Friday, February 20, 2015

When the power is out (or you are hungry) head to Petworth in DC for french cooking CHEZ BILLY (2-17-15)

This week has been awful in DC with unreal temps, snow and then total loss of power and heat at our home on and off for 4 days going on 5 now.
So, we moved to a hotel and this is the first of several nights' out that we had not planned.
Chez Billy at 3815 Georgia Ave, NW has been around for years and its sister Chez Billy Sud just opened recently in Georgetown. It's a great place with some amazing dishes that you will find at many fine French bistros, but this was new for us.
The booths have very hard wood backs and seats with very thin cushions, wooden tables, tin ceilings, so it's not a place you linger.
As we were cold (well we seem to always be these days) we loved the awesome French bread that came steaming hot as hades/ We ordered a bottle of wine to find out they were out of many wines due to the Valentine weekend.
I asked for the Burgundy and when it came, Will offered to taste. I did not see the bottle and it was the one that was DOUBLE the price as there were two Burgundies. In the end, they did not charge us at all for the $94 bottle. WOW!
We tipped big. The Cote de Nuits Villages, Vieilles Vignes 2011 from Patrice Rion was an awesome Pinot Noir with a spicy taste in the mouth that I loved. It warmed us up well.
Sam is now on a butternut squash soup binge and chose the Soupe a la Courge Musquee with Crème Fraiche, Curry Oil and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. It was gone and mopped up with that bread as fast as you can imagine. Will chose the same, and I had the Tartine aux Champignons (photo on my facebook page!) which is not really a tartine as it sits on a piece pf grilled bread kind of open face loaded with wild sautéed mushrooms with an awesome sherry vinegar and fried Duck Egg on top. It has to be one of the signature dishes of DC and does it taste terrific!
Sam had the Poulet Roti with carrot purre, swiss chard (which he loved) and cauliflower gratin which I have to say was a bit gummy and unappetizing. The baby chicken was moist and just right. Will had Moules Normandie with cider, leeks, apples, bacon, crème fraiche and blue cheese which had a nice flavor and of course a side of frites. My Confit de Canard was a tasty duck with pommes de terres sarlandaises (crispy balls, but not fried), shitake mushrooms and garlicky spinach. The dishes are large so we headed home full and thankful to find a warm place with good food on our first night together (I was in NY the night before while the boys had to move out!).