100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: L’Auberge Provençale

Pork belly with pearl onion turnips, chorizo cream and pickled mustard seed. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

It’s all about romance at this 260-year-old inn that could as
easily be in the French countryside as in the Shenandoah Valley. Which is
why on any given night couples are celebrating—anniversaries, first dates,
post-baby and empty-nest getaways. Low-lit dining rooms brightened with
Provençal fabrics are tailor-made for lingering gazes and flirty
conversation. And chef Scott Myers’s food is of-the-moment without
distracting from the moon-and-June mood. He has good ingredients to play
with—owners Alain and Celeste Borel maintain their own orchards and
vegetable garden. Gifts abound throughout the evening, from a mini-plate
of duck ham with bacon-potato hash as an
amuse-bouche to
melt-in-the-mouth
macarons to feed each other after dessert. In
summer, the circular dining room is the airiest and has the best view of
the pastoral splendor outside, but in winter the Blue Room, with its
roaring fire, is the place to be.
Don’t miss: Foie gras
with wasabi popcorn; caramelized cauliflower soup; pork belly with chorizo
cream; root-vegetable risotto; Adventures in Coffee dessert; Winter
Passion dessert. Open: Wednesday through Monday for dinner.
Very
expensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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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.

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