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La Bergerie, Owner Laurent Janowski's Old-School Romantic French on Queen and N. Lee Street - Old Town Alexandria - Closed and Probably Moving


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Jacques Gastreaux said:
I never see Da Domenico's mentioned very often. This mainstay in the Tyson's area has what I believe to be the best veal chop in town. I think it is their signature dish. The place is quite popular.

And I never see much discussion of what I will describe as the "old guard" in the Old Town area; places such as Le Refuge, La Bergerie, Le Gaulois.

la bergerie i hear has a new chef and new owner as of about a year ago. the locals i know still enjoy it as they do le refuge which is really very good and very cramped. le gaulois is not a favorite of mine. jean claude at le refuge is an excellent chef and it is fun there when someone has a birthday and they play the old edith piaf tape singing happy birthday! now the citty council has allowed cafe seating on the sidewalks which has made it more delightful to dine in old town. there is a current controversy brewing regarding clients bringing their doggies to relax at the outdoor cafes. welcome to the peoples republic of old town.

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Recently Grover and I suffered an extreme longing for coq au vin. We asked around and discovered that La Bergerie serves it now and then at lunch. Being loath to pass up such an opportunity, we availed ourselves of a fortunately located parking space in Old Town and headed to La Bergerie. We arrived just as the restaurant was opening for lunch and naturally were seated promptly. We were greeted by our server bearing menus and a wine list. We made our request for coq au vin and a burgundy (for me) and a water for Grover and he exited stage right to go to the kitchen and place our order. About 2 minutes later some really great baguette and butter showed up. Being just slightly this side of ravenous, we proceeded to devour the bread...it was wonderful. Nice crunch to the crust and a very fresh, tasty interior. In roughly ten minutes our coq au vin appeared. You would not believe how wonderful the aroma wafting from the (very) hot plate was...the smell of chicken, mushrooms and potatoes, lardons and garlic all stewed in wine. It was a definite treat for the senses. The chicken was a complete breast, deboned but with the wing still attached. The meat was moist, flavorful and tender. The potatoes had absorbed the commingled flavors and were a delight...and mushrooms and lardon, what is there to say? Both Grover and I devoured ever bit leaving only the bones from the wings. All the wonderful juices were sopped up with baguette and we were left moaning in bliss. Unfortunately, it was not the end...our server arrived with the souffles that we had ordered when we ordered the coq au vin...Gran Marnier for Grover and Chocolate for me. Well, what could we do? We were too far gone to stop now...we managed to eat every bite of the souffle...a bit of coffee, a last swallow of water, we paid the bill and left satiated and quite happy. Definitely the best coq au vin I've had since Paris...we'll be back to do it again.

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Recently Grover and I suffered an extreme longing for coq au vin. We asked around and discovered that La Bergerie serves it now and then at lunch. Being loath to pass up such an opportunity, we availed ourselves of a fortunately located parking space in Old Town and headed to La Bergerie. We arrived just as the restaurant was opening for lunch and naturally were seated promptly. We were greeted by our server bearing menus and a wine list. We made our request for coq au vin and a burgundy (for me) and a water for Grover and he exited stage right to go to the kitchen and place our order. About 2 minutes later some really great baguette and butter showed up. Being just slightly this side of ravenous, we proceeded to devour the bread...it was wonderful. Nice crunch to the crust and a very fresh, tasty interior. In roughly ten minutes our coq au vin appeared. You would not believe how wonderful the aroma wafting from the (very) hot plate was...the smell of chicken, mushrooms and potatoes, lardons and garlic all stewed in wine. It was a definite treat for the senses. The chicken was a complete breast, deboned but with the wing still attached. The meat was moist, flavorful and tender. The potatoes had absorbed the commingled flavors and were a delight...and mushrooms and lardon, what is there to say? Both Grover and I devoured ever bit leaving only the bones from the wings. All the wonderful juices were sopped up with baguette and we were left moaning in bliss. Unfortunately, it was not the end...our server arrived with the souffles that we had ordered when we ordered the coq au vin...Gran Marnier for Grover and Chocolate for me. Well, what could we do? We were too far gone to stop now...we managed to eat every bite of the souffle...a bit of coffee, a last swallow of water, we paid the bill and left satiated and quite happy. Definitely the best coq au vin I've had since Paris...we'll be back to do it again.

Hmm....Mr. MV and I have a week day lunch date soon. Perhaps we'll have a leisurly lunch at La Bergie-this sounds just so good!

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la bergerie i hear has a new chef and new owner as of about a year ago.

Has anyone been recently, for lunch or dinner?

No, but Laurent Janowsky has owned the restaurant since 2000. I don't know if he's Chef de Cuisine, but if not, he's not making much effort to publicize who is - I spent about five minutes looking, and couldn't find the answer. I've certainly dined here since 2000, and remember it being a perfectly pleasant, old-school French dining experience, it not something I can recall vividly.

