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Chez Billy Sud, Chef Brendan L'Etoile's Neighborhood French Bistro in Georgetown - Original Location in Petworth is Closed


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No thread for Chez Billy in Petworth? Ok, I'll go.

 

A friend had been talking this place up late last year, so I wasn't too surprised when my SIL gave us a gift certificate here for Christmas (she lives in NYC, and asked my friend for recommendations). Were there other places I'd rather have been given a GC to in the city? Probably. But, I was also glad to have an excuse to try out Chez Billy.

 

We went on a Sunday night, and the restaurant was never crowded, although the bar had a number of folks. The bar room is actually the more interesting of the two with its high ceilings, but the other room was nice and cozy for a winter night. It was a bit darker than I would like, but maybe I'm just getting old. Service was good. Nothing outstanding, but nothing bad.

 

We started with Tartine Aux Champignons ($12 Sauteed wild mushrooms, grilled country bread, sherry vinegar, duck egg) and Soupe A L'oignon Gratinee Lyonnaise ($10 Classic onion soup), both of which were good. For some reason I was thinking the tartine would be more tart-like, when in fact it was just as described - a piece of grilled bread in a bowl, topped with mushrooms and a duck egg. It was good, but I think I was still thrown off by my own wrong expectations. The soup was excellent. So many times I have trouble with French onion soup cutting through the cheese and bread and eating it in a dignified manner. This was rich and cheesy, but very manageable.

 

Our mains were Confit De Canard ($23 Pommes"Πde terre sarladaise, shitake mushrooms, garlic spinach, roasted duck jus) and Jarret De Porc ($24 Cider braised duroc pork shank, white beans, local kale, bacon). Both meats were falling off the bone, as expected, and both were very good. The pork shank was enormous, and I enjoyed the bean, kale, and bacon swimming underneath. Great wintery dishes on a cold evening.

 

We ended with Plat De Fromage ($8 Walnut raisin toast, wildflower honey), which included a goat, a sheep, and a cow blue (I had been craving a blue cheese that day), and all three were delicious. Although I love walnut raisin toast, I wished there had been a more "plain" bread or cracker or something to let the flavors of the cheese shine through.

 

All in all we really enjoyed our meal and would definitely recommend. I don't know if I'd drive across town, but if you're in the area, it's worth a stop. We even got parking right out front! Beats heading downtown.

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No thread for Chez Billy in Petworth? Ok, I'll go.

A friend had been talking this place up late last year, so I wasn't too surprised when my SIL gave us a gift certificate here for Christmas (she lives in NYC, and asked my friend for recommendations). Were there other places I'd rather have been given a GC to in the city? Probably. But, I was also glad to have an excuse to try out Chez Billy.

We went on a Sunday night, and the restaurant was never crowded, although the bar had a number of folks. The bar room is actually the more interesting of the two with its high ceilings, but the other room was nice and cozy for a winter night. It was a bit darker than I would like, but maybe I'm just getting old. Service was good. Nothing outstanding, but nothing bad.

We started with Tartine Aux Champignons ($12 Sauteed wild mushrooms, grilled country bread, sherry vinegar, duck egg) and Soupe A L'oignon Gratinee Lyonnaise ($10 Classic onion soup), both of which were good. For some reason I was thinking the tartine would be more tart-like, when in fact it was just as described - a piece of grilled bread in a bowl, topped with mushrooms and a duck egg. It was good, but I think I was still thrown off by my own wrong expectations. The soup was excellent. So many times I have trouble with French onion soup cutting through the cheese and bread and eating it in a dignified manner. This was rich and cheesy, but very manageable.

Our mains were Confit De Canard ($23 Pommes"Πde terre sarladaise, shitake mushrooms, garlic spinach, roasted duck jus) and Jarret De Porc ($24 Cider braised duroc pork shank, white beans, local kale, bacon). Both meats were falling off the bone, as expected, and both were very good. The pork shank was enormous, and I enjoyed the bean, kale, and bacon swimming underneath. Great wintery dishes on a cold evening.

