Tag Archives: Bistro Bis

Bistro Bis — Lunch on 12 July 2019

After an hour or so at the “Infinite Space” installation at ARTECHOUSE, I headed over to Capitol Hill for a late lunch.

Bistro Bis

Bistro Bis

Bistro Bis is a 10-minute walk from the Senate Office Buildings north of the Capitol, which should tell you pretty much all you need to know about its clientele. The interior is beautifully done, with multiple dining areas on two levels. It’s a charmer.

Bistro Bis Interior (Image from Bistro Bis website)

Bistro Bis Interior (Image from Bistro Bis website)

Duck Confit

Duck Confit

I’d talked to a friend a few days earlier, and the conversation turned to duck confit, as my conversations so often do. It occurred to me then that since I’d titled my current life-improvement project as the “Bastille Day Revival”, and since dining well was a key part of the Revival agenda, there’d be no better way to start it than by ordering that classic French dish. And where could I find one of the best versions of duck confit in Washington? Well, it wasn’t simply chance that brought me back to Bistro Bis.

The duck was served on a bed of wilted spinach and beans, with baby shallots and a good gastrique. Excellent as ever. I could live on this.

Pommes Frites

Pommes Frites

I chose Pommes Frites, with spicy harissa and rosemary aïoli dipping sauces, for my side dish.

This meal made me happy. Thanks to ARTECHOUSE and Bistro Bis, the Bastille Day Revival was off to a great start.

Bistro Bis — Lunch on 16 January 2019

Bistro Bis

Bistro Bis

It’s the third day of Restaurant Week, and we’re back in DC.  Lunch is on Capitol Hill at Bistro Bis, a stylish restaurant that’s an easy walk from Union Station. From the restaurant’s website:

“From the zinc bar with its tall columns and fabulous fixtures to the tiered dining area with its soft patterned tile floor, Bistro Bis is simply the restaurant on Capitol Hill where diners want to be. Current and sophisticated, warm and intimate, Bistro Bis’ natural cherry interior is a wonderful modern version of a French bistro.”

Image found on the Web.

Image found on the Web.

Onion Soup

Onion Soup

Another day, another ramekin of Onion Soup.

In the extremely unlikely event that I were a judge on Top Chef and had to choose between Bistro Bis’s version of the French classic and yesterday’s serving at La Côte d’Or, I’d probably mumble incoherently and make a dash for the exit, accidentally knocking over a camera and an assistant director along the way.

Both servings were excellent.

Duck Confit

Duck Confit

I accept that I am powerless to pass on a plate of Duck Confit. Just look at that golden-brown beauty! You can almost taste the delicious crunchiness of the skin!

The duck leg was served with white beans, duck sausage, frisée, and a garlic and sherry vinegar-thyme gastrique.

Apple Croustade

Apple Croustade

The apples were caramelized and wrapped in a buttery pastry, with a
vanilla bean crème anglaise and calvados sauce.

This lunch at Bistro Bis was the best all-around meals I’ve has so far this week.

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.

Salad

Salad

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.

Dessert

Dessert

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.