A to Zinc

Bistrot Le Zinc adds a French accent to Cleveland Park

As the past few months brought a patch of new dining options to the Connecticut Avenue stretch of Cleveland Park, the Wisconsin Avenue side trudged along with few changes.

Bistrot Le Zinc has now upset the status quo, bringing the area a much-needed alternative to the perpetually packed 2Amys and margarita-fueled Cactus Cantina.

In ideal neighborhood-establishment fashion, Le Zinc doesn't aim to push culinary limits. However, chef David Ashwell–who formerly worked for Robert Wiedmaier–elevates his dishes with small, often luxurious touches.

The juicy steak frites ($28) earns extra flavor from a delicate horseradish flan and Cabernet reduction. Wild Burgundian snails ($12) are sautéed with wild garlic and blue cheese, then served scattered around a braised apple for contrasting texture and a touch of acidity. Poached halibut ($26) is light and flaky, picking up summery flavor from garlicky chanterelles and white-wine sauce.

Named for the French slang for a neighborhood bar, the restaurant's split-level space has a tiny stretch of bar stools for more casual occasions. They're the right perch from which to enjoy the exclusively French wine list, stocked with unique, affordable bottles like Domaine de Fontsainte's fresh Gris de Gris rosé ($32).

Bistrot Le Zinc, 3714 Macomb St. NW (at Wisconsin Ave.); 202-686-2015 or lezincdc.com