We ended with Plat De Fromage ($8 Walnut raisin toast, wildflower honey), which included a goat, a sheep, and a cow blue (I had been craving a blue cheese that day), and all three were delicious. Although I love walnut raisin toast, I wished there had been a more "plain" bread or cracker or something to let the flavors of the cheese shine through.

All in all we really enjoyed our meal and would definitely recommend. I don't know if I'd drive across town, but if you're in the area, it's worth a stop. We even got parking right out front! Beats heading downtown.

I ate here about a month or so ago and never posted. I agree with the above comments. Really nice bar space with some good happy hour specials (although go for good cocktails and skip the drek wines), the dining room is nice too.  I don't remember all of the food in detail, but I recall that the mushroom tartine was good and my favorite appetizer of the 3-4 I tried. I likewise had the duck and found it to be enjoyable, but not exceptional. I recall my friends really liked the steak they had. Sorry I can't add more detail, but wanted to right in to concur with the good, fun review above.

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We had dinner at the Petworth location this past Saturday evening. We'd been out in the blustery cold at a soccer match on the Catholic U. campus and figured bistro fare and a couple glasses of wine would warm us nicely -- mission accomplished. It was a very nice dinner. We had the exact same apps and entrees Jenny wrote about in her post kicking off this thread. They were exactly as she described. There's nothing jaw-dropping to report, just good, solid cooking. Service was well above average: attentive, friendly, helpful, but not intrusive. 

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The recent discussion of Le Diplomate reminded me that we had a very nice meal at Chez Billy in Petworth. Comparatively, I would rate the food at Chez Billy a bit better, though both were good. While the standouts at Le Diplomate were the bread and the lovely outdoor patio, I can definitely recall a lamb sausage dish and a ratatouille at Chez Billy that were excellent. I think we also had an Endive salad, a gazpacho, and an order of fries that were very good as well (incidentally, the fries reminded me almost exactly of the ones at Fishnet).

Their patio is not nearly as nice; dimly lit picnic benches under a partially covered roof, with fans constantly blowing and people smoking at the adjacent tables. But ironically, I thought it fit the food and the style of the restaurant quite well, and on that Friday night you could easily walk in and grab a seat. The single waiter/bartender tending to the patio did an excellent job. I'm sure there's plenty of reasons why Le Diplomate seems to get so much more attention, but I'm glad that we have a number of options for solid French bistro fare throughout the city.

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nice meal at Billy Sud last night on the open seating patio. Pate, Vichyssoise, duck confit and scallops were all good as was the service. MY 2001 Donjon CNDP was decanted without me having to ask :wub:   . Our waitew-Italo (sp) was professional and friendly. We had a nice chat with manager Sam who told me they will be expanding next door and also they welcome wino dinners. Very pleasant start before Blues Alley. We will return! 

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We enjoyed our dinner at the Petworth location last night. I had the snails (very good) and the braised short ribs, which were terrific. There wasn't much of the promised polenta, but I didn't mind. The portion of rib meat was large enough that I couldn't finish it (a true test of will power because it tasted so good). My companion had the onion soup and filet of salmon (missing from the online menu). I didn't try the salmon, but it looked great -- a thick fillet with crisped skin served over lentils and a red wine reduction.

I would order the Bastille cocktail again (Dry curacao, aperol, lemon juice, el dorado) -- refreshing citrus flavors -- but not the by-the-glass Cote du Rhone. There was nothing wrong with it other than being dull and not standing up to the ribs. My companion liked the Domaine Jacourette rose enough to order a second glass.

Service was excellent. I only wish they would expand the menu to include dishes available at Chez Billy Sud. But perhaps the Petworth kitchen isn't large enough to handle a larger selection.

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On 4/20/2016 at 10:45 AM, mr food said:

Any recent reports from the Petworth location? 

They called at 530 day of our reservation and said they were closed. We ended up at Fainting Goat which we enjoyed and recommend.

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36 minutes ago, mr food said:

They called at 530 day of our reservation and said they were closed. We ended up at Fainting Goat which we enjoyed and recommend.

When was this? A snowstorm? A buyout? A plumbing problem? A DC government shutdown?

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3 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

When was this? A snowstorm? A buyout? A plumbing problem? A DC government shutdown?

