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Cafe Tatti, French Bistro in McLean Square Shopping Center, Old Dominion Drive in Downtown McLean


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Cafe Tatti is a charming and quaint French Bistro located in a shopping center near Balducci's in McLean. I called around 2:30pm for a 6:30pm reservation on Monday night, and had no problem securing a table (not that I thought I would). When we arrived, we were seated at a two-top by the front window, a prime location, and the manager explained to me that they have a regular named Phillip, this is his table, and they weren't sure if the table was for him or not so they reserved it, and are glad to see it taken by another Phil. It was a nice, funny story (for which I'm not doing any justice) and a good introduction to the restaurant.

Again, the restaurant is charming and quaint, with tiled archways, ceramics on the walls, other various artwork including many versions of a rooster which is the restaurants icon (of sorts), tablecloths and candles on the tables, formally attired wait staff. It describes itself as a French Bistro, but it has quite a few "Mediterranean" components to it as well. The staff, from top to bottom, provided excellent service throughout the meal (e.g. thoughtful suggestions, multiple unsolicited water refills, bread refills, checks on quality and taste, etc.). Prior to receiving our check, the manager came over with two (unasked for) shots of Amaretto (iirc), noting that on such a dreary day/evening (it had been raining all day and all night), a small digestif is the only response. It was very nice. 

Service started off with a small baguette, served warm, and was quite good. We ordered two glasses of the house Bordeaux, and were rewarded with hefty pours. For an appetizer, we had the Mussels Provencale, which was listed as a special that evening. We expected a pot of mussels that we'd have to work through, but instead were given a plate of mussels served open-faced (if you will) with the Provencale sauce added on top. I rather liked this presentation (much less fuss!), and the tomato sauce (tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, among other ingredients) was very tasty. It wasn't ideal for bread-dipping, but we found a way. It was an ample portion split among two people. Entrees come with a Caesar salad (here, and example of the Mediterranean influence), amply and tastily dressed, topped by fresh ground pepper (if desired). For mains, we both got the Filet Au Poivre, which came with a side of roasted carrots and potatoes (these aren't mixed together). The steak was a large portion (the online menu says 7oz, which is probably accurate), and the gravy was delicious (with plenty for bread-dipping!). I didn't leave a bite.

We got a slice of coconut cake and a slice of chocolate cake to go, and they were the only misses. I don't think these were made in-house, which is probably why.

The cost was very reasonable, even considering we ordered wines by the glass (cheaper by the half liter or bottle), and both got the most expensive menu item.

We look forward to retuning.

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