Having arrived at DCA, and picked up in purple style by my friend Lisa, I was checked into my hotel and on the lookout for lunch. Being so close to Dupont circle, I decided to pay a visit to one of my collegiate favorites, Bistrot Du Coin.
Even though D.C. has a history of over the top French food, Bistrot Du Coin has always been my French restaurant of choice. Sure it could be the small, intimate environment complete with smoke patina walls and ceilings, or it could be the flamboyant and highly entertaining owner. I say entertaining because he has a history of running to the second story and starting a rousing version of the la Marseillaise while waving a French flag, or because he’s often seen enjoying the fruits of his labor in a pink sequined shirt, openly flaunting the D.C. smoking ban.
Anthems and sequins aside, the lunch at the Bistrot is pretty stellar. I start with a classic, escargot a la bourguignonne
Brought to my table still bubbling, I had to pause and take in the aroma of garlic & butter. The first bite reveals the truth, they taste as good as they smell.
The supply of crusty bread is perfect for enjoying all of the sauce from the escargot.
As rich as the escargot had been, I had also ordered one of the bistro’s variations on the classic moules frites.
Moules marinieres is little more than mussels steamed in white wine with onions, shallots, garlic, & parsley, but these simple ingredients combine for a powerful punch. The mussels, as always, were well cooked and dripping with flavor. A bonus to the dish of mussels is the sauce, which is perfect for sopping
With the supplied basket of French bread.
Not forgetting the second half of the moules frites
The French fries at Bistro Du Coin are double fried, one to cook them and then again for a good crunch. This level of attention to detail shows, as does the well distributed amount of salt. The fries really are a stellar accompaniment to the steamed mussels.
Some people might be put off by the overt crowd and atmosphere at Bistrot Du Coin, but every time I’ve eaten here, I’ve left completely satisfied and humming a little Charles Trenet.