I am sad to share that my mother, Marie-Antionette Haeringer, passed away on March 20, at 95 years old. In last month’s newsletter, I wrote about the nightly family dinner I have at the restaurant that always included my mother, brother, and from time to time, other family and friends. I received a great deal of positive emails and comments from readers who enjoyed the story, especially the part about Mom recently refusing to cancel dinner (and her nightly glass of champagne) on account of snow. It was at this customary dinner two weeks ago that mom began to feel ill and was taken to the hospital. Fortunately, her stay at the hospital was short and peaceful. This year, we celebrate 60 years in business and mom was here, working along with my father and eventually us sons, for all of them. How fitting that she was enjoying a good meal and sipping champagne with her family, at the restaurant she helped build, right up until the very end. Thank you to everyone for your condolences.
This year we’re celebrating 60 years since my father first founded the original Chez François restaurant in Washington, D.C. The restaurant has been part of my brothers’ and my lives since we were young children and one of the many traditions that has remained unchanged over the years is our daily family dinner at the restaurant. Each afternoon before the dinner service begins, our family sits down together for an early dinner in the dining room. Over the years, the make-up of the family table has changed, my father passed away in 2010, but the tradition has remained. The family dinner is a chance to talk about the business, as well as catch up before the nightly dinner rush begins. Although our ninety-five-year-old mother, Marie-Antoinette, retired as the restaurant’s bookkeeper years ago, she still comes to the restaurant every day to join my brother Paul and me for the customary meal. Last week when the temperatures were in the single digits and there was snow on the ground, we tried to convince Mom that it was too cold for her to go out. Cancel family dinner? Mon Dieu! She absolutely wouldn’t hear of it and that night we ate together as we have almost nightly for 60 years.
A natural and wondrous relationship exists between love and food; between the heart and palate. Life’s memorable moments are not complete without a festive meal. Romantic celebrations are a tradition at L’Auberge Chez François. The ambiance, the presentation, and anticipation of delightful tastes all merge together to help create the complete romantic experience, you just add the magic. We are honored to host your Valentine’s Day romantic celebration. The Haeringer family and all the staff at L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.
2014 is a landmark year for L’Auberge Chez François, as we will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary. Our father opened the original Chez François restaurant in downtown Washington D.C. in 1954. His plan to offer “nice ambiance and good honest food at affordable prices” caught on and the restaurant was a success. His devoted clientele followed him when he moved the restaurant to Great Falls, Virginia in 1976 and re-opened it as a country inn like those in his native Alsace. We’re still family run, with my brother Paul in the front of the house and me in the kitchen, and I’m proud that we’ve been part of your families’ celebrations and memories for 60 years. Paul and I, along with the entire staff, wish you all the best in 2014.
We want to wish everyone Happy Holidays from all the staff at L’Auberge Chez François and Jacques’ Brasserie. Every year at this time we are gratified to see so many of our regular customers who celebrate the holidays with us year after year. Thank you for making us part of your holiday traditions.