Image: Arctic Char with Summer Squash
Last Updated: July 2021
Current Status: Open for dine-in, recommend reservations for busy time slots. The website no longer mentions take-out, but if you call they may be able to accommodate.
Overview: This neighborhood spot is a treat. You may have previously known it as Cafe Bonaparte, but in 2019 it got a make-over. The owners, also behind Lapis and The Berliner, wanted to give it an upgrade from the standard French fare. Taking a page from Paris chefs who injected creativity into the local bistro scene over the last 20 years, the place was stripped of some of the kitsch and given a new name (which is actually the ancient name for Paris). For a brief period, a French chef took over the kitchen, but in early 2020 Matt Conroy was tapped to come down from NY to take over. That move was delayed due to quarantine, but patience is now rewarded. Conroy’s kitchen is putting out sharp, playful dishes from a focused menu. Appetizers are large enough to share. The mains have some standards (a burger for example) but also some nice alternatives like Arctic Char with a creamy beurre blanc sauce. The menu is likely to will evolve with the seasons. Street seating nearly doubled the number of tables for the tiny storefront-sized spot, but they appear to have staffed-up to cover it. Like the Parisian counterparts, the wine list draws on natural, organic and biodynamic wines.
Address: 1522 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Washington Post: Tom’s initial take on the remake was positive: “Lutèce offers a little something for everyone. And a lot to like, wherever you happen to eat it.” Also made the 2021 Spring Dining Guide.
Washingtonian: No coverage
DonRockwell.com – no thread yet
Eater DC: July 2021 list of “Essential” restaurants.
Michelin: Missing the fact that it is a new incarnation of an old place, Michelin gives it a Plate rating with: “this cute-as-a-button bistro fits in rather well with the rest of Georgetown that you’d think it’s been here forever.”