DC Restaurant Week: Bistro Bis


On previous Restaurant Weeks, members of my immediate circle of friends have tried a number of steakhouses, Georgia Brown’s, the Melting Pot, Vidalia (though I’d love to try it myself sometime), McCormick and Schmick’s, and iRicci (mentioned last and unlinked for a reason…the experience completely sucked). Some of us hadn’t had French Cuisine while living in the DC Area. I, like others in our group were looking for new, unique experiences.

Ultimately, we decided on Bistro Bis, a Capitol Hill venue specializing in French cuisine. Some of us had a great experience at Bis’s sister restaurant, Vidalia. I personally haven’t been to any French Restaurant in recent memory, and there were many dishes I’d heard of but hadn’t tried.

It was a pretty full house when we were seated, but not a surprise for an evening during restaurant week. By the time we got settled, a couple of tables had left… More diners would soon take their place…


Food after the jump, as I took a lot of shots…

The bread basket:

Crusty on the outside, warm and soft on the inside… just how I like my bread (well.. when it’s not pandesal)…

Steak tartare was my appetizer:


Tartare a little closer up:


For one who usually likes her beef medium to medium well, completely raw was definitely a leap for me. The capers and raw onion (two ingredients I’d immediately reject if I had them in larger quantities) were finely chopped and well-balanced against other ingredients. That leap of faith ended up being fairly tasty!

Accompaniments a little closer up, now…



AnswerGuy had the endive salad…  Supposedly, it had pears and peppered walnuts, which he enjoyed but would not have been up my alley.


“Dork” had mussels steamed with linguica sausage, oregano-tomato broth, and heirloom peppers. It smelled wonderful!


Our other two friends had scallop mousse. I loved the presentation here…


I had heard of duck confit on many an episode of Iron Chef, but never had it. It was my entree of choice (I think it was also the choice of the Notorious ETC)…


Served with white beans and duck sausage, it was crisp on the outside, and melt-in-the-mouth tender on the inside. I didn’t regret trying it…

AnswerGuy had the Lamb Steak served with Polenta and lamb jus…


“Dork” had the pork belly with polenta, onions, corn, and jus.


Our other friend (for which I hadn’t found a blog nickname) had the braised veal stew served with zucchini, artichokes, tomato confit and garlic…


Unlike the previous two courses, all five of us had a different dessert.

Shocker of shockers… I didn’t have chocolate! My creme brulee is pictured below:

Sugar was just caramelized perfectly atop it, and it was silky and smooth…

Below you can see some of the vanilla flecks even though I’d finished the dessert…

IMG_5594To be fair, I like other desserts, I just don’t trend toward citrusy ones.

AnswerGuy actually had the chocolate cake…


“Dork” had bread pudding:


Now here’s where my memory of who had what gets foggy. Pictured below is either a citrus/lemon sorbet or mousse:


And last pictured, a tart…


While many complain of poorer service and insanely limited menus during D.C. Restaurant Week, Bis had a large portion of their menu available for us to choose from. Not only was our waiter attentive, he was really cool, usually joking around with us. For example, while some at fine dining establishments might turn up their noses at me taking shots of the food, he just joked around with me quite a bit. The five of us had lots of fun, and I’ll likely come back off-restaurant week (well… after I graduate in May…).

Pictured (L-R): The Notorious ETC, Friend without Blog Name, “Dork”


About A. Random Hapa

Thirty-something. INFP. Librarian. Brain Tumor Survivor. Hobbyist Singer. Amateur Photographer. Foodie. Craft Beer Fan. Unrepentant geek.

Posted on September 5, 2009, in DC Restaurant Week, eating out, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: