100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 67 L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie

Choucroute Garni. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

This gingerbread-like cottage isn’t for everyone: Lovers of minimalism and restraint might blanch at the French-country accoutrements. (Doilies. So many doilies.) But submit to the flowery aesthetic and you’ll be rewarded with doting service and the kind of culinary workmanship you don’t see much anymore, unless you’re thumbing through an old Escoffier cookbook.

Even the menu style recalls the restaurants of a half century ago (Chez François, now run by Jacques Haeringer, was started by his father in 1958): The entrée prices, which hover around $80, include a complete meal with appetizer, salad, palate-cleansing sorbet, and dessert. Haeringer’s roots are in Alsace, and meats, sausages, and game are handled particularly well. In the brasserie, you’ll find less foie gras, more calves’ liver, along with a walk-in-friendly informality.

Don’t miss:

  • Apple-and-Roquefort tart
  • Salad with Roquefort
  • Diver scallops with garlic and herb butter
  • Poached lobster with crab, citrus, and Sauternes
  • Châteaubriand
  • Choucroute garni
  • Chocolate and Grand Marnier soufflés
  • Baked Alaska

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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.