Let me clarify. My wife walked into the restaurant and was told they were closed-no reason given. She was told I had been called, I don't remember receiving a call but it may have happened as it was one of those days.

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Caught two quick appetizers at Chez Billy Sud last week. The restaurant setting is warm, and the cocktail list interesting/fairly priced. The food:

Pate Maison - Typical rural pate studded with dried figs. Usual suspects of dijon and cornichons. Absolutely delightful. One of the better preparations I have had recently. Large portion, finished the other half later in the evening.

Foie de Volaille - Chicken liver torchon covered in what I believe was gelee. Served with raisin toast points. The bread excellent. The torch? Silken. Luxurious. Superb.

Absolutely in my rotation for Georgetown right now.

 

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Apparently I am one of the few people in the neighborhood who is not surprised. I never liked the place, finding it too expensive for what it was, and finding the service slow and unfriendly.

Then again, I haven't liked most of their places. Clearly a bad fit for my taste. 

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14 hours ago, saf said:

Apparently I am one of the few people in the neighborhood who is not surprised. I never liked the place, finding it too expensive for what it was, and finding the service slow and unfriendly.

Then again, I haven't liked most of their places. Clearly a bad fit for my taste. 

Virtually everything in DC is expensive for what it is.

In my experience, Chez Billy was a thoughtful neighborhood joint with a good atmosphere and an emphasis on quality.  We need more of that (we really don't have that many), and I'm sad to see it go.

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There was no better place to sit by a fire, in the bar, and order some onion soup, fries, and drinks, served up by delightful bartenders. They also used to give a discount for locals within the 20010 zip code before a certain hour, which was lovely for the neighborhood. I will miss it. 

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57 minutes ago, Rieux said:

 They also used to give a discount for locals within the 20010 zip code before a certain hour, which was lovely for the neighborhood. I will miss it. 

Wow.  Great idea, great promo.  I guess it didn't work well enough to keep the place operating as is but it sounds like a great idea.

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MrB and I had lunch on the lovely patio at Chez Billy Sud today and it was very satisfying. I had been there once before for lunch with a friend, in Nov 2014.  At the time, I liked it so much I vowed to return for dinner with MrB.  Well, that never happened.  Fast forward to today.  The whole experience was a little bit of perfection.  Our server, Ahgee (I'm *sure* that's not how her name is spelled, but that's how it's pronounced), was great.  MrB had the Foie de Volaille and the Omelet and found both of them to be perfect.  I had the Cesar Salad which was good, and the Truite Grenoboloise which was perfectly cooked -- a real treat.  If you ever want to pretend that you're in France, this is not a bad place to do it.

The highlight of the meal for me was the white wine I ordered.  I asked our server what was the difference between the two Sauvignon Blancs on the menu (there was a $5 difference in price per glass).  She offered to bring me a taste of both and returned with 3 different tastes -- she included the Chenin Blanc as well.  Well, as it turns out I liked the least expensive of the 3 the most (that never happens).  Actually, I loved it!  It's a French wine: a 2014 Chateau Guirauton Graves sauvignon blanc and it was $10/glass.  Is anyone familiar with this wine?  Do you know if it's locally available?  Thanks for any information you can share.

Finally, this restaurant should be removed from the Multiple Locations directory as the original Chez Billy has closed.

