French cuisine can range the gamut from the highest end to loveable so-called “peasant food.” When you’re in the mood for a special dinner, you could do no better than a night out with the French. Below you’ll find 10 of the best French restaurants this side of the Atlantic—all in Virginia.
Fleurie is a sophisticated restaurant and bar specializing in French cuisine, serving the Charlottesville area. Fleurie is the recipient of the Best of Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator for their extensive wine list. Open Monday-Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fleurie offers an al carte menu, re-theater menu, tasting menu, and, of course a wine menu. Main courses included fantastic choices like seared scallops, fall squash, bacon and brown butter, as well as roasted beef tenderloin, gnocchi Parisienne, leeks, and bordelaise.
L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia is the recipient of many rewards, including the AAA Four Diamond Reward, open Table Diners’ Choice 2016 award, Trip Advisor’s 2016 Certificate of Excellence, and Best of NOVA 2016, awarded by Northern Virginia Magazine. This quant restaurant has a humble, welcoming atmosphere and offers lunch, dinner, dessert, wine, and brunch menus. The food is tremendous, and the presentation is always gorgeous.
Café Renaissance’s cuisine is “classical French with a modern twist and an Italian accent.” Located in Vienna, Virginia, the interior is a bit on the fancier side. Come for lunch, dinner, or schedule your group event here. The dinner menu is extensive, offering poultry, meat, risotto, fish, and pasta dishes, along with cold and hot appetizers. For you big spenders out there, consider the $75 Le Châteaubriand pour Deux (center cut beef tenderloin, seasonal vegetables & potato gratin with bérnaise or red wine sauce).
Bisto L’Hermitage is a charming restaurant, living up to its hermitage namesake. It’s a bit old fashioned, but if you believe the classics never go out of style, then you’re in for a treat. Stop in for brunch, lunch, or dinner, or consider the prixe-pixe menus, starting at $36.00 per person. We recommend the Porc (grilled pork loin with fingerline potato, sautéed green cabbage and rosemary cream sauce).
Lyon Hall considers itself an “bustling brasserie” in Arlington, Virginia, serving French brasserie food. For those unfamiliar, a brasserie is an informal restaurant. In other words, come into a brasserie to get a taste of French cuisine and drink, but don’t expect any hoity-toityness from the place. Their Hors D’Oeuvres brunch includes fresh donuts and house smoked salmon. Eggs take up a large portion of the menu, including Quiche Lorrain and benedicts. Dinner entrees including corn and ricotta potato gnocchi and pan seared trout, among many other dishes.
Restaurant Pomme is the recipient of the 2016 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 2015 and 2016. The Pomme aims to recreate the French dining experience from cuisine to ambiance. Their lunch, dinner, brunch, dessert, and wine menus are lean, ensuring that each dish that makes the cut is perfection. Try the Vol au Vent du Jour (a puff pastry filled with Chef’s vegetarian selection of the day), or the Escargots Forestiere (sautéed snails, garlic cream, wild mushrooms, and a dash of Pernod).
Le Yaca French Restaurant has a location in Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, Virginia, and has been awarded Best of and Expert’s Choice awards from Trip Expert. Since 2001, Le Yaca has been serving brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert most days of the week. While the menus differ slightly between locations, most of the staples remain consistent. Not sure what to order? Try the three course Prix Fixe Menu. Choose between one of three appetizers, nine entrees, and eight desserts for one set price.
With locations in Las Vegas, Chicago, Oak Brook, Bethesda, and Reston, Virginia, Mon Ami Gabi brings a big-city feel to its classical French food. The 80 wines on the wine menu were handpicked to complement their dishes. Enjoy lunch, dinner, brunch, dessert, and gluten free options. For your first visit, make sure to order the Onion Soup Au Gratin.
L’Auberge Provencale is attached to a bed and breakfast in beautiful White Post, Virginia. The recipient of many awards, including from TripAdvisor and AAA, L’Auberge Provencale features many ingredients grown on-site. Choose from the bar menu, Chef’s tasting menu, the more straightforward dinner menu, and others. Chef’s Tasting Menu is $125 per person and is chosen by the chef to highlight the best of what is on-hand. It’s worth the extra expense for an extraordinary experience.
Voila Cisine Internationale is an eclectic restaurant and is known for its three-course prix-fixe menu. The food is inspired by French and Greek dishes. Their specialties include escargot, moule provencale, veal Santorini, soupe a l’oignon, steak frites, among many others. They also offer a nightly dinner menu, hand-crafter cocktails, and specials.