Bistrot Du Coin
1738 Connecticut Ave NW
During short, non-leisure trips I’m often forced to put my interest in eating out and trying new things on the backburner due to various reasons, including unfortunate hinderances such as lack of free time and fussy travel companions. But there are those occasions when my interests do find a fortuitous match and I meet like-minded folks who know a good meal when they see one, and are willing to seek them out. A well travelled businessman, who was born-and-raised in the DC area introduced me to Bistrot Du Coin, which turned out to be the gastronomic highlight of my trip.
The sweltering heat of the DC summer did put a bit of a damper on my dinner experience as the inside was absolutely packed and the air circulation was minimal at best. We were seated on the upper floor overlooking the main dining area below, which perhaps made the stuffiness seem that much worse. With the boisterous crowd and plentiful tables full of wonderful smelling food, it felt part American overindulgance and part French bistro casualness. I was so insanely hungry after another long day that I was willing to put up with the discomfort as long as the food was satisfying, and thankfully it was.
Moules Mariniere (small, $8.95) – steamed mussels in white wine with onions, shallots, garlic and parsley. I prefer my mussels to be unadulterated as much as possible, hence no cream or Roquefort sauces for this cowboy. Even at the reduced portion size, a larger can be had for a ten-spot more, this was a plentiful pot full of fairly decent sized, plump and juicy morsels. Quite a hearty appetizer to start my evening and I could honestly say if I had the larger serving, that would have been plenty for dinner, but alas, I was hungry as a horse so also had…
Onglet à l’échalotte ($20.95) – a hanger steak with French Fries served with a compote of shallots and red wine sauce. The mains were littered with stews, grilled meats and even a sprinkling or two of some seafood, but I had my eye on the certified black angus beef choices. The accompanying frites were really good, a crispy bite to them with a fluffy inside, lightly seasoned so as not to clash with the more savoury meat on the side. The steak was nicely prepared, medium rare, and I always enjoy when a traditionally tougher cut is grilled so well that it comes out very tender, and this was completely the case. The beefy flavors of this fibrous cut is what I adore about it. The sauce, while nice to try, was left on its own for the most part, as I wanted to experience the natural flavors of the meat.
A truly filling meal with this pairing of dishes. A crazy busy atmosphere, perhaps some rushed and some might call distant wait staff, but all in all, I really enjoyed my meal. Now only if they had some working air conditioning in the summer…