Image: Trout with crab, almonds, spinach.
Last Updated: September 2022
Current Status: Open for sit-down with a streatery in front, a salon/dining room as you enter, enclosed patio in back, and a bar in between. Caviar and champagne available to-go. In late September 2022, they added hours for a day cafe.
Tucked away in the residential streets of Georgetown, Apéro’s charm gives off a glow that can be seen a few blocks away. It manages to be many things to many people while maintaining its singular identity. The wine list is tremendous, reflective of the expert in charge. The champagne and caviar selections are surprisingly robust and not as absurd as you might think. The French food is done well, with choices that range from snacks to entrees. The bar feels like a neighborhood “local” serving expert cocktails to the well-heeled patrons. The dining room tables line both sides of the railroad car space and are filled with couples maybe only a few dates into their shared experience, while the enclosed patio in the backyard of the converted house is perfect for adults looking for a night out. In the streatery space out front on a recent night a girls-night-out crew held forth at the picnic table seating. Which is to say, there are many ways to enjoy Apéro, and they all work well.
The place reflects the touch of Elli Benchimol, a veteran of the D.C. dining scene and a mentor to a large number of sommeliers pouring wine around town. For all the fun that an amateur’s passion project can produce, Benchimol shows that an experienced professional can construct something so well-conceived that its contradictions and inherent tensions resolve in harmony.
Other Guidance: As noted, the spot is a mix of casual and more fancy with the range of dress running the gamut. GF and vegetarians have a few options, but the cooking is derived from classic French, so you have to hunt a little. The old house has many stairs to navigate.
Washington Post: Yet to be reviewed, but Dave McIntyre, the Post’s wine critic, relates a story highlighting that just because you can afford good things, does not justify being an entitled jerk.
Michelin: Listed. One of the few times Michelin has led rather than followed the local critics. Perhaps they are getting better about D.C.