Jump to content

Bistrot Lepic, Wisconsin Ave & S Streets NW - Owners Bruno and Eva Claudio Fortin's Fine Bistro and Upstairs Wine Bar


Recommended Posts

Six of us dined at Bistrot Lepic this past weekend. I wanted to share our experience...we had a late dinner, around 930, but the place was still packed with people. Few things...the AC was off, and it was very uncomfortably warm, even with the ceiling fans at full blast. I asked for a french martini, however, was told that they could not make it, because they didn't know how to, and if I wanted a "special" drink, I would have to go upstairs (even though they had a full bar downstairs). I ended up asking the host for one, and was told that in France, they are called American martinis?! I'm still confused about that part...anyway, I should've left it alone, but I ended up getting something that was no where close to a french martini.
To continue---the food....we started with salads and soups. I had muscle, potato and leak soup, which was very nice, and the muscles were perfectly cooked and it had just a right amount. My friend had a vegetable soup, and she felt that the veggies were overcooked and mushy..and just too blah. No complaints on the salad side. I had salmon tartar with seaweed...I thought it was a nice dish, however, I would prefer less capers, for a nicer balance with the seaweed. My friend's veal dish was excellent, so was the tuna and the beef. We were looking forward to the scallops, which were just OK, and I didn't find myself caring for the broccoli "mush" they were served on...tasted more like baby food to me.
We were informed that the kitchen was closing, so we had to hurry and order, if we wanted dessert. We ended up getting a chocolate cake with mint ice cream...again...nothing to "ooh" and "ahh" for. I wanted it to me more moist, with something busting in the middle, more french if you will....maybe again, I got the "American" brownie version. The restraunt was still full, however, the staff made sure to let us know that they were done for the night, by turning on the lights, and gathering in the corner to wipe wine glasses and count tips for the day. The people behind us were very pretty annoyed, with the bright light over their dessert of the night.
Oh, and a lady had a dog on her lap, next to our table...now I dine with my dog at times...but animals inside, is news to me....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, and a lady had a dog on her lap, next to our table...now I dine with my dog at times...but animals inside, is news to me....

Interesting note about the dog being in the restaurant, I wish more would allow it. In fact I would say follow the French model, keep the kids out and allow more dogs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

High-Roller Alert: 1994 DRC Richebourg and RSV for $475 each. There aren't many restaurants in DC where you can find mature DRC priced at current market value, and these are.

The upstairs wine bar is getting skanky and could use a top-to-bottom cleaning.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone been here lately? The reviews above are great, but not that current. What are the seating options like?

I was at Lepic maybe three weeks ago. If I recall correctly, I had a poached lobster appetizer served over some spring greens and a duck breast entree. Both were quite good, though nothing to write home about (or post on dr.com about).

I've been a bunch in the past few years as it's a popular go-to for work related dinners. I'd describe it as a very professional restaurant. It is consistent and consistently good, though rarely great. Nothing has ever blown me away, but I am always happy to go back. Service is usually affable, although our server this past time around was a bit flighty.

As for seating, I'd call it cozy. Not quite on top of each other, but not exactly spacious either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whenever I have a taste for pied de cochon du Bistrot Lepic, this cozy place comes to mind. A bowl of cassoulet sounded especially good on a cold, chilly night. The last time I was there, I remember it being very quiet in the bar area. I went on a Wednesday night to catch up with a dear friend, so I headed upstairs to the wine bar. The server, who I thought was the host, asked if we had reservations. We asked back, Well no, do we need one? He graciously accommodated us to a cocktail table until the 7:30pm reservation showed up. Two steps away, we got lucky later on and got a spot in the bar. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed a couple of $5 happy hour starters in the amuse gueule menu, homemade country pâté and rillette with crusty French bread. Wines by the glass are half price during HH. I thought that the Morgon and Burgundy Pinot Noir would do it but were too light-bodied for my taste. The bartender gave us each a tasting of 2008 Corbières, Hautevarie de Haut that was not in the list. It paired so well that I ended up drinking it the rest of the evening with my crusty boneless pigs feet and le cassoulet. Theyve changed the presentation with more breading, but still really good to me with its gelatinous tidbits and mustard sauce. The cassoulet was ok and tasted a bit too cheesy for me. There were the bartender, server and a busser who worked the whole upstairs with ease and were completely capable. Eventually the room filled up, jazz trio played, lovely vocalist sang a Latin, gypsie-jazzy tune in the background so compelling that people got up to dance to the music. By 8pm, the bar and all tables were taken. I'm happy for them that they are doing fine. After all, they have been in their cozy corner for years on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown. Next time I feel like it, I just might take advantage of their complimentary wine tasting every Tuesday or live jazz every Wednesday. Next time, Ill also make sure to call in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