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No, but Laurent Janowsky has owned the restaurant since 2000. I don't know if he's Chef de Cuisine, but if not, he's not making much effort to publicize who is - I spent about five minutes looking, and couldn't find the answer. I've certainly dined here since 2000, and remember it being a perfectly pleasant, old-school French dining experience, it not something I can recall vividly.

No, Laurent isn't Chef de Cuisine, he's the harried owner. He also owns Del Ray Cafe which is where we will be dining tonight. I'll find out who the chef is at La Bergerie.

ScotteeM: we were there for dinner just before Christmas.  The food is very good French comfort food. Cassoulet, coq au vin were on the menu then (might still be, this was about 3 weeks ago).  Service? excellent old-school, non-intrusive but timely.  Food?  also excellent, flavorful, comforting, and satisfying.

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Speaking of La Bergerie, I just received their New Years Eve menu via email.

New Year's Eve
Thursday, December 31, 2015
5 "“ 10 pm  
Strolling Violinist

First Course
La Soupe de Palourdes í  la Franí§aise
Creamless French Clam Chowder with Smoked Duck Breast,
Clams, Fennel, Purple Potato and Pernod
   
Terrine de Foie Gras, Brioche et Figue Caramélisée
Terrine of Duck Liver with Homemade Brioche and Caramelized Fig   

Fricassée de Champignons Sauvages dans une Pate Feuilletée
et sa Sauce au Porto
Wild Mushroom Fricassée in Puff Pastry with a Port Sauce

Le Carpaccio de Koby BÅ“uf í  l'Huile de Truffe Blanche et Parmesan
Kobe-like Beef Carpaccio with White Truffle Oil and Parmesan Cheese

Second Course
Les Grosses Crevette Tempura sur une Salade d'Algue, Sauce au Raifort
Jumbo Shrimp Tempura on a Seaweed Salad with a Horseradish Sauce

Le Tartare de Thon Rouge Ahi sur une Sa Sauce Sesame et Chips Phyllo
 Ahi Tuna Tartare with a Sesame Seed Oil Dressing and Phyllo Chips  

 La Saucisse de Venaison sur des Lentilles de Puy et sa Sauce au Vin Rouge
Venison Sausage on a Bed of Lentils with a Red Wine Sauce   

Foie Gras Poèlé et Abricots, Gastrique de Gingembre
Pan Seared Foie Gras with a Ginger Gastrique and Apricots

Third Course
Le Filet d'Ombre d'Arctique au Cous Cous d'Israí«l et Cerfeuil
Filet of Arctic Char on Pearl Cous Cous and Fresh Chervil Sauce   

Le Filet de Bar sur du Quinoa Rouge et Blanc, Sauce au Pistou de Persil
Wild Maryland Rockfish with Red & White Quinoa and a Parsley Pesto Sauce   

Le Homard Entier aux Risotto de Safran et sa Sauce au Homard
Roasted Lobster with Saffron Risotto and Lobster Sauce   

Le Duo d'Agneau Rôi sur des Flageolets avec une Sauce au Romarin
½ Rack of Baby Lamb & Lamb Sausage with a Rosemary Sauce on Cannellini Beans  

 Le Filet de Veau Rôi avec une Sauce aux Girolles
Milk Fed Veal Tenderloin with a Fresh Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce  

Tournedos de Boeuf et son Gratin de Pomme de Terre
au Bleu d'Auvergne, Sauce Bordelaise
6 oz. Aged Black Angus Beef Tenderloin
 with Blue Cheese Potato au Gratin and a Bone Marrow Red Wine Sauce   

Filet de Venaison aux Pommes Violettes et Lardons, Sauce aux Fruits Rouges
Venison Loin with Roasted Purple Potatoes, Smoked Applewood Bacon
 and a Lingonberry Sauce

Tagliatelles aux Truffes Noires
Homemade Tagliatelle Pasta with Black Truffle Shavings

Fourth Course
Le Choix de Soufflés
Choice of Raspberry, Hazelnut  or Grand Marnier Soufflés   

Les Marrons Glacés
Candied Chestnuts served on Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream  

 Profiterolles
Puff Pastry with Vanilla Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce   

Le Clafoutis de Poire et sa Glace í  la Cannelle
 Pear Pound Cake with Cinnamon Ice Cream  

4 Course Dinner "“ $99 per person, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity

Children's (12 & under) Menu - $18
Free Range Chicken Breast with Pasta
 or Black Angus Hamburger with Fries
and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce

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I received this from a reliable member:

La Bergerie closed on December 24th for good at the original location.  Laurent and Margaet plan on opening the namesake restaurant on Washington St. serving upscale French food along with a boutique B&B.  The new location took approximately two years to get past the lawsuits brought by a couple of households who thought there would be too much noise and dirty, unwashed masses in the neighborhood.  Laurent's application for the license and all the paperwork was finally approved in December.  There is a period to allow the original whiners to file an appeal but I believe that expires soon (unless they wait until the last day like they did the last time).  Until the new La Bergerie opens, Del Ray Cafe will be going upscale on weekends to keep the La Bergerie chef and staff from getting rusty.

And there's this:

Screenshot 2017-01-13 at 09.47.57.png

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