The kitchen gardens are in full flush. Last week we began serving the first salads of the season made exclusively from greens grown right here on the property. You can’t beat the freshness and flavor of organically grown greens that have traveled only a few yards to reach your plate. Each year we refine the varieties of lettuces and greens that we grow to create the perfect salad. We hope you’ll come in and tell us what you think of this year’s selection of Bibb, arugula, and mesclun lettuces, as well as spinach..
Spring also means fresh herbs for making stocks, sauces and (best of all) signature cocktails. Those of you coming to this year’s first Garden to Table Extravaganza on May 18th will be sipping on the first, fresh mint juleps of the season and enjoying a refreshing citrus sorbet made with home-grown tarragon. The Garden to Table Extravaganzas will happen monthly from now through fall and each month’s menu will be inspired by what we’re harvesting from the gardens.There is a full calendar of wine dinners, demonstrations, and special events in May and our terrace is now open for outdoor dining. I invite you to enjoy a meal outside and tour the gardens.
The upcoming months are going to be delicious at L’Auberge Chez François.
Breaking news! L’Auberge Chez François is honored to receive another outstanding Zagat rating by our customers. In addition to the great Zagat news, L’Auberge Chez François has again been awarded the monthly OpenTable Diners’ Choice! Thank you for your patronage and taking the time to provide reviews and comments on your dining experience at L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie. Merci beaucoup!
We spent much of March spring cleaning and preparing for the warmer weather. We have painted the terrace chairs and tables and purchased new outdoor cushions for your dining comfort. We are mulching, landscaping and planting so that you may enjoy our beautiful scenery. We invite you to walk the grounds and visit our two large organic vegetable gardens. We are already harvesting ultra-fresh spinach to add to our salad mix and featured in the grilled shrimp and goat cheese salad. This is our Recipe of the Month and one of Chef Jacques’ favorite healthy, leafy green vegetables (see below).
Enough of the winter wonderland, we’re thinking spring! I have been happily leafing through the various organic seed catalogs, calculating how much to purchase to ensure a bountiful harvest for our guests. I have several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, green beans, French radishes, spinach, sorrel, squash and the list goes on (to name a few). We also have six types of lettuces to combine into a special green salad that we’ll serve in the spring. Even with the ground still partially frozen, we’re conditioning the soil with organic compost and coffee grounds in anticipation of spring planting. I can’t wait to get my hands “dirty” again in the gardens!
I was delighted to see L’Auberge Chez François mentioned in a recent Washington Post article featuring a prominent financial advisor and long-time customer, Stephen Cassaday, who hosts regular dinners for his prospective clients at L’Auberge (you can read the full article below). We are honored many people already think of us when they’re celebrating an anniversary or birthday, we also host corporate parties, special events, and weddings at L’Auberge and downstairs at Jacques’ Brasserie. You may email us directly at email@example.com to discuss holding your special event with us.
Stay warm, and if you can make out, please join us for a cozy meal near the fireplace.
L’Auberge Chez François has been voted one of Top 100 Restaurants in the Country and the Most Romantic by OpenTable diners, in addition to numerous other awards through our 60 plus years. The romantic awards, are perhaps, my favorite accolades of all because I believe that creating romance requires the delicate blend of delicious food, fine libations, exceptional service, and elegant ambiance. It’s truly satisfying for me and the entire team at L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie to know that we’re helping to create a magical evening.
Staying home? As many of you know, I think cooking for that special someone is also a “tres” romantic treat! Plan a meal that involves cooking together. It is the energy you put into the preparation and serving of the final meal that is sexy. Love really does begin in the kitchen.
No matter where you spend Valentine’s Day, I wish you love, romance and delicious food on Valentine’s Day and throughout the year.
Paul and I, and the entire L’Auberge Chez François family, wish you a very healthy, happy, and prosperous new year. We would like to thank each of you for your patronage, making 2014 one of our best years ever. The year started off with our 60th anniversary and ended with the announcement that we were once again awarded the Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2014 by Open Table Diners’ Choice. It is because of you, our loyal patrons, that we have had such great success. Merci beaucoup!
By popular demand, in 2015 L’Auberge Chez François’ team is expanding our special events: Chef Jacques’ hosted cooking demos and luncheons, music series dinners, wine and garden to table dinners, craft beer dinners, and oh so many more exciting events!
We are proud that we’ve been part of your friends and families’ celebrations and can’t wait to continue making more memories with you!
