We were happy to be awarded a Snail of Approval this month from Slow Food D.C. in recognition of our work with sustainable agriculture and local foods. We’re very proud to be a Slow Food establishment and we pride ourselves on growing much of our produce on-site as well as working with local farmers and sustainable purveyors. In fact, we’ve been taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather lately to prepare our hearty vegetable gardens and terraces for planting. We already have spinach coming out of the garden for our much-loved spinach and goat cheese salad. And, we’re working with Indian Springs Farm, located less than a mile from us here in Great Falls, to grow additional vegetables and provide us with heritage-breed eggs. The eggs on your Tarte Flambée Benedict at brunch or in your soufflé at dinner will have traveled just a few short minutes from the farm to your plate. We hope you’ll come in and taste one for yourself.
In the black and white photograph above, we are able to see Papa François’ vision of transforming the property into his French country inn over forty years ago. We are welcoming spring with a slate of wonderful events in April, including our celebratory forty-first anniversary dinner featuring the wines of JM Brocard; Celebrate Earth Day cooking demonstration and lunch featuring the wines of JC Boisset and a master saberer; two dinners with winemakers; two opportunities to attend our always sold-out musical brunch; and our monthly wine festival. Come join and celebrate our special events with us!
Warm Regards, Chef Jacques, Paul, and the team of L’Auberge Chez François
Musical Brunch with Guitarist Alex Barnett
Please join Chef Jacques and L’Auberge Chez François on Sunday, April 2nd at 11:00am as we host our popular Musical Brunch featuring the music of classical guitarist Alexander Barnett. Alexander is a Baltimore-based guitarist who performs an extensive repertoire of music including classical and jazz pieces. We welcome back Alex, who has entertained our guests at L’Auberge on numerous sold-out occasions. We hope you will come in to be entertained and dine with us for a Sunday afternoon in beautiful Great Falls, VA.
Please join us on Tuesday, April 11th at 6:30pm when we welcome winemaker Scott Neal of Coeur de Terre Winery in Oregon. Coeur de Terre or “Heart of the Earth” was founded in 1998 by Scott and Lisa Neal and is located in the West Hills of McMinnville, known for its geologic diversity and beauty which translates into unique pinot noir. Described as “handcrafted, sustainable, artisanal and undeniably Oregon wines”, Chef Jacques is especially thrilled to host Scott and his delectable wines after a recent visit to the Willamette Valley and the vineyards.
Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant Dinner with Thomas Morgan
Kermit Lynch has been a pioneer, introducing “wines made in the unadulterated, old-school traditional style aimed at accentuating terroir” (New York Times) by vignerons whose names are now iconic. He was also the first importer to have wines shipped in refrigerated containers to avoid heat damage, now standard practice. The Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant label on the back of each bottle includes a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “Good wine is a necessity of life for me”, so it is apt that we invite you to join us at L’Auberge Chez François on Jefferson’s birthday, Thursday, April 13th at 6:30pm for a dinner featuring selections from Kermit Lynch’s French portfolio.
L’Auberge Chez François’ 41st Anniversary Celebration Dinner
Please join us on Thursday, April 20th at 6:30pm as we celebrate forty-one years in Great Falls, Virginia. To add to this festive evening, we welcome Etienne Verdier from Domaine Brocard to guide us through the wonderful Chardonnays of Chablis. The wines will be paired alongside Chef Jacques’ anniversary-inspired menu. Monsieur François’ goal was to operate a restaurant with “nice ambiance and good honest food at affordable prices.” The restaurant’s enduring popularity is a testimony to his success with this approach. We hope to reminisce over the past forty-one years here in Great Falls, Virginia and celebrate with you, creating even more memories to come.
Earth Day Celebration Cooking Demonstration and Luncheon
Please join us on Saturday, April 22nd at 11:00am for a very special Earth Day celebratory cooking demonstration and luncheon featuring the sparkling wines of Jean Charles Boisset. Joining us from France will be Boisset’s sparkling brand ambassador, Gautier Mathieu de Fossey, Master Saber. In addition to discussing wine making, Gautier will guide guests through the history and ancient art of “sabering” (cutting corks off bottles whilst retaining all five fingers on each hand). We then choose ten “lucky draw” winners to participate in sabering our “No 21” Brut Crémant de Bourgogne. An afternoon not to be missed!
