Food

A Chic All-Day French Restaurant and Bakery Debut at the DC Wharf

Bistro Du Jour and Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery bring croissants and steak frites to the waterfront.

Bistro du Jour and Mah Ze Dahr bakery open at the Wharf. Photograph by Rey Lopez

It’s been a boom year for DC-based Knead Hospitality + Design. The hospitality group known for big, splashy venues like Mi Vida and Succotash Prime has opened five new concepts ranging from an upscale diner to an adult mini golf bar, and more than doubled its staff size (from 300 to around 700). Now Knead’s sixth and final restaurant of the year is here: Bistro Du Jour, an all-day French spot at the Wharf that opens today for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Match granola with gougeres and foie gras macarons at brunch, which starts this weekend. Photograph by Rey Lopez

As it has in the past, the group has partnered with Manhattan-based Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery, which will operate a pastry kitchen and counter inside the restaurant. Early risers can grab croissants, brioche doughnuts, cream scones, and La Colombe coffees starting daily at 7:30 AM. The bakery will continue to serve throughout the day, offering its usual lineup of cookies, pies, cakes, and savory galettes. A full-service, Parisian-style breakfast starts at 8 AM with quiches, Belgian waffles, and indulgences like oeufs sur plat (eggs and mushrooms heaped on buttery toast, cloaked in mornay sauce).

Buttered toast and eggs smothered in mornay sauce. Photograph by Rey Lopez

Former Succotash chef Treeven Dove helms the all-day kitchen. Diners can start with playful snacks like raspberry/foie gras macarons or breakfast radishes with whipped brown butter. Popular bistro staples make an appearance: French onion soup, mussels or steak frites, salad nicoise, and a cheeseburger. Dinner brings three additions to the menu, such as coq au vin. All can be matched with French spirits and aperitifs, beers, and a sizable list of French wines.

Duck confit, one of a few nightly dinner specials. Photograph by Rey Lopez

Sounds like a lot going on, right? Not for Knead co-founder Jason Berry, who says the menu is fairly concise for one of their ventures, due to the smaller size of the bistro and its kitchen (the space formerly house a Dolcezza gelato shop). While the restaurant, designed by Knead and design firm //3877, has 102 seats, it will debut with indoor space limited to 30 diners. A 60-seat wraparound outdoor patio is being finished with heaters, fans, drop-down curtains, and other touches that will allow it to be open year-round.

“We’re very restrained here, it’s unusual for us,” says Berry. “We’re doing the greatest hits.”

Bistro Du Jour. 99 District Sq., SW.

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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.