dishes are happily authentic with an occasional tweak. Smooth chicken-liver pâté gets a flavor boost with caramelized onions. And the frites that come with that deftly seared flatiron steak are tossed with sea salt, cracked pepper, and tarragon.

Don’t miss:

  • Rib eye
  • Mussels marinière
  • Duck confit
  • Brussels sprouts with béarnaise sauce
  • Burger with a fried egg
  • Crispy pig’s-feet hash (at brunch)
  • Profiteroles

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.

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.