Bearnaise
Bearnaise

Bearnaise

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bearnaiserestaurant.com/
  • Phone: (202) 450-4800
  • Hours of Operation:
    Tuesday – Friday: 11:00AM - 11:00PM, Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Saturday Brunch 10:00AM - 3:00PM, Sunday Brunch 10:00AM - 3:00PM. Closed Mondays & Sunday Evenings.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary French / American, French
  • Executive Chef: Brad Race
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenues SE
  • Public Transit: Capitol South (blue and orange lines) Eastern Market (blue and orange lines)
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Bearnaise
Béarnaise transports the flavors of Paris to Capitol Hill. Located at 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave. Southeast, Béarnaise serves bistro fare in a humble, but chic, atmosphere describes as "A French Revelation" by The Washington Post.

Inspired by their childhood memories in Montreal and years of training and living around France Chef Spike Mendelsohn and his sister, Micheline Mendelsohn Luhn, opened the bistro to rave reviews.

In the lively dining room, guests dine on classic French dishes with a twist in comfty leather booths surrounded by antique mirrors and vibrant original artwork from Parisian galleries. Pair your meal with a bottle of wine and indulge in decadent desserts to make any meal feel like an escape to France.
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Bearnaise reviews from OpenTable diners
219 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.2
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (126)fit for foodies (106)great for brunch (84)great for outdoor dining (54)special occasion (53)romantic (48)great for lunch (48)good for groups (27)notable wine list (23)hot spot (13)late-night find (7)vibrant bar scene (6)kid-friendly (3)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Great service, decent good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    We went there for Sunday brunch. The service was wonderful - prompt, friendly. The brunch cocktails were also very good. The menu is fine, and the prices are reasonable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • oldtownlocal
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Ambiance would have been better if not sat next to small child who was disruptive and ran around table.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good first experience at Bearnaise
    Weekender
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Service was great. There was a party of 15 in the same room and the waiter did a fantastic job of juggling. Unfortunately, the room was small and they were loud. Soooooo - somewhat annoying. I had the smoked salmon Eggs Benedict (BENNY). The salmon was delicious and putting it on a croissant was brilliant BUT the egg had runny white - yuk. Salad was good but the lettuce leaves were too big. Should have been chopped. I had to cut it up and the plate was kind of small (served on the same plate as the BENNY).
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our service was a bit forward, trying to be witty
    RReee
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Great food though"..."....".......................................
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch must
    HillresidentVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Most amazing french toast anywhere - rest of the menu also terrific
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ChesapeakeVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Went for lunch and I had the duck leg confit which was perfectly cooked and delicious. The fries were great too. My lunch partner enjoyed the steak frites. I'll be back, though I think I prefer it for lunch over dinner - somewhat limited choices for dinner.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bistro excellence!
    bigpants
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Among the best frites in the region, excellent bistro steak and classic French salad. Thanks Spike!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch Bonanza
    Lillypad
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Great atmosphere. Good location. Tastey food. Attentive service
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good brunch
    Katiemoo
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Three of us got the French toast, which was very tasty. My husband got the eggs Benedict, which would have been very good if the eggs weren't so undercooked. We like runny eggs, but there wasn't even a solid egg white to either of the eggs. However, the ham, crossaint and hollandaise were good!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Review for 11/8
    alioop992
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The online reservation system needs work. I tried to make one three times and kept receiving error messages. When I called to make the reservation, the host said that three had already been made in my name. Our waiter was very friendly, but it seemed like he was spread a little thin. He had the entire section, including two very big groups. I understood why he wasn't as attentive. Also, his French accent sounded fake.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just Ok
    mwny
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I had high hopes but the food was too rich and salty. The service on the other hand was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Nice space. Food was good.next time I'm going for French toast. Coffee wasn't hot, but overall good experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food well prepared
    tootsieVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The place has a run-down look, but the food was great. My butternut squash soup was so smooth and tasty. My husband's steak was cooked perfectly. The pommes frittes were delicious. Our waiter was pleasant and efficient.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Brunch
    Terry
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I went with my family to Saturday brunch (4 adults and a one-year old). Used a Travelzoo voucher. Service was good, not great. Bloody Marys were spicy and Mimosas were very good. Brunch specials were delicious. It was a great place if you have a discount voucher. Otherwise, pretty expensive, e.g., the bread basket was $10 and had 4 different breads in it.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pghdiner
    pghdiner
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Service was excellent. Fries were very good. My steak was slightly underdone relative to what I had ordered. Next time I'll order it medium. Somewhat surprised the flat iron cut (the "signature" cut of steak) was not pre-sliced. Since I had ordered mine medium rare, cutting chunks off myself made the steak seem chewy, when it wouldn't have if it had been pre-sliced.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OUTSTANDING!
