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  • Bearnaise

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  • Address:
    315 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
    Washington, DC 20003
    Capitol Hill
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary French / American
    Price: $31 to $50

Bearnaise Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bearnaiserestaurant.com
  • Email: info@bearnaiserestaurant.com
  • Phