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“Une Séduction Française”

LAuberge Chez Francois
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Ranked #1 of 34 Restaurants in Great Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $75 - $75
Cuisines: French, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Beach Mill Road
Description: Travellers in the beautiful Alsatian countryside, seek out "auberge", the little family inns that dot the roadsides, to eat well and enjoy the scenery. They know they will find fine food and glowing spirits, at an excellent value. Welcome to L"Auberge Chez Francois, our French country inn a short distance from the nation's capital, nestled among lush woods and fragrant gardens, that has captivated visitors for over 50 years. L'Auberge Chez Francois is the ideal spot to celebrate special moments, private parties,luncheons, weddings and cooking demonstrations. Our menu is extensive and full of the flavors of Alsace and traditional French cuisine. Excellent food and service, attention to detail and a casually elegant atmosphere are hallmarks that have made L'Auberge Chez Francois a Washington favorite. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy your visit with us. Jacques Brasserie at L'Auberge is open Tues-Sat,5-9:00PM,Sunday 3-7:30PM. Reservations for Jacques' Brasserie via phone only!
Reviewed February 15, 2014

It was a cold and stormy winter night on our anniversary, and I was bringing Yvonne to suburban Washington’s storied French hideaway in Great Falls, Virginia, L’Auberge Chez François. The last thing I needed was putting her on edge, but I took a wrong exit off the Interstate and spent half an hour navigating nine white-knuckle roller-coaster miles of the Georgetown Pike. At last, at a T-junction emerged a sprawling and cheerfully lighted, one-story Alsatian-themed manor house with room enough for 300 diners. How, after coming upon such a refuge from the perilous road, could we not like the place?

Painlessly, it turned out. I had told them it was our anniversary when I made the reservation. Georges, a gentle graying Frenchman of a certain age, greeted us as though we were personal guests and led us to a candle-lit table. But we prefer sitting side-by-side, not across from one another, so Georges led us to another room and another, to a small round table near a window. It was just right, except for a wintery draft. An assistant brought fine woolen shawls, one from India for Yvonne and a subtle plaid one for me and draped them over our shoulders. Name another restaurant whose amenities include shawls.

At sixty years old, L’Auberge Chez Francois is unabashedly, traditional French, from gilt-framed tableaux down to the large, French, three-pronged forks, all without the hautiness of the Parisian palaces of haute cuisine. An immigrant Alsatian, François Haeringer, founded and ran the auberge until the night before his death at 91 nearly four years ago, and his son Jacques, a celebrity chef in his own right, has taken it on. The menu emphasizes classic beef, veal and seafood entrées with venerable merican standards like Maine lobster, Maryland crab, Alaskan salmon, Virginia ham and trout from the Shenandoah. The dinner menus are prix-fixe and six courses at prices depending on the entrées from $70 to $81, with extra charges to substitute
fee a few appetizers, such as foie gras. The Chateaubriand with béarnaisse and truffe sauce is $160, but that’s for two.

On our night, they readily accommodated Yvonne’s preference for appetizers. One was a bowl of classic lobster bisque, a scrupulous rendition of the best we have had in Paris. The other was Japanese Wagyu beef cheeks, a succulent delicacy braised with mushrooms and sherry. I started with the trios de saumons—one smoked salmon, one marinated with dill, and one a rillettte with capers—all succulent in silken texture and flavor. For the entrée, I chose the matelot de poisons, a variation on bouillabaisse with salmon, rockfish, scallops, crabmeat and shrimp in a creamy, Champagne and lobster sauce. I loved it.

Two little intervening courses were elegant touches. The first was a lentil soup in a demitasse cup and the second a tablespoon of grapefruit sherbet with tarragon. For dessert, we shared a small bowl Grand Marnier soufflé dusted with powdered sugar.

We never saw a sommelier, so we were saved from some costly temptations and settled for $9 glasses of the house’s respectable pinot noir. We had envisioned spending $250, but the check came to $163.29, including Georges’s anniversary tributes of two chilled coupes of dry Champagne. I’d quibble about a couple of things. They could send a sommelier around more. We might well have sprung for wines more attuned to our courses. And they could offer the option of valet parking, particularly on nights like ours. We need not have made a reservation. Many tables were empty on our Wednesday night in winter. Weekends, however, the place fills up. It's closed on Mondays.

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Thank Peter K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 - 390 of 664 reviews

Reviewed February 5, 2014

Recently celebrated a birthday of a lady friend here for dinner. From the time we walked in to the time we left the service and food were both outstanding. So surprised that on a Tuesday night the parking lot was almost full. Selections from appetizers through entrees are varied and there is something there for everyone's taste. It was definitely the kind of food that was prepared and served top notch in every way. The restaurant does start closing at about 9. We left about 10 and were the last ones there but still didn't feel rushed. They do have a dress code and the minimum for a gentleman is a coat. Also be prepared that the entrees are about $75-80/person. With a bottle of champagne the tab can easily be $200+. All that said, it was still a very memorable evening and a very impressive restaurant!

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Thank wjboczany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We enjoyed another special meal at L'Auberge Chez Francois on Saturday February 1st for one of Jacque's wine tasting luncheons. It was a gorgeous day to drive out the country inn for a really education mostly domestic winery tasting. The wine vendors had three table set up with mostly American and some French wines. There were several outstanding Cabernet blends from California and Washington State. We retired to the dining room for a wonderful that started with Half dozen oysters with hot with Bearnaise sauce, Beef Bourguignon with spaëtzles and mushrooms, Cassoulet Toulousain duck confit, pork, sausages on white beans and a glasses of Pinot Blanc. Wow was it wonderfully delicious - especially the warm oysters!

It is always a treat to enjoy L'Auberge Chez Francois and the impeccable service and fabulous cuisine. Bon Appetite

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Thank DfHRB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

LAuberge Chez Francois is a go-to place for birthdays and special occasions. Most recently we attending a Louis Jadot wine tasting with food pairings at the restaurant and were overwhelmed at how good was the food and the wine. Service was excellent throughout the evening, commentary from Jaques Herringer (head chef) and observations by Jadot rep were impressive. It was our first after 40 years of being patrons of the restaurant and we highly recommend it. Food, service, value are always tops.

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Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2014

Best restaurant in D.C. area. The lobster bisque cannot be beat. We prefer Jacques’ Brasserie at the garden level of L’Auberge--a traditional Alsatian-style brasserie. You cannot go wrong here. Great atmosphere and food.

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Thank JimSwigart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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