Who else loves going out to eat? The ambiance and the food all equal a terrific evening! Going to a nice restaurant is a treat, so for my mom’s birthday this year I treated her to a delicious dinner at a restaurant she’s been dying to go back to for years – L’Auberge Chez Francois. Another bonus to going out to eat during 2020, is the fact that we actually got to get truly dressed up for one of the first times in months. :p
We arrived at the restaurant and made our way inside the charming building to be instantly led to our table in the separate side room that was slightly more private that the main dinning area. There was even a fireplace in the room we were seated in! The entire restaurant was charmingly decorated and had various stain glass windows throughout that added an extra element of charm to help set the mood.
We were quickly served with a glass of ice water and assorted breads, butter, and homemade cheese. Our waiter provided us his suggestions for a cocktail to start and provided us the drink menu to peruse while we settled in. After a first round of cocktails was ordered, we received the prix-fixe dinner menu and set about deciding what we wanted to enjoy that evening. The dinner came with an amuse bouche, appetizer, salad, homemade sorbet, main course, dessert, truffles, and coffee or tea.
After placing our orders, the sommelier came over, monocle and all, to offer suggestions and upon our decision bring our selection to us and provide a sample for our approval before pouring us our glasses. Shortly after, our server brought our amuse bouche to begin our meal. I didn’t catch the name of what we were being served, but it was warm and tasted okay to me, but reminded me of a gravy. My mom, however, enjoyed it.
Next we were served our appetizers, which were both very delicious. I got the Wagyu beef cheeks since I had never had them before and my mom got the French onion soup, which was perfect for the rainy fall evening. The beef cheeks were very tender and bursting with flavor. Our next course was our salad. We both opted for the salad de l’Auberge, which was simple and pleasant. In between our salads and entrees, I ordered a second cocktail – the La Rosette, which was made with St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur and Crémant d’Alsace and was positively delicious.
Our server then brought us some homemade lemon sorbet to cleanse our palates before our entrees were brought out. The sorbet was crisp and refreshing with a pleasantly tart bite. Our entrees were the best food the entire evening. I got the twin beef tenderloins, which were cooked to perfection and very good. My mom’s meal, however, was absolutely mouthwatering to die for and we both highly recommend it – Le Homarde du Maine (AKA the lobster)! The lobster was cooked to perfection and melted in your mouth. I will definitely be getting the lobster the next time we dine at L’Auberge Chez Francois.
Shortly after we finished our meals, the soufflés we ordered arrived. They were both piping hot and very good. Our waiter cracked open the tops and poured their respective sauces inside before leaving us to enjoy our desserts. Mine was a hazelnut soufflé and my mom’s was chocolate. Being the huge hazelnut fan that I am, I loved mine!
When I made the reservations, I requested anything special they could do for my mom’s birthday. So, they surprised her with a meringue encrusted chocolate custard/ice cream with a raspberry coulis that was absolutely delicious and so refreshing! It was a nice surprise and very different from the usual dessert surprise restaurants provide. Finally, they brought us a plate of truffles and offered us cups of tea or coffee to finish our meal.
We left very full and feeling incredibly satisfied! If you are ever in Northern Virginia near Great Falls, I highly recommend you check out L’Auberge Chez Francois, but make sure you save up for it since having food that mouthwatering delicious with an atmosphere that indulgent isn’t cheap!
Until next time, happy travels!