Bistro Bis — Lunch on 3 February 2017

Last Friday’s lunch at Bistro Bis was my final meal during the official 2017 Winter Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, but some of the best is yet to come. As expected, a number of places, including two of the best restaurant groups in Washington, are extending the RW format for another week. And Alexandria’s RW begins a week after that.

Bistro Bis offers an updated version of traditional French bistro fare. It’s close to the Capitol, so if you’re political, you’re likely to see some familiar faces at lunch. You may also overhear some indiscreet conversations at the next table, if you’re lucky. And nosey.



I rarely order salad in a restaurant. For one thing, I make brilliant, everything-in-the-pantry salads at home.

(Dried cherries? Sounds good. Toss in some walnuts, too. And I’ll chop up some tarragon to mix with the cress. Oh, almost forgot—I still have half a jar of artichoke hearts. And let’s crumble some of that leftover bacon on top.*  A little bleu cheese would go well with that.)

But I’ve been starting with soup for most of the week, and the Salade Panaché, with mesclun greens, candied almonds, manchego cheese, dried apricots, and wine vinaigrette sounded tempting.

Duck Confit

Duck Confit

This is what I came for: Confit de Canard Touloussiene. When I see Duck Confit on a menu these days, I don’t bother to read further.

The  duck confit at Bistro Bis was v good, but not quite on the level of versions of the dish I’ve had over the last year at Bastille in Alexandria** and Bistrot Victoires in Paris.***

The skin on the duck leg was crisp and crunchy, and the meat was tender. It was served with white beans, duck sausage, and frisée, and a banyuls vinegar-thyme gastrique.



Is it ever possible to go wrong with chocolate? This Tarte au Chocolat, with
a graham crumble and caramel ice cream, was a perfect ending to an excellent meal.

* I’m lying about this part. There’s never any leftover bacon.
** Where I returned the next day for a second serving
*** Where I would have returned the next day for a second serving, if I hadn’t had to catch a plane back to the states. In retrospect, I wish I’d stayed in Paris, and not just for the duck.


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