Friday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the Bearnaise media dinner, with the Capitol Hill restaurant slated to open this coming Wednesday. (Thanks again, Alicia Griffin!) As you may already know from my frequent check ins, I've been a fan of Spike Mendelsohn's eateries for a while, so I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peak of the newest addition—a modernized take on the French steak frites.
The tasting started with some escargot, which I had never tried before. What better first time than here, right?! They were served in dishes topped with puff pastry (anything with puff pastry automatically gets points in my book). For my first course, I chose French onion soup, which did not disappoint.
On to the main course...
There were a few sauce options to choose from, and from the looks/sounds of it, all were well liked. I went for the spicy bearnaise, and Patrick proclaimed his bordelaise sauce choice to be THE winner. (Alright, I tried it and might have to agree...) The steak was great, but the frites...
OH, THE FRITES.
Those were seriously some of, if not THE best fries I've ever had.
We also got to try the various sides, from the roasted portabella mushrooms to brussels sprouts and bone marrow to Tartiflette. I didn't get any pictures of those, as I was a bit preoccupied with trying EVERYTHING. I can attest to all being delicious.
This is where I had real trouble deciding...and thankfully got to try all three amazing desserts. We started with the chocolate mousse and it was my favorite. Then we had the profiteroles. Favorite. Then the praline creme brulee. Uh oh. How could I possibly pick a favorite? I can honestly say I love all three equally and you really can't go wrong with any. I think I'll get all again, just depending on what I'm in the mood for.
The restaurant has a very classy, simple design that showcases several pieces of awesome art hand-picked in Paris and nice little touches like the lighting and exit signs (Sortie!). All paired lovely with the black and white checkered floor and red booth seating.
I also loved the frosted mirrors used throughout. A nice touch!
And downstairs, near the bar, you could get a glimpse into the kitchen, with a huge B&W photo lining one wall, and reflected in one of those frosted mirrors as well.
I'll definitely be visiting Bearnaise again, and if you do, be sure to enjoy the art found all around as well...