“We have a table at 6pm and another at 8pm.”
The Maitre De was a native Frenchman, and my rusty schoolbook French language skills had rapidly been switched to more conversational English to ensure I was reserving a table and not inquiring about his aunt’s pen. I’d hoped for a 6:30pm seating, but this was all there was.
We took the offer of 6pm, although as the time was now 5:45pm and the drive took at least half an hour with the traffic lights in ones favour, we thought we were pushing it. Sure enough, after an almost 1005 hit-rate of red traffic lights, we took our place at table at 6:30pm.
We were at La Bergerie, a French restaurant in the fashionable “Old Town” district of Alexandria, VA. Reservations are recommended and although they were not crowded on the night of our visit, I would suggest making a reservation to ensure you get your chance to savour the magnificent food available.
After drinks while perusing the menu, we started our gastronomical experience with hors d’oeuvres. Escargot with garlic, parsley and hazelnuts for madame, and the foie gras special for monsieur. Both were delicious, the hazelnuts adding a subtle taste to the escagot, and an amazingly deep taste and texture to the foie gras.
For main course, Laura decided upon the Pigeon with Roasted Garlic Risotto, Red Wine Reduction Sauce and Chanterelle Mushrooms. I plumped for Roasted Duck Breast stuffed with Pear and Chestnuts, wrapped in Smoked Applewood Bacon and served with a Pear William Sauce. Both were again cooked to perfection, and served with excellent timing by the staff. As we had decided upon such a delicious, and full flavoured meal we knew we had to pick a suitably robust wine, and picked a Châteauneuf du Pape, Château Simian 2001. The wine was the perfect choice, rounding off the main course perfectly.
For dessert we had the chocolate souffle, followed by coffee. The only problem with a good souffle is that it dictates the time it is ready, rather than the diner, and so our transition from main course to dessert was brisker than the meal truly deserved. However, as the souffle was exquisite in every way, we didn’t mind at all!
After some discussion we decided that La Bergerie was one of the best restaurants we have eaten at in the D.C. Metro area, and well worth a visit. On their website you can find further details about the menu, plus information about the “Prix-fixe” lunch and dinner menus.