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Went to Chez Billy Sud for the first time last weekend for date night dinner. It was a really great experience. The ambiance is nice, a bit romantic, but not too formal. We had excellent service.  We started with really good cocktails - I particularly liked the gin Bees Knees. My wife started with a delicious acorn squash soup with pieces of Asian pear (aka nashi) and I had a rather large Caesar salad that was perfect including very good quality boquerones/anchovies. For mains, my wife got the steak frite which was cooked to a perfect medium rare with a great peppery crust. It was also very hefty at 12 oz with a big mess of pretty good fries and a nice but not much needed bernaise sauce in a dish to serve yourself. I had a tasty seared duck breast with sour cherry, hazelnut and celery root? puree. It is on a bed of wild rice, which I'm not a fan of, but when all of the components were mixed together it was scrumptious. My wife thought her chardonnay was so so, but I really enjoyed the waiter's rec of the pinot noir to go with the duck.  Dessert was the weakest part of the meal. I got the chocolate mousse bomb - thin layer of chocolate cake, top with good moouse, and covered in dark chocolate with a bit of raspberry sauce on the side. This was fine, but nothing really special.  I also lost this dessert to my wife who had ordered the profiteroles but didn't like them so we traded. The puff pastry was pretty bland and a bit too salty. The three different fillings were ok - salted caramel became a salt overkill, strawberry one had no fruit flavor, and the other one which I can't recall was fine. Surprisingly the chocolate sauce you pour over didn't help revive this dessert much. Maybe we picked bad - and don't get me wrong the desserts hit the right sweet notes to end the meal but were a letdown from the rest of the excellent meal. Overall still a nice meal.  Also, had a bit of DC celeb spotting when Madeline Albright was sitting at the table next to us.

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Went to Chez Billy Sud last night and had an excellent meal.  The setting is like a French townhouse - more traditional and less sleek than I would have expected from the Hilton brothers.  

Started with a generous terrine of the chicken mousse, served with raisin bread.  Paired it with a delicious Bees Knees cocktail.  For the main course, I had the trout, which was a large square piece of delicious trout served over a fennel puree.  The skin was just the right level of crispiness.  The vegetables were also cooked perfectly.  My wife had the duck breast, which was also a good portion and delicious.  I drank a good Chablis recommended by the server.

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Exceptionally tasty dish alert: chilled corn soup at Chez Billy Sud, a velouté, with a few small pieces of tomato, whole corn, and herbs. Absolutely perfect when it's so hot you have no appetite but need to eat, anyway.

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On 7/20/2017 at 7:13 AM, porcupine said:

Exceptionally tasty dish alert: chilled corn soup at Chez Billy Sud, a velouté, with a few small pieces of tomato, whole corn, and herbs. Absolutely perfect when it's so hot you have no appetite but need to eat, anyway.

We keep trying to get here as well. One of these days we will! Thanks for the info!

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On 1/22/2018 at 1:45 PM, Simul Parikh said:

Hey - anyone go recently? We are in the midst of interview season. Wondering if this is a nice place for dinner - can hear yourself and your dining partners speak, good food, etc?

Had a nice meal there yesterday. We had pork pate with pistachio (alliterative!) and the bluefish rillettes for the table. Tasty. Bread came a little late, but was toasty and warm. I had the French Onion soup that was bomb - I really loved it, and though it was a chicken broth, it was very "meaty". The others got the butternut squash soup. Good portions, they seemed to like it. Two of us got the confit duck. Perfect crisping of the skin, meat was tender but not quite falling off the bone. On top of greens and a potato thingie. The other entrees ordered were the trout, which was a nicely sized portion, and the duck breast. Everyone seemed to like their food. Got very busy. Good ambience, and voices don't carry - nice for business dinner/interview. Got desserts, too. Chocolate delice for dessert. Described as a fancy Kit Kat. Served with ice cream!! Like a visit to certain massage parlors, I was grateful for the happy ending. 

I'm so glad we went here. I'd love to go back. Very charming. And, the wine bar next door is fan-freaking-tastic. How did I not know about that place? Super cute. Feels like you're in NOLA or Europe or something. Definitely will visit again, too. 

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15 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Do they have specials?  The online regular menu seems rather boring.  I’ve never gone to chez billy sud because it just looks boring.  

I had lunch last week at Chez Billy. While I wouldn't call it boring, it is far from cutting-edge. The food was good, but there were some serious missteps. Foie de Vollaile and cheese course were both served ice cold, the potato side was burned black on the bottom. The service was very attentive. The room was not loud. Its not an exciting place. 

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7 hours ago, Mark Slater said:

I had lunch last week at Chez Billy. While I wouldn't call it boring, it is far from cutting-edge. 

I live very very very close to the original location. We seemed to be the only people who didn't like it, but the food was fine, just not great, and the service was always bad. And the prices were too high for what it was.

And so, I have never been to the second location, because who wants to go all the way to Georgetown for that?

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