100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Bistro Bis

Apple tart is the star dessert at Bistro Bis. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Three decades ago, the French ruled the city’s restaurant scene. Today the Gallic presence is mostly confined to casual restaurants. This veteran from one of Washington’s most respected chefs, Jeff Buben, is among the few remaining bastions of the destinations of yore. It might call itself a bistro, but its intention is to woo you with the kind of elegantly sumptuous cooking that inspired countless cookbook writers to pen love letters to French cuisine. There’s nothing innovative about this approach, but to take a first, swooning bite of snails in garlicky butter, or fried sweetbreads so light they might as well be dumplings, is to feel gratitude for rear-guard stubbornness.

Don’t miss: Foie gras normande; steak tartare; quenelles with butter-poached lobster; beef bourguignon; profiteroles; apple tart.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
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.