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Since Paris and Toulouse are not in my travel plans this winter, I have had to satisfy my annual winter urge for cassoulet with local DC restaurants and my own cooking. So far the results are very mixed. Over the last month I have had cassoulet at Bistrot du Coin, Bistrot Lepic, Les Halles, and La Miche (Bethesda).

By far the most satisfying was found at Bistrot Lepic. As with all the restaurants, the issue is not the size of the dish but what is inside and how it is done. Bistrot Lepic offered the full complement of expected meats and sausages, including a very fine leg of duck confit. As important, the beans were not mushy, but the dish was still sufficiently moist. Overall, this was a very good effort particularly since I enjoyed it by happenstance as an item on their DC restaurant week lunch menu.

Bistrot du Coin provided an okay cassoulet with all the essential elements. Certainly the fact that is readily available on a daily basis is a plus as is the fact that they offer a very good selection of wines (a plus for Bistrot Lepic as well). Less satisfying was the cassoulet at Les Halles (despite it being readily available), and their less than outstanding wine list. The least desirable was found at Le Miche. Their idea of cassoulet is found in a so called Peruvian white bean that reminded me of a giant lima bean. The name and appearance might have been okay if the beans had not dissolved into mush. Even more odd was the fact that there was no sausage at all, let alone a garlic sausage. Finally, forget the wine (as I did perhaps for the first time ever eating cassoulet); even Montgomery County rules does not deserve the blame for this list. Altogether a very unsatisfying experience.

Given it is freezing outside my desire for cassoulet continues much to my family's disappointment. The folks at Lavandou promised they would let me know when they have it on the menu, which they do several times each winter. I anxiously await as I do any other suggestions of restaurants with cassoulet to die for.

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We should organize a Fifty-Dollar Friday (or Thursday, or Wednesday, whatever) and have Tom Power make us cassoulet and suck down a bunch of La Negly wine. The man rocks haricots Tarbais something fierce.
THAT sounds like a plan. I wonder if he would go for it. :lol:
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Bistro D'Oc, across from Ford's Theater, has a very good one. The owner is from Langeudoc, I beleive. I know they had it last winter. Enjoy the cold in DC guys,

"San Franciso" Dave,

"People's Republic of California" :lol:

PS, had a cassoulet at Jeante at Jack's in the Financial District last week, yummy, with a Confit Duck Leg sticking right out of the top.

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I would be up for a fifty dollar friday!
Me too - cassoulet is one of my favorite things!

I've had a respectable version at Le Refuge on North Washington St. in Old Town Alexandria. According to their website, Cassoulet Maison is on their specials list at this very moment. It's a very hearty portion with enough to take home for another meal or two.

I've also had a very good version at the bar at Restaurant Eve as well.

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i have never had a good restaurant cassoulet.

Is that an offer to establish a new restaurant standard? Maybe we could entice several restuarants to come together to produce a good quality cassoulet and use the event to raise funds for a good cause?

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The cassoulet that Cedric Maupillier makes at Central is the best I have had in DC, especially in terms of the quality of ingredients and flavor.

Being the rube I am, having never heard of, much less enjoyed, cassoulet before, I had no idea what lay in wait for me when I ordered this dish. Chef Maupillier's version really is the best way for a newbie to be introduced to it. One of the biggest culinary surprises I've ever had before. Once my friend visits me (also a rube), we'll go to Central and I'll order this dish for him.

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Being the rube I am, having never heard of, much less enjoyed, cassoulet before, I had no idea what lay in wait for me when I ordered this dish. Chef Maupillier's version really is the best way for a newbie to be introduced to it. One of the biggest culinary surprises I've ever had before. Once my friend visits me (also a rube), we'll go to Central and I'll order this dish for him.

Ha! Glad you agree. I love cassoulet. The first time I had it at Central, the dish arrived with a sea of beans and just the duck confit on top. Where are the sausages? It turned into a most pleasurable treasure hunt, amply rewarded.

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Where are the sausages?

My first reaction was more, "Wow, Central finally screwed me!" I was looking at maybe a 6oz duck on top of what seemed to be 40 ounces of beans for a $28 entree. Seriously, I was really disappointed going in, all of the dishes I've had there had been good values, and this just seemed really pretentious. Then I started poking around and found all that "buried treasure". Probably a good 16-20 ounces of sausage in there! That was really a fun dish for me, a complete ambush.

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One of my best friends recently married, and was in town this weekend, so I took them out to celebrate. Naturally, we went where my wife and I had enjoyed our first meal as newlyweds: Central. I ordered the cassoulet for him, and could hardly hide my glee as I anticipated his initial disappointment. To play it up, I ordered a nice juicy steak, which would contrast well against his huge hill of beans and a bit of duck. I had it all planned out!

