100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 90 Et Voila!

Et Voila! Photograph by Chris Campbell.

There are more imaginative restaurants than this storefront charmer in the Palisades. But few are more consistent or more dependably satisfying. That’s not damning with faint praise—it’s exactly what you want from a classic French-Belgian bistro.

You want to know that the greens will be dressed tartly but lightly, that the bread will be crusty, that the duck confit will come apart easily, that the chocolate mousse and crème brûlée will taste just like they do in Paris. Every so often, chef/owner Claudio Pirollo springs a surprise on you, such as a delicately rendered sea-bass tartare that would be the envy of every trendy bistro downtown. Not that plates like this portend a new direction for the chef or his cafe—no, not even the teensiest embrace of trends. That’s just the way you want it, too.

Don’t miss:

  • Country pâté
  • Gravlax
  • Mussel burger
  • Steamed mussels with cream and endives; beef carbonnade; floating island; waffle with blueberry compote; profiteroles. Moderate.

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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.