French bistro classics are having a moment, but it’s tougher to find the more opulent showpieces—Châteaubriand, Dover sole—that once defined Washington-area fine dining. Unless, that is, you’re at Jacques Haeringer’s cottage in Great Falls. His menu, which includes many nods to his late father, François, who founded the restaurant in 1954, dazzles not with innovation but with small comforts: The toasty garlic bread that kicks off the meal. The powdered-sugar-dusted soufflés that wind them down. In between, six-course parades of soul-satisfying cooking. In the event you’re not celebrating an anniversary or promotion,—which might place you in the minority at L’Auberge—Jacques’ Brasserie offers an à la carte menu and doesn’t require reservations or a coat and tie.
Don’t miss: Bacon-and-onion tart; pâtés and rillettes; Roquefort salad; seafood in Champagne-lobster sauce; lobster with Sauternes-butter sauce; choucroute garnie; baked Alaska.
Price: Moderate to very expensive.