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La Chaumiere on M Street in Georgetown has them on their classic old style French auberge menu.

This could be a good choice for a birthday in the middle of winter if they still have the fireplace in the middle of the restaurant - a rarity in DC. Sort of romantic. Quiet and charming, and you'll feel like you're a million miles away from downtown DC.

The place has a steady clientele of older regulars who have sworn by it for years, but it's one of the few places left in the city to get the old French standbys.

Here's the menu.

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I've been drawing a blank for the past twenty-four hours, trying to think of where I've had fresh (farm-raised) snails recently. I know I've had them before here in the U.S., but I just can't remember where, or when - I thought I was losing my mind because I've got a pretty razor(-clam)-sharp memory for things like this (and yet, someone I meet will tell me their name, and, to my horror, I can't remember it five seconds later).

Doing a little digging (for information; not for snails), I found a plausible answer for my amnesia: Several years ago, the USDA made it illegal to ship them across state lines. So every snail you see in a DC restaurant is canned, and has been for quite some time.

I don't know if there are any snail farms in Virginia, but if so, your best bet might be Inn At Little Washington. How much do you like this girl?

Here is a ten-year-old article about Maryland's only snail farmer which includes some of the restaurants he supplied at the time. And there is a tantalizingly cryptic comment on this snail-farming website from someone named "odis" who wanted to start one in Prince Georges County earlier this year.

Forgetting the possibility of fresh snails, it all boils down to preparation. All the French bistros will have them, of course, and as you noted Cafe du Parc is a fine choice. Assuming you don't mind classical garlic-butter recipes, there's also La Chaumiere, Et Voila!, Bistrot Lepic, Montmartre, and Bistro Cacao. (All those links are to the menus themselves (but you should call first anyway)).

Cheers,

Rocks.

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The birthday girl wants escargot. Anywhere you would recommend over Cafe du Parc? Thanks.

Fantasy league answer: fly to the Costa Brava in Spain and make your way toward Girona, near where you'll find Can Barris, a now-substantial family restaurant built entirely on the reputation of its cargols (small Catalan snails, from whose name escargot is said to be derived) which are grown onsite; two generations ago this was principally a snail farm and the restaurant a sideline. The Catalans eat only the muscular front (foot) half of the snail, pinching off the rear portion of the viscera (containing the intestines) against the shell opening to be discarded. Served by the 100-count in a garlicky tomato sauce, they are extraordinary.

Drink Priorat.

post-710-126215170354_thumb.jpg

lunch, 21 Sept 2006

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On January 4, 2010 at 0:42 AM, Todd Wiss said:

Poste Brasserie does a great job with Escargot. Buttery Puff Pastry, Pernot Garlic Lemon Butter.

I know this is 6 years old, but how on earth did I miss pernod garlic lemon butter?!?!?!?!

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