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A great lunch at Montmartre

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Restaurants & Bars

A great lunch at Montmartre

foodiejudy | Feb 8, 2005 10:02 PM

My husband, stepson and I enjoyed a delightful lunch at Montmartre, a small, cozy French bistro/cafe on 7th Street just off of Pennsylvania Avenue on Capitol Hill (Eastern Market). Inside, the walls were sponged a few cheery shades of yellow and there were small posters advertising French food products and paintings done by local artists. We all started with the cream of chestnut soup which had a nice, subtle chestnut flavor, not too sweet like some chestnut soups, a slight smokiness, not too heavy on the cream with tender, whole chestnut halves on the bottom. My stepson next had the braised rabbit entree and what a hit that was, pure winter comfort food, the meat falling off the bones and bathed in a very good, winey sauce, the dish finished with tenderly cooked mushrooms and carrots with the unnecessary, but still nice, addition of pasta carbonara, really just spaghetti in a light Alfredo sauce. My husband ordered the frisee salad with croustade topped with goat cheese and minced olives. The light, refreshing frisee lettuce lightly dressed in a balsamic vinegar dressing proved a perfect foil to the richness of the goat cheese and olives on top of the long, thin croustade (a long, thin slice of french bread toasted). I ordered the grilled salmon topped with chopped olives served with roast fennel with a light saffron sauce underneath. The fish and fennel were perfectly cooked and the olives were a blessing since the dish needed just a tad more flavor. The service was efficient and friendly without being too "buddy buddy". The restaurant has limited outdoor seating in good weather (we were surprised, in today's 60+ degree weather no tables were set out). It is not a cheap restaurant, with lunch entrees averaging $17, but it's well worth it and the list of appetizers looks good, too. Desserts looked tempting but we were too full to indulge. Coffee is good there, too - not weak "restaurant coffee" but not too strong either.

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