Bistro Vivant's French Specials | Washington D.C.

Bistro Vivant celebrates the good life


Bon Vivant

Bistro Vivant celebrates the good life

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The blackboard at McLean's new Bistro Vivant reads much like a shopping list of what's in season.

"The menu changes every day," co-owner Aykan Demiroglu explains of the Gallic menu. To keep up, the kitchen scrawls its plates, specials and produce in colorful chalk on one board in the dining room.

The scrawled mentions could include sweet Maine lobster with the season's first heirloom tomatoes in a pesto vinaigrette made from garlic scapes ($19), or a potato galette with crab and cod under frisée ($15).

The kitchen also excels with robust mains. Hanger steak marinates for a week before hitting the grill for steak frites ($19), which are served with a 32-ingredient compound butter. Modestly sweet apple-cauliflower purée surrounds a lusty strip of crackling pork belly ($12).

The best desserts let the fruit shine. Stop in before the quick season ends to try sublime sour-cherry sauce over vanilla gelato ($10).

Bottles of sparkling wine chill on the bar, and are a good place to start when choosing beverages for dinner. Demiroglu is still cobbling together a boutique-friendly wine list: He has 65 producers down and roughly 100 more to go. We have a feeling he's meticulously tracking each addition.

Bistro Vivant, 1394 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean; 703-356-1700 or

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