As 2016 Winter Restaurant Week neared its end, I had two more old favourites left to visit. The first was Bastille, an excellent French restaurant in Alexandria.
I’ve been going to Bastille for years, but it had moved to another part of Alexandria since my last visit. Washington’s increasingly unreliable Metro was at its worst that day, so that I was late for my reservation, even though I’d allotted an extra half hour for the trip.
The new Bastille is pleasant, but it lacks some of the atmosphere of the old site, which was seriously French in look and feel, as well as in cuisine. The new place has a more generic vibe.
Shrimp Beignets are a menu mainstay here, but I was disappointed. The shrimp was barely detectable.
The main was a big improvement. The Plancha Salad featured marinated shrimp, octopus, and calamari cooked on the plancha and served over frisée, roasted sunchokes, carrots, celeriac, and walnuts. I had half of it boxed to go, because I wanted to leave room for dessert…
And I’m glad I did. This was another of the RW2016 highlights: Valrhona bittersweet chocolate mousse, chocolate almond dacquoise, passion fruit, and Cœur de Guanaja chocolate ice cream.
Someone should open a tapas-type restaurant that offers nothing but desserts. You’d order three or four small plates, each with a different delicious, perfectly staged little treat.
It would make a mint. (See what I did there? I’m not proud of it, but it was irresistible.)