Monday, June 15, 2009

Napoleon Bistro

I have displayed a fondness for French restaurants here at Brunch DC, and Napoleon Bistro is no exception. Complete with waitresses with (possibly fake) French accents, a large menu of generally delicious French brunch dishes, and a charming French bistro atmosphere and decor (including an outdoor seating area), Napoleon is an excellent choice.

The menu comes with a variety of omelets, crepes, salads, and other brunch entrees. They also have a large assortment of coffee-based beverages and the brunch-associated alcoholic choices like the bloody mary and the mimosa. While the food is good, whoever wrote the menu perhaps thought a little too much about their creations. The "Da Vinci" omelet of ham and cheese is labeled "A dream come true" while the Michelangelo omelet of salmon, scallions, and cream cheese, is modestly described as "A Masterpiece."

For starters, they offer an interesting bread basket for $5. While this should be free, it does contain a pretty interesting and extensive assortment of breads with jam and butter. The walnut raisin and the Pain au levain (a sourdough French bread) were the highlights. The jam was not homemade, but was a decent variety. Ideally, this would be free, but I suppose $5 is not too much for very good bread.

On the omelet side, the "Rembrandt" of brie, fresh parsley and sun dried tomatoes is a highlight. Even though it apparently does not warrant an over-the-top epthitet on the menu like some of the other omelets, it stands out nonetheless. The omelet itself is perfectly done without any imperfections or burn marks. The cheese is nice and creamy, and the vegetables are fresh. It also comes with a side of potatoes and a skewer of fresh fruit (an interesting presentation).

The crepes are also good choices. Incidently, one of the better ones is far more an Italian dish than a French one -- the Florentine, consisting of roma tomatoes, ricotta cheese, pine nuts, and basil in a roasted garlic pesto sauce. The soft cheese complements the toasted pine nuts well. And they don't stiff you on the portion size either, as this dish comes with two side-by-side crepes. The other crepe highlight is the "Lisbon" which had smoked salmon, red onions, dill and cream cheese. This crepe was cut into four triangular pieces and was a very pleasant and refreshing dish -- much better than other crepe with salmon, the "Bolivar" (salmon, scrambled eggs, with a citrus-caper sour cream sause), which was too heavy.

The wait staff was unfortunately fairly pushy, particularly with the bloody marys and mimosas. They also have (possibly fake?) French accents -- maybe I'm completely off-base here and if so I apologize -- but they sounded fake. The coffee, whose awesomeness was heavily touted on the menu, was merely mediocre and not hot enough. Other than these small imperfections, Napoleon Bistro is a solid choice.

Contact information after the jump. Continue reading.

Napoleon Bistro
1847 Columbia Road NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 299-9630 (N.B. An annoyingly animated website)

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