"Unfortunately", his dinner arrived in a new presentation. Served in an earthenware crock, this cassoulet was a WYSIWYG dish. Plus, it had less beans and much more pork, duck, and sausages. And a crusted top to boot! From the spoonful I had, this version was an improvement taste-wise, and I was tempted to suggest to my friend that we trade dishes! (I'm not really a huge steak fan, actually).

So, there we ate, my friend perfectly happy and me bitterly disappointed with Central's cassoulet. AGAIN. :(

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La Cote D'Or Cafe/ Cafe Des Celestins in Arlington (right on the FC line) has had a cassoulet toulousain on the menu for years. I'm no cassoulet expert, but I thought this was a very good dish.

I always liked their salad vendeene as well. I ordered this originally only because we have dogs that also hail from the Vendee region, but this salad was very good. It's been a few years since I've been there, but I recall plenty of bacon.

La Cote D'or is walkable from the East Falls Church Metro station, too.

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. . . a 6oz duck on top of what seemed to be 40 ounces of beans . . . Probably a good 16-20 ounces of sausage in there!

Just back home from a very late dinner at the bar. So I ordered this and was of course very pleased. But clearly, my math before was waay waay off . . . it was never a 66 ounce dish. Let's call it 10-12 ounces of assorted meats and another 8-10 ounces of the beans. Still, a very hearty one-course meal.

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What place locally makes a really, really good version of cassoulet these days? I want it with lots of meaty bits, ideally with duck confit.

On Thursday nights, La Chaumière serves a Cassoulet "Toulousain" ($22), described as a hearty dish of duck confit, lamb stew, and sausage on a bed of baked cannelini beans. I had this, years ago, and remember it being a hearty dish which is what I believe you're looking for.

Bistrot Lepic serves (including upstairs, I believe) a Cassoulet ($26) described as duck confit, sausages, lamb, and bean stew - also a heavy, satisfying version, baked in the oven if I recall. I think you'd be happy at the upstairs wine bar here.

Believe it or not, I've had a Cassoulet at Corduroy before - maybe if you contact Tom Power and twist his arm, he'll make one (it's awesome).

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These are great suggestions. Many thanks. For Bistrot Lepic, how's the parking?Their website says free easy parking evenings -- does that mean valet or...?

I've not once had a problem parking at Bistrot Lepic - if there isn't parking on Wisconsin, there always is up the side street directly across Wisconsin. In fact, I don't think I've ever walked more than 50 yards.

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Duck Confit Cassoulet Style just went back on the menu at Baby Wale. There is no sausage or other meat in the dish but it is a whole duck leg that roasts over and drips all of its fat into real Tarbais beans. These beans are super expensive but they absorb flavor like none other.

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Had a very good cassoulet at Brasserie Beck this weekend. Three of us ordered it and it came out in a dutch oven which the server portioned out at the table. Generous portions of duck confit, sausage (veal?), and pork belly, along with savory beans. Recommended!

I think I remember that dinner.

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I hate talking about things that aren't there any more in discussions like this but CityZen had a phenomenal Maine Lobster Cassoulet. It was one of the most memorable dishes I've had in DC, so rich in flavor and intricately layered. I wound up setting the lobster aside and eating it separately, even though it was interesting texturally I thought the more delicate flavor of the lobster was completely dominated by the rest of the stew. Every bite of that stew, though, was divine. I hope Eric Ziebold brings the dish back to the menu at Kinship.

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It's that time of year again.  Convivial is offering a good cassoulet.  Who's else is these days? 

Corduroy sometimes offers a Pork Belly with Tarbais Beans on their $30 three-course menu that's a poor-man's cassoulet - it doesn't have that long-cooked crustiness, but it's still quite good.

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It's that time of year again.  Convivial is offering a good cassoulet.  Who else is these days? 

Garrison had a cassoulet on their specials menu last night.  I believe it was duck confit cassoulet.  We didn't order it, so I don't know more than that.

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It's that time of year again.  Convivial is offering a good cassoulet.  Who else is these days? 

On Thursday nights (only), La Chaumière offers a Cassoulet Touloussain, and as I was looking for the image of it to display for you, I found this from a year ago (obviously, double-check each one):

02/19/15 - "Warm Up with These Nine Comforting Cassoulets" by Jamie Liu on dc.eater.com

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I had the Duck Confit Cassoulet Style at Baby Wale on Saturday night.  It is served with Tarbais Beans.  While the beans were good the duck was the standout of the dish.  It had an incredibly airy, crispy skin that held its crunch against the sauce and beans.  It went well with a Hellbender Compass Coffee Stout.

(I made my first post!)

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