Sunday brunch with family and friends is a great way to wind up the weekend, and live music makes it even more enjoyable! Please join us on Sunday, April 23rd at 11:00am as we welcome pianist and multifaceted musician, Kevin Elam. Kevin studied classical piano throughout his childhood and through high school; finally receiving his degree from George Mason University. Since he has graduated, Kevin has maintained a full private studio. Spend the afternoon listening to music and enjoying Chef Jacques’ newest creations to the brunch menu – Savory Seafood Crepes and Filet Mignon with Local Farm Eggs and Béarnaise sauce.
When Monsieur François Haeringer was driving down Springvale Road, he rounded the hill and saw the opening of the property. The Great Falls location was formally an auto repair shop and then housed a gun shop, antique shop, and a country store with small delicatessen. Monsieur François transformed the buildings into a scene reminiscent of his hometown of Obernai. The front doors and stained glass windows were from the original downtown Chez François restaurant; and the walls are decorated with the Haeringer family’s collection of art and vintage copper cookware. Chef Jacques and Paul Haeringer are proud to continue Papa and Mama Haeringer’s dream to bring a family-operated country inn serving Alsatian food at affordable prices.
Team Member of the Month
We are proud to announce that Ovidio Panameno is the team member of the month. Ovidio originally began working at L’Auberge Chez François as a dishwasher in September 2004. His ambition and motivation to advance his career pushed him to learn the various kitchen stations and he is now a line cook. His skill, dedication, flexibility and ability to take shifts on short notice have helped the restaurants tremendously. He always has a positive attitude and a good time at work because his co-workers have become some of his closest friends, which makes spending time on the clock a lot more fun. Here’s looking towards many more years with Ovidio with the L’Auberge Chez François team!
Monsieur François Competition
Congratulations to Simone H. of Gainesville, Virginia for winning the February Monsieur François Profile Embellishment art contest. Simone will receive a $200 gift certificate to L’Auberge Chez François.
Be sure to follow L’Auberge Chez François on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for behind the scenes photos, specials, and more.
Best Culinary Wishes, Chef Jacques
L’Auberge Chez François 332 Springvale Rd Great Falls, VA 22066
We are thrilled to announce that L’Auberge Chez François has once again been voted one of the 100 Best Restaurants in America and 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America by OpenTable diners. These awards are especially gratifying as they come directly from our customers’ reviews. We always strive to deliver the perfect blend of delicious food, fine libations, exceptional service, and elegant ambiance that create magical evenings for our patrons.The entire staff celebrated our win at an award ceremony at the restaurant. A special thank you to all of our diners for your continued patronage and support.
We are honored to be hosting many of your romantic celebrations this month. No matter where you spend Valentine’s Day, we wish you love, romance and delicious food.
Looking ahead, we have a full schedule of special events coming in March, including a musical brunch, our popular spring wine festival, and a cooking demonstration featuring fabulous Bordeaux wines. We are especially excited to welcome Eileen Crane, Founding Winemaker and CEO of Domaine Carneros for a special wine dinner on March 23. You will find more details on all of our upcoming events below.
Roses smell fine Candy tastes sweet But a romantic repast Is a much better treat
Romantic celebrations are a tradition at L’Auberge Chez François, you might even say that they are our raison d’etre. Our philosophy is that life’s memorable moments are not complete without a festive meal. Many couples return to L’Auberge year after year to renew and reaffirm the romance in their lives. We supply the cuisine, ambience, service, and wine: you bring your own romantic magic. February is, of course, the month for romance and we’re hosting several special events that will help you celebrate that special someone in your life. On the menu will be Champagne, aphrodisiacs, passionfruit and passion itself. Come enjoy a delicious meal and a little romance at our slice of France, right here in Great Falls, Virginia.
Joyeux Noël from our entire family at L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie.
