We spent Memorial Day weekend in Alexandria, and hadn't given much thought to restaurants. At about 5PM on Saturday night, we decided we had better make a reservation somewhere, or risk a long wait on a busy holiday weekend.
A quick review of TripAdvisor found Le Refuge among the best rated restaurants in the area, and as an added plus it was a short walk from our hotel. Luckily we were able to get a reservation for 8:00PM, which was a pleasant surprise considering I only called a couple of hours beforehand.
One concern we had about French cuisine on that particular night was the perception that nice French restaurants usually serve very small portions of pricey food, on big plates with a few squiggles of sauce. My girlfriend and I had spent the whole day bicycling and were starving. In this instance however, the stereotype was all wrong.
She had the rack of lamb (lamb chops), and they gave her eight of them! She still got the big plate, with the delicious sauce, nicely presented, but the plate was so full she couldn't quite finish it. She called it a "wow-ee plus" meal, which is a rating she reserves for her favorite meals in her favorite restaurants.
I got the Beef Wellington, which is not that easy to find in many restaurants. It's even harder to find a good one, but this one was great, and the beef was cooked rare just as I had asked.
Le Refuge is a small, quaint little restaurant. The walls are heavily decorated with photos, posters and trinkets from Europe, giving the restaurant a cozy and authentic French atmosphere. They seem to do a brisk business and attract a lot of customers. There were no empty seats until later in the evening, so in hindsight maybe we were lucky to get that table.
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