Living in Alexandria, VA, my wife and I usually head north when going out to dinner, either Old Town or D.C. Recently we headed the other way and drove down to Woodbridge for a quality French experience at Bistro L’Hermitage.
Good friends of ours recommended it, and we’re glad they did. The restaurant is an intimate oasis from the everyday, with great food, a professional and attentive staff and charmingly eclectic decor. Here’s Tom Sietsema’s review from 2009, and it sounds like things have only gotten better.
We dined with the couple who recommended the restaurant, and everything we had was top-notch. Lamb, tuna, scallops and trout were all standouts, as was the escargot I had as an appetizer. The service was perfectly paced — this is where you go when the dining experience is the total focus of the evening.
Naturally we went with French wine. The wine list is not huge but had some nice options. After speaking with a clearly knowledgeable maitre d, we went Rhone and started with a 2010 Jean Luc Colombo Les Fees Brunes Crozes-Hermitage. It was big wine, with lots of plummy fruit beneath some smokiness and minerality.
I liked the wine, but others at the table didn’t find the 100 percent Syrah quite fruit forward enough. So for the second bottle we went with a 2012 Domaine Berthet-Rayne Chauteaneuf-du-Pape. We knew this wine to be a more New World style C-N-P, with a round texture and lots of bright cherry fruit. It’s very easy to enjoy and a good food wine when accommodating different entrees.
Bistro L’Hermitage provided a charming and high quality experience in an unlikely location. Check them out next time you’re looking for the classic French dining experience.
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