We wish you a joyous holiday season and a prosperous, healthy, and happy new year. This was a momentous year for us at L’Auberge Chez François and we have our loyal customers to thank for our ongoing success. We celebrated forty years in Great Falls, Virginia and we opened for brunch at Jacques’ Brasserie on Saturdays and Sundays. Christmas came early for us this year as we were awarded OpenTable’s Best Restaurants in America for 2016, for the fourth year in a row, and Jacques’ Brasserie and L’Auberge Chez François were named top restaurants for Foodies in America. These honors were among many we received this year, including Restaurant of the Year by the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association. We are thankful for the support of all our patrons in 2016 and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.
We’re excited for the holidays here at L’Auberge Chez Franҫois. The holiday decorations are going up, our favorite seasonal dishes are on the menu, and we have some of our most popular and decadent special events on the schedule for the coming months. Our first holiday singalong will be held on December 4, and there will be a Champagne cooking demonstration on December 9. The upcoming holidays also mean a rush for reservations in November and December, so I’ve posted our holiday schedule on our website. We will begin accepting Christmas Eve reservations on November 12. We’ll also be open on the last three Mondays in December to accommodate everyone who wants to celebrate the season here with us. Click here to see our holiday hours.
It is hard to believe that the season is upon us, but we’re getting ready for the holidays at L’Auberge Chez François and at Jacques’ Brasserie. Decorations are going up and holiday favorites like our apple tart, pumpkin mousse cake, and savory game dishes are back on the menu. The upcoming holidays also mean a rush for reservations in November and December, so I’ve posted our holiday schedule on our site and listed some of the key dates below. We’re already taking reservations for Thanksgiving Day and we’ll be open the last three Mondays in December to accommodate everyone who wants to celebrate the season here with us.
We are very proud to announce that L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie have been named in OpenTable’s 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America 2016. We’re happy to bring the experience of classic, Alsatian cooking to the foodies who visit our sliver of the French countryside in Virginia.
As we approach fall, our on-site gardens are still going strong. Tomatoes, cabbages, and all manners of salad greens are being harvested each morning before making an appearance on your plate in the afternoons and evenings.
Looking ahead, October is Virginia Wine Month and we’re celebrating with our own Virginia Wine Festival and a Best of Virginia Wine Dinner. Also in October will be a tasting of Maison Louis Jadot Burgundy Wines and a brunch-themed cooking demonstration hosted by yours truly, Chef Jacques. Details on all of our special events are below and we hope to see you this fall.
Summer and the gardens at L’Auberge Chez François are in full bloom. We kicked off August and the new weekend brunch in Jacques’ Brasserie with some twists on brunch favorites, including my favorite Tartes Flambées Benedicts; and a delectable Bloody Mary made with freshly juiced, vine-ripened tomatoes.
All of the tomatoes in our salads are coming directly from the garden; and we never harvest the tomatoes more than a few hours before they arrive on your table. I’ve been asked by several diners about my secret for growing such vigorous plants. Here are two tips: First, mix your coffee grounds into the soil. The coffee grounds add minerals and acidity to the soil, which tomatoes love, and the grounds attract beneficial earth worms to aerate the soil and create nutritious compost. Second, when you first put your seedlings into the ground, put ½ teaspoon of Epsom salts around the base of the plant. The salts also add minerals and discourage fungal growth.
We’re very happy to be introducing our new Brasserie Brunch that will be served at Jacques’ Brasserie on Saturdays beginning at 11:30am and Sundays starting at noon. Our Brunch includes Sauders’ Lancaster Organic Farm Fresh Omelettes, Jacques’ Alsatian Tarte Flambées Benedict, and our version of Crêpes Suzette. We take reservations for brunch, as well as walk-ins, and the regular Brasserie menu options will also be available. Don’t forget our Brasserie Brunch “Pick me Ups” including our Chez Francois tasty Mimosa, L’Aperitif du Patron, and a nice glass of Cremant d’Alsace! We hope you’ll come in to sample an Alsatian-style brunch one weekend soon.
We’ve waited long enough – the weather is finally nice enough for outdoor dining on our terraces. You can eat outdoors at L’Auberge or downstairs at Jacques’ Brasserie, as long as weather and space permit. Our organic, kitchen gardens are an easy stroll from either terrace, if you’d like to see where the salad greens for the entire restaurant are being grown. You’ll also see that the tomatoes are coming in and we’re just a month away from fresh, tomato salads from the garden.