Wishing you could take a trip to France but life keeps getting in the way? Fear not — the next best thing is in your own backyard. From Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, Béarnaise in Washington D.C. is an upscale Parisian restaurant and bar serving classic French dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Though the perfectly cooked steak and unlimited frites win our heart every time, there’s plenty more to explore on Mendelsohn’s menu. Here are our recommendations:
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1. MUSSEL BOWLS
Sourced sustainably from Malpeque Bay in Prince Edward Islands, known for some of the world’s best shellfish, the mussels at Bearnaise can be prepared three ways: Marinière (white wine, tomato, shallots, cream), Vietnamese (green curry, coconut broth, lemongrass) or Dijon (leeks, bacon, whole grain mustard broth).
If the photo doesn’t make your mouth water (impossible), trust us, the real deal definitely will. The Brasserie Burger is made with Fells Point Beef, seasonal mushrooms, sauteed onions, Swiss cheese, truffle aioli and an optional egg, all sandwiched by a brioche bun.
The fresh market fish’s preparation is determined daily by the chef, showcasing Mendelsohn’s creativity and his proclivity for fresh, classic ingredients.
The French do brunch as much justice as they do dinner, and Bearnaise’s options affirm that. The Montreal Special, a sesame seed bagel with Norwegian smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion and ruby tomato will get your day started on the right foot.
A longstanding, popular dessert in French cuisine, a Choux a La Creme Au Chocolat, known more commonly in the United States as a profiterole, is a filled French choux pastry ball with a typically sweet cream or custard filling. Bearnaise makes the dish its own with homemade vanilla custard and its in-house chocolate sauce.
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