La Chaumiere

On that rare occasion when you experience the culinary equivalent of the “perfect storm” you want to shout about it from the rooftops. Such was the case of our recent dinner at the Georgetown French bistro La Chaumiere.

A rustic country dining room, centered with a fireplace, outstanding food, a great waiter and one of the best value wine lists we have ever experienced in a restaurant made this an extraordinary experience.

The menu is classic French with wonderful items like escargot, lobster bisque, French onion soup and pike dumpling with lobster sauce as appetizers. Entrees included fresh boned trout, marinated duck breast, fish stew, roasted rack of lamb, steak au poivre and more. We had two amazing specials, fresh Dover Sole and pheasant, stuffed with a pheasant mousse. Dessert was, of course, a classic Grand Marnier souffle.

The restaurant takes pride in offering an eclectic selection of wines at affordable prices. The exceptional wine list has some wonderful choices at quite amazing prices. We enjoyed a wonderful 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Jeunes Rois, Domaine Tortochot priced at only $80, a steal. Or how about a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Memora Domaine Julien Masquin at $73 or a Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Château de Maligny for only $55. Worth going just to drink the wine!

Our French born waiter, whose father was a chef in France, could not have been more attentive. He made an exceptional experience even better.

We will never miss this restaurant when we are in Washington.

ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: Sit around the fireplace and enjoy the warm and comfortable ambiance.

Longtime Washingtonians frequent this quaint, quiet Georgetown home of classic French cooking that specializes in old-school dishes like escargots, quenelles, soufflés and magret de canard; the warm, welcoming service, excellent martinis and perfectly paired wines keep its well-heeled coterie loyal, even if younger types compare the dining experience to being a kid out with grandma. ZAGAT