Happy holidays from all of us at L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie. As we kick into high gear for our busiest season of the year, I am thankful to have such an excellent team, whose hard work and dedication have allowed us to be a Washington-area institution for sixty years. Many of our regular customers request a favorite server when they come in for lunch or dinner and we’re always happy to oblige when we can. But our customers only ever meet a fraction of the people who keep everything running in perfect time during their meals. We have over eighty employees, many of whom are hard at work in the back of the house. Behind the copper doors that lead to la cuisine,an ensemble of pot washers, line cooks, chefs, and pastry chefs staff stations around our large kitchen to ensure that the French fries at the Brasserie are pleasingly crispy and the lobster upstairs is sauced just right. Customers may view the goings on in the kitchen through a window adjacent to the main entrance of L’Auberge. If you’d like a closer look, feel free to ask your server for a tour of the kitchen.
We are getting ready for the holidays, our busiest time of year at L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie. I’m always happy to see so many of our loyal customers celebrate the holidays with us. I want to thank all of you who make us part of your holiday traditions year after year. As is our tradition, we will turn on our holiday lights at L’Auberge on Thanksgiving. Great Falls practically experiences a brownout when the lights are switched on.
The arrival of Fall means that our Pumpkin Mousse Cake is back on the menu along with our game dish, Red Deer Chop, Grilled Quail, and Wild Rice served with Roebuck Sauce. And, those of you joining us on Thanksgiving will be treated to a five course dinner menu with options that include our Ashleigh Farms organic turkey dinner with all the traditional trimmings.
Our full holiday schedule is below and I look forward to seeing you in the coming months. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.
Continuing our 60th Anniversary celebration, I am hosting a very special Fall Harvest Garden to Table Extravaganza on Monday, October 13 at 6:30 PM. Due to the overwhelming responses and comments from our diners, I plan to bring the series back in the Spring as soon as our gardens bloom! I am still harvesting plenty of kale, lettuces, greens, haricots verts, cabbages, herbs and other produce from the garden. The Garden to Table Dinner is a special chance for me to create a full menu featuring the very fresh items that come from our gardens while enjoying all the added healthful benefits. You’ll find our garden produce proudly featured on our lunch and dinner menus at L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie.
Our new Fall Cocktail Menu has been introduced! The cocktails include bourbons, cognac, elderflower, our garden herbs, quince, apples and other delightful ingredients to usher in the Fall season. We have, as well, created three seasonal alcohol-free libations. Don’t forget our very own firepit and seating area on the Brasserie terrace is a great way to sample these delectable drinks!
We are always happy to accommodate the special dietary needs of our customers, so please speak with your server or the receptionist when you make your reservation and we’ll be happy to prepare a meal to your specifications. Due to our patrons request, diners at the restaurant will find all gluten free menu items noted with the initials –
Remember, the holiday season is soon upon us and it’s never too early to plan for all your holiday parties, happy hours, dinners and special events at L’Auberge Chez François.
Allow me to propose a toast to you, our loyal patrons, and to the staff of L’Auberge Chez François for sharing in 60 years of delicious food and magical celebrations. We’ve been celebrating the 60th Anniversary of our opening all year, but September 15 marks the actual day we opened our doors at the original Chez François in Washington D.C. A week of anniversary celebrations will be kicked off at our sold-out Garden to Table Dinner on September 15, which will feature a special dessert by former White House pastry chef and friend, Roland Mesnier, with music by the Nancy Scimone Trio. Then, I’m reprising my two most popular cooking demonstrations, The Seafood Lovers’ Feast on September 19 and the Carnivore Lovers’ Feast on September 20. In addition to these special events, those who dine with us between September 16 and September 21 will receive a complimentary Champagne toast with their meal as a thank you for celebrating with us.
I’m proud and humbled that our simple philosophy, bien manger, c’est bien vivre, has carried us through 60 years in the Washington D.C. area. Merci to all our customers for your loyal patronage over the years and here’s to many more years of eating well and living well.
September will mark the 60th Anniversary of the founding of Chez François in Washington D.C. I don’t think that my father, François, could have imagined then that we would still be going strong 60 years later. Many of Dad’s loyal patrons followed when we moved the restaurant to Great Falls and become an auberge. I’m amazed at how often guests will stop to tell me their memories of eating with us in Washington D.C. and now in Great Falls. The painting above, gifted to my parents by Washington artist Lily Spandorf shows the sidewalk cafe tables of the original Chez François on Connecticut Avenue in the early 1960s.