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Bistrot Lepic Wine Bar, North Georgetown - Casual, Romantic Lounge on Wisconsin Ave & S Street NW


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I just wanted to write that: Simon Ndjki-nya.

The upstairs wine bar at Bistrot Lepic would be one of my quirky choices for the question we all get: "I'm coming in from out-of-town this weekend. Where would be a really cool, undiscovered place for us to go? We want something quiet but not boring, with good food, good atmosphere and decent wines by the glass." The wine bar at Bistrot Lepic is also a perfect first-date venue - lots of small plates, comfortable, intimate ambiance, friendly bartender, food coming up from the main dining room's kitchen downstairs, good for private conversation. My one qualm is that the wines by-the-bottle are a bit overpriced (only a couple of bottles are under $30), but this is mitigated somewhat either by sticking with humbler bottlings, or ordering by-the-glass, and the food prices are quite reasonable, with interesting small plates around $7, most fish entrees in the upper teens, and meat entrees hovering around $20. You can do well here if you nibble and pick.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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I'm debtaing trying Mendocino or Bistro Lepic tonight for a romantic dinner with my gf. I haven't been to either, but have heard great things about both, I would greatly appreicate any input to help make my indecisiveness less a factor. Thanks

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I have not been to Mendocino but I have been to Lepic (although not for a while). I think either would be good and you should consider making your decision based on the different types of food they serve. Based on the names alone you can guess that Lepic will trend towards French (Chef Bruno Fortin is French) and Mendocino towards California-esque.

Also, here is what Rocks has to say about the Wine Bar upstairs at Lepic -->*

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I think the wine bar at Lepic is perfect for clandestine affairs because it makes even the most straightlaced people feel raunchy, what with dimmed lighting, shared small plates and slightly uncomfortable chairs that make you squirm closer toward your partner in crime. So, for a date it would be, and has been, my choice.

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I like the way Nadya thinks!

My thought would be to have some wine and small plates at Bistro Lepic and then maybe take a nice walk down to Mendocino for a couple glasses of port and desert, followed up with a room at the Four Seasons across the street and breakfast of room service.

NOW THAT'S A DATE!!!!

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DCFoodie and I stopped by the wine bar at Lepic for their happy hour and wine tasting yesteday evening and I must say that I am favorably impressed. I like the decor of the space. The wine list has many by the glass. They were pouring a muscadet and a saumur for the tasting and I liked the saumur som much that I wound up having a couple of glasses of it. I also had an order of their pate de compagne which was spot on; served with cornichons and a nice french mustard. For $7, a well priced appetizer.

I got there sort of early, shortly after 6:00 and the place was empty, I was the only customer at the bar, so I had an opportunity to chat with the staff. Ted the bartender is a real pro. But the place filled up and he and his co-worker became a blurr of motion.

I think this would be a good place to organize a DR.com happy hour. Even though it is on Wisconsin Ave., there seemed to be plenty of parking on the street.

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DCFoodie and I stopped by the wine bar at Lepic for their happy hour and wine tasting yesteday evening and I must say that I am favorably impressed. I like the decor of the space. The wine list has many by the glass. They were pouring a muscadet and a saumur for the tasting and I liked the saumur som much that I wound up having a couple of glasses of it. I also had an order of their pate de compagne which was spot on; served with cornichons and a nice french mustard. For $7, a well priced appetizer.

I got there sort of early, shortly after 6:00 and the place was empty, I was the only customer at the bar, so I had an opportunity to chat with the staff. Ted the bartender is a real pro. But the place filled up and he and his co-worker became a blurr of motion.

I think this would be a good place to organize a DR.com happy hour. Even though it is on Wisconsin Ave., there seemed to be plenty of parking on the street.

I adore Lepic, it's always a good choice for an upscale but relaxed dinner. The lounge seating is okay, but I much prefer the bar. Pig feet never disappoint. Speaking of the bar, stop by and introduce yourself to Steve, who hails from Bis and is quite fabulous in looks and character.

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Uh, that would be me calling myself fat. Actually, the seat of the barstools are too short. They hit the backs of my legs about halfway to the knee, very uncomfortable.

I know what you mean...the curse of tall people. Have I got a cure for you! When dealing with a too-short barstool, assume half-inverted lotus pose (one ankle folded under back of opposite thigh, thus elevating the height from which the other leg will now attractively dangle.) Works for me!

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I know what you mean...the curse of tall people. Have I got a cure for you! When dealing with a too-short barstool, assume half-inverted lotus pose (one ankle folded under back of opposite thigh, thus elevating the height from which the other leg will now attractively dangle.) Works for me!

I didn't mean to imply that the legs of the barstool were too short; au contraire, the stools are plenty tall. The part you sit on is too short from front to back. The middle of my thighs rests on the front of the seat and it hurts after a while. And perhaps the French for whom these stools were designed are familiar with this half-inverted lotus pose thing, but this red-blooded American is not, nor does he want to be.

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The wine bar at Bistrot Lepic remains happily locked in a time warp, virtually unchanged from when I was last there nine months ago.

It's tough to break away from the small courses here, because they're perfect for sharing, and for the most part, reasonably priced. One exception is the Homemade Terrine of Foie Gras ($14) which is actually one of the best foie gras terrines in town, but I can't recommend it based solely on the miserly portion size, which is about half of what it should be for the money.

