Bistro Bis: Beautifully Cheap This Week

Haters and snobs, be gone! We heart Restaurant Week

We had to head to the emergency room today because our stomachs blew up after eating at the Bistro Bis (15 E St. N.W.) for Restaurant Week. Well, metaphorically. (Bet you didn't see that one coming!).

More accurately, our tummies were crushed under the weight of Bistro Bis' three-course, $20.09 prix-fixe lunch menu (plus a magnificently hearty side of gratin of macaroni and gruyère).

Layers of endives, caramelized pears, walnuts and bleu cheese comprised the endive salad chardenous, which was pleasant enough even though it was, you know, a salad.

Too much bleu cheese and not enough pears pushed it a bit toward the heavy side. (Like us after this meal.)

But our only real complaint? The lag-time between app and entrée.  However, we can blame this on the packed dining room. Too many people know Bistro Bis is one of the best deals during Restaurant Week and these people GOT IN OUR WAY. Ugh!

The trout grenobloise was a standout entrée, made with haricots verts and lemon-caper brown butter. Then there was that "pour la table" gratin of macaroni and gruyère. It arrived steaming-hot and remained so even after 20 minutes on the table. The thick, ribbed shells snagged conveniently on the cheese, nothing like the easily rip-able noodles from those instant boxes. We shun those now.

The chocolate orange cake was a great end to the meal. With a gentle scoop of crème fraiche abutting the flour, and two streaks of raspberry glaze racing to a raspberry and blackberry centerpiece, we took in as much as we could stand ... and then ate some.

Reservations are still open for Saturday and Sunday of Restaurant Week. We're not going to force you, but we urge you strongly consider binge-eating there before the week is out.

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