recent visits anyone?

Yes, upstairs at the bar. Most nights, you'll see Ted Putala working the stick (except there's no stick) - he's a genuinely nice person who cares about wine, and also cares about his customers.

I'm mentally shifting from white- into red-mode, and if you are too, then go directly for the Morgon (Gamay) and Saint-Pourçain (Pinot Loire (pun intended)), both imported by Ed Addiss of Wine Traditions, LTD in Falls Church (I know I keep constantly talking about Ed, but the truth is 1) I wouldn't know him if he came up and slugged me in the jaw, and 2) I've never had a bad wine from Wine Traditions. The Saint-Pourçain theoretically clocked in at 14.5% alcohol, but I would have never guessed it was a penny over 13.5 (seriously).

A special of Carrot Soup with Bacon was served in a hot (but not burn-your-fingers hot) little cast-iron pot, a small-to-medium soup that was the color of a lobster bisque, more stolid and bacon-y than it was carrot-y. (Iron)ically, later in the meal, Ted asked me if I've ever been to Corduroy, and I said yes, and that Tom Power might have thickened this soup with foie gras (it was only medium-thick).

Then, Le Foie de Veau Provençale, ordered and cooked to a perfect medium rare, nominally served with capers, garlic, black olives, and Jerez vinegar, but in practice more of a tomato-influenced, perfectly seasoned sauce (not a broth).

A cheese course (ordered 3; got 4) of Tomme de Savoie, Merry Goat Round (Maryland), Roquefort, and Istara was served with a grilled bread that was superior to what came in the normal bread basket, along with a few slices of gala apple, walnuts, and halved grapes. These were high-quality cheeses, and bountiful, but (probably since it was close to closing time) a touch on the cold side, albeit not past the chill border of acceptance.

A very good meal at Bistrot Lepic, which has been humming the last two times I've been (the last time almost a year ago; yet, Ted still managed to remember me as a wine lover, even a lover of French wines, although neither of us could quite remember the other's name at first).

Recommended, especially if you sit at the bar and chat with Ted (he's a diligent, professional, friendly bar manager who has been here for what must be several years now). He also has an English degree and likes Milan Kundera and David Foster Wallace,

Rocks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

not sure where my post went, but anyway we were there last night. We, indeed, had good conversation with Ted and Vanessa provided excellent service. I really enjoyed the Minervois red and my spouse, the Alsatian pinot blanc. Food was good-escargot and cassoulet- and less so,scallops and onion tart.. Nice atmosphere. Would probably return if in the neighborhood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stopped in for brunch to celebrate the gf's mother's birthday.  Overall a very nice meal:  decent bread, good ham and cheese omelet, nicely dress greens, but the accompanying cubed and pan fried potatoes were underwhelming.  Wish they would serve the omelet with some frites ala Bistro Du Coin.  The apricot tart for dessert was excellent and worthy of a stop in by itself.  Pretty much had the whole restaurant to ourselves, other than one other table.

Afterwards we strolled over to Dumbarton Oaks and toured their gardens.  Simply amazing that such a place exists right in the middle of Georgetown.  Lovely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...