Classic Tables: Bistrot Lepic

Upper Georgetown's French haven still shines

Despite the renaissance of dining in Glover Park, Bistrot Lepic remains one of the area's best restaurants.

Celebrating its 15-year anniversary this month, this intimate bistro has steadfastly championed classic, fuss-free French food, including rich sausage and duck cassoulet ($23), snails plumped with butter ($8) and quiche-like onion tarts ($8).

But regulars know that the real action happens on the second floor.

There are few more-inviting rooms than Lepic's upstairs wine bar. Low, cushioned chairs and parlor tables create the ambience of a wine-centric clubhouse. The 20-deep bar list is available by half or full glasses (more are available by the bottle), but engaging bartenders often pour samples to encourage new drinking experiences. In honor of the anniversary, the restaurant is pouring 15 additional wines–like a robust Côtes du Rhône–by the glass.

Try a small-production Cahors to amplify tomatoes in a Provençale-style stew of calamari and mushrooms ($12), or opt for a subtle Burgundy to complement snails in a cast-iron pot of creamy trumpet mushroom risotto ($10).

The full downstairs menu is available, but the bar adds a few special small plates and a full cheese selection (with wine pairing suggestions).

Dessert keeps with the wine-friendly theme: Fresh mint ice cream with chocolate sauce ($7) is a light finish that's perfect with Champagne.

Bistrot Lepic, 1736 Wisconsin Ave. NW, between R and S sts.; 202-333-0111 or bistrotlepic.com