    Travelinglawyer
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    *L*O*V*E* this place!! Brunch on Sunday was wonderful - felt like we were in Paris sitting outside watching people go by on sidewalk. Shared Creme Brulee French Toast (true French toast -thick Brioche, soft on inside, crispy on outside, lovely cream sauce & blueberry compote) and veggie omelet (goat cheese, spinach, mushroom that day) - both were awesome! Service was attentive and friendly. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spike's name doesn't excuse service
    PWinslow
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    This has all the makings of a great establishment. A quaint French eatery kind of in the style of Le Diplomate with all the authentic furnishings without the pretension. The name of Mendelsohn is obviously an attraction as well, with the family now controlling pretty much all of Pennsylvania Ave. SE. However, I found that the service did not live up to the hype and name notoriety. To be sure, the food was good. Not knock-your-socks-off good, but still good. The service was not good at all though. It's not that they were mean, but really really slow. In fact they were quite nice and amicable, but we ended up having around a 3 hour brunch. Just seemed a little disorganized for a restaurant with such high buzz.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Worth a Visit
    femfactiVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Having dined here on several occasions for dinner over the past year, it is always a safe bet for taking out of town guests who want to be on the Hill and they aren't into complicated menus. The food is straight forward, but not inspiring. The pre fixe is a good deal and the french onion soup is well executed. The temptation of bottomless fries is fleeting, as the fries are actually very average. Good, but not great. Usually overly crisp to the point that they are almost chip esque rather than that perfect balance of crisp with a little give in the middle. The seasoning on the fries (herb toss) is also fine, but not memorable. The meat typically come out as ordered, the sauces are not memorable, but are each adequate depending on your mood.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • vegan special dish
    wael
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    The vegan special event included a delicious roasted cauliflower! However, I was pining for more vegan options on the original menu. I'd love some cutting-edge vegan appetizers, entrees, and desserts... if a vegan dish is delectable, it'll be desired by everyone :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food, but too much of it
    Katherine
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    The food at Bearnaise was excellent - I got the duck leg confit and my friend got the special that evening, a cauliflower steak. We also both got the petit french onion soup. While the food itself was delicious, well presented, and incredibly flavorful, there was simply too much of it. The petit onion soup could easily be a lunch alone and was far too large for a starter size serving. Both entrees, especially the cauliflower, were slightly overwhelming as well. Definitely go hungry, or don't order starters.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic
    bluemoon
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    It's been a long time since I have seen every plate cleaned to the last crumb and there were five of us but we did, finish it all. Everything from the mussels to the char broilled burger was delicious. I had the Sole, beautifully cooked atop an olive tomato sauce and I used the fresh and tasty sourdough bread to soak up the juices. Of course the house frites were delectable. We also tried the cheese plate and loved every morsel, the honeycomb honey a big hit. As a special treat a Pop up menu was available for vegatarians that was throughly enjoyed by the vegan in the group. We are also fans of Top Chef and enjoyed the celebrity chief sightings and introductions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • More than expected
    ChefRichard
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    We ate at Bernaise on an early Wednesday evening. We both had steaks, a filet and ribeye. They were perfection. We also had mushrooms and the signature Brussel sprouts. I had the escargot which were rich and delicious. My wife had the onion soup. Spike wasn't in when we dined but when I peeked in the kitchen there was Marcel (another Top Chef). I would almost make the ddrive from New York to eat here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Capitol Hill a la Bernaise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Fantastic moules Dijon. Of the choices the best mariniere not as great. Wonderful roasted petit choux (brussel sprouts) with a great sauce. and the frites. Perfection. Crispy light the way they are supposed to be. I may start coming to the Hill to eat again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Brunch
    ame123
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    The smoked salmon bennie is INCREDIBLE. Best smoked salmon I've ever tasted. Our waiter (tall one with the french accent) was amazing. Great service and top notch brunch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Salty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Food was way way over salted. Even the waiter was salty and rude. Cheap meat was over cooked and loaded with meat tenderizer.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Spike has done it again!
    gcs202
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Had brunch and was pleasantly surprised by the excellent service and amazing food. Although I liked my entrée, I had entrée envy. My friend ordered the mussels, which I regretted not ordering. Both tables beside us also wished they had ordered the mussels. Gives us all a reason to go back....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Very nice Sunday brunch -- food was delicious and minor substitutions were accepted and executed well. The pricing is a bargain. Once the food was delivered, it was difficult to get waiters' attention. The noise level is very high -- almost impossible to carry on a conversation.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot for birthday parties!
    jeane
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Yum! Our first experience at Bearnaise will have us coming back. We had a table of 6 loud women celebrating a landmark birthday, a farewell, and each other for lunch this week. The food was excellent, Andrew was delightful and the setting was simple and lovely. Thank you for making this a great place for us to celebrate
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb!
    GourmandVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Bernaise makes what must be the most outstanding cheeseburger in creation. Their ginger carrot soup garnished with candied ginger slivers was sublime. Their secret is that they respect the food; its care and handling and their preparation. Our service was friendly, prompt and efficient. I look forward to dining there again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely brunch @ Bearnaise
    DCDebVIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Met up with a friend for brunch. We haven't seen each other for months and the staff were very accommodating, allowing us to jabber on before ordering. We ordered the $16 AYCD Mimosa option and our servers were terrific about noticing when our glasses were empty. I ordered the veggie omelet which was delicious but a little light on the goat cheese. My friend had the Croque Madame. I know it's brunch but I'd love to see some non-breakfast options other than just steak and frites and mussels. Price point for the meals is excellent and the food was piping hot when it arrived. And sitting outside was the icing on the cake!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable
    Ishtar
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    I can see how this place is a hit or miss, but it was a total hit when I went. Brunch menu is more vibrant than dinner menu. Food options were good, though a little pricey. I enjoyed it mainly for the fact they had the best bacon I have had yet at a brunch spot and it has Bagel and Lox; which is near impossible to find in this city.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely!
    jhoskinsVIP
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    We live in the neighborhood, and Bearnaise never fails to deliver. The food is solid - I've never had a miss - and the service is fantastic. I love their selection of wines by the glass and the bottle.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good food, long wait
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    I really enjoyed the server's attention to the table throughout the night. The food was very good. My only issue is the extended wait to get the food. It took almost 45 minutes to get the soup course, then another 30-40 minutes to be served the steak. It was a Tuesday night and didn't appear to be very busy at the restaurant, so I'm not quite sure why the wait was too long. I didn't want to cause a fuss or put it on the server (b/c it didn't seem like it was his fault), so I didn't mention anything that night. This doesn't seem to be something that happens often, but it may have been since I had a larger party of 7 people.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great brunch!
    nutmeag22
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Went for brunch right at 10am. Sat immediately upstairs. Food and drinks (mimosa for me, grapefruit juice for my prego friend) were delicious, but service seemed weak considering there weren't many people there. Our waiter was standoffish and only checked on us a few times. The busboy/food runner seemed more attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovely lunch outdoors
    AliceNoVaVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We had a coupon that made our lunch an especially good deal. On a lovely (i.e., not hot and not humid) late summer day we chose to eat at one of the outdoor tables. Since vehicular traffic is not too heavy in that particular block, it was pleasant to sit out and watch the Capitol Hill folks walk by and enjoy our delicious 3-course lunch. Waiter was very good. Can't speak to what noise level might be indoors since we ate outside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Top Chef in DC
    GblsnlVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I was in from out of town and wanted to try Top Chef's spike Mendelson's latest place. I was not disappointed. I had the Steak Friettes. It was cooked perfectly. The prices were surprisingly reasonable for DC. I sat at the bar and got fabulous service. If you're in DC you should give this place a try
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Everything
    GummiedoVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    We loved our pre-Shakespeare dinner at Bernaise. The food was delicious! The corner table for the five of us was great for conversation and sharing food. The pigs feet was a yummy surprise and the duck confit was wonderful. We are looking forward to visiting again during the Shakespeare season.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Hit
    MDGeorgeVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    We were very impressed. Before a show at the Folger we were looking for a quality kitchen within walking distance. Having eaten at another French Restaurant only two weeks before on 14th Street, we ordered the same food to compare. Bernaise won hands down! Also, the service, often criticized in the reviews, couldn't have been better. The place is not fancy, but the price is right and the food was good. The wine list is sparse but well selected. We'll return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Solid meal, decent service
    PRawlinsVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    It was a nice lunch, service was very slow, orders took a while to be taken and then arrive. Server did not come around and check on us often. Perhaps it was because we erect seated upstairs? Usually they are very quick. Based on previous experiences I would go back, but if this was my only visit I wouldn't.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Beautiful Brunch
    BrunchersAnonymous
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    I actually found this restaurant through a TravelZoo promotion. So we got 2 entrees, bottomless mimosas, and a bread basket(which was delicious) for the table. The food was really great! However, I felt like our service was slightly different because we had the coupon (i.e., getting refills on our "bottomless mimosas" felt like pulling teeth). In the end, it still didn't take away from our dining experience too much. Great food! Great atmosphere!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.