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“Simply Delicious”

Le Refuge Restaurant
Ranked #43 of 755 Restaurants in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Old Town
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Simply Delicious”
Reviewed June 28, 2013

We stopped in for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. It was not peak eating time, so we were able to get seated right away. The place is small and very charming. The staff was very friendly and saw to our needs. The baguette was the best I ever had. The three course lunch special was a great value. The food was excellent and good size portions.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank John Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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274 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    162
    83
    20
    4
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
sarasota florida
Level Contributor
86 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“almost perfect”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

This is like a little corner of France.
We enjoy the more simple country French than the comples sauces and
Le Refuge delivers. Their wine list is very simple, but more than adqeuate and very
reasonably priced. Their Boulibase took me back to Marseille.
Two minor disappointments. They had a (2) soft shell crab entree and I asked if they
could serve a 1/2 order as an appetizer and they declined. I think restaurants should
accommodate and do all reasonable things to show appreciation for the business.
Even if they had to waste the other half (which I am sure they would not) it would have
been satifsying to a good customer.
Other than that- service was pleasant and effecient.
Second - the French can work magic with simple salads - usually Butter lettuce and oil and
vinigar with herbs, etc. - In most places in France is perfect - at LeRefuge they use
romain and what seems like some type of russian dressing - and that was a disappointment.
We plan to return whenever we are in Alexandria and I am not posting this to complain
but in the hope they can do better on such minor points in the future.
They have a table for two right at the door and if the place is crowded - you wouldn't want
to be seated there.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank tappyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Good but Not Memorable Food, Pleasant Service”
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Le Refuge's extensive menu looked inviting, so my family and I took our two out of town guests there for dinner. The restaurant is charming and quite appropriate for casually dressed diners seeking a French meal. Our server was also very gracious. The food, however, was less impressive than I had hoped. Several in our party enjoyed their steaks, but my beef Wellington was rather ordinary -- decently prepared filet topped with duck liver and served en croute, but no special flavor. A house salad was also undistinguished, although several people really liked their French onion soup. The pear belle Helene and meringue glacee were basically variations on vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. In short, the dinner was a bit disappointing, particularly for the price (more than $50 a person, including tax and service but before drinks).

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank cluelessSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newtown, Connecticut
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Last-minute decision, pleasant surprise”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

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.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank GaryW888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, Pa.
Level Contributor
548 reviews
334 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 269 helpful votes
“Ooo Lah Lah Le Refuge....again!”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

Well we visited this lovely French bistro restaurant again and thoroughly enjoyed it! You will truly feel like you are in a Paris bistro as it is quaint, cozy and very interestingly decorated.

Service is excellent, the food is wonderful, the wine list is nice and reasonable....what more can I say but Ooo Lah Lah Le Refuge.

I highly recommend this to you!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank LancasterTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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