A special of Calamari Provencale ($11.95) was a little plate of good, fresh-tasting calamari in a dark, reduced, tomato-based sauce with just enough spike from capers and onions to keep it light on its feet, the occasional mushroom keeping it rooted to the earth.

The Onion Tart ($8) with bacon in puff pastry and a little salad of mesclun was a little tired tonight, but it remains a valid attempt at making a high-quality, house-made bar snack that you just won't find at many places in this area.

Likewise the Crusty Boneless Pig's Feet ($8) with onion sauce, looking very much like a piece of fried scrapple (which is sort-of what it is). I've had this probably a half-dozen times in the past, and it's always worth ordering - I don't think I've ever eaten here and not gotten this.

And for the second straight evening, the highlight of my dinner was a dessert: a homemade Mint Ice Cream ($7) with chocolate sauce. Two little scoops of almost-perfect glace, not too sweet, creamy but with an almost granular texture, and most importantly, not icing up from sitting in the freezer - a perfect ending to what was a good showing for the wine bar at Bistrot Lepic, which remains an ignored little treasure, one of the most enjoyable and attractive places in town to chat in relative privacy, have a decent glass of wine, and nosh on small plates of interesting, competent, well-priced French food.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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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.

Were you in the dining room or at the upstairs wine bar? I was curious about the latter, because it seemed more casual -- as opposed to the downstairs area where you should probably have a reservation.

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Were you in the dining room or at the upstairs wine bar? I was curious about the latter, because it seemed more casual -- as opposed to the downstairs area where you should probably have a reservation.

This past time I was downstairs. I've been upstairs before, and I honestly never felt much difference in terms of level of formality.

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This past time I was downstairs. I've been upstairs before, and I honestly never felt much difference in terms of level of formality.

[i think they're different enough (the menu, for example) where I spun off a separate thread for the downstairs bistro here. This was long overdue - thanks for writing it up, hungry prof.]

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I think the previous appraisals above are still valid. This is a great space. If you're going there on a weekend night, I'd recommend reservations. There must have been some miscommunication when I spoke to them on the phone, because I was told they didn't take reservations. Luckily, there were seats (they have a total of six) available at the bar, and this ended up working out for the best anyway. The other seating is very cozy, but you do have to lean in considerably to have a conversation or eat your food.

The wines were a decent value -- I had a few half glasses, and they would have passed for full glasses at many other establishments. As for food, I only sampled a few small plates, but everything was of high quality. I look forward to returning.

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Had an oddly disappointing lunch here the other day. The bisque and veal cheeks were competent but uncompelling, the onion tart was soggy and bland and we didn't bother to finish the chocolate tart. It was nothing you could really put your finger on, just a certain lack of zing. Service was friendly and the room comfortable, as always, and a declassified Mersault, at $35 was a bit of a bargain.

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The Wine Bar at Bistrot Lepic is just as wonderful as ever. Perhaps just as importantly, you can actually go there and find parking - one of the few places left in town where this is true.

I asked my bartender Jay (who was my bartender earlier this year also) if I could take home any of the wine I didn't finish, and he said yes, so I went with a bottle of the 2008 Domaine Berthier Saint-Amour ($39) which they were out of and substituted with a more recent bottling. (Note to Bistrot Lepic: your online menu prices are slightly outdated - not a big deal.) I love the freedom of having a full bottle because it lets me set my own pace (usually I enjoy a glass before dinner, and then slow down and sip during the meal, finally getting to enjoy the rest of the wine at home).

There's something about December and lamb, so I went with the Carré d'Agneau Rôi Avec Sa Ratatouille Provení§ale, Jus í  l'Ail ($32), a roasted rack of lamb, with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes piped onto the plate, Provencal ratatouille, and roasted garlic sauce. Three lovely chops, perfectly cooked to medium-rare, the meat being crisped on the outside, and tender on the inside with just the right amount of fat. The entire plate was served piping hot, even the piped (no pun intended) potato purée and the jus lying beneath on the warmed plate. Temperature is critical on a dish such as this, and it was a triumph in pretty much every way.

Just as it has always been, Bistrot L'Epic Wine Bar is maintained strongly in Italic in the Dining Guide.

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Went on a whim last night with my girlfriend and boy am i glad we did.  They were full downstairs, so we were offered seats at the bar--which turned out to be a monumental break in our favor.  Upon asking the bartender some questions about the wine by the glasses (we don't know much about wine), he said how about i try all the whites and my girlfriend can try all the reds.  he pulled out 3-4 glasses each, poured non-tiny amounts of a wine into each and asked us which we liked best, considering what we planned to order.  selections made, he topped off our chosen glass, then took our orders.  to start, I had some of the best escargot i've ever had (parlsey, butter, garlic...), plus some delicious red snapper with salmon roe and mussels.  my girlfriend had a nice winter salad, then the scallops, which were large and perfectly cooked and served with a delicious green broccoli-based sauce.  all of this served with endless fresh-cut bread (not as good as le diplomate of course, but what is?) to sop up the sauces.

best yet, our bartender poured us a glass of champagne each mid-meal just beacause, and upon finishing our wine, gave us each another glass of wine, gratis.  throughout our meal he was attentive and chatty without being overbearing.  wish i got his name, but he was clearly a pro and is a huge asset to the restaurant. 

one of our favorite meals out recently and such a nice departure from the scenes of mobbed small-plates restaurants further east.

PS the couple next to us at the bar brought their own wine, which was welcomed by the bartender, who decanted it for them and served. not sure of the corkage fee, but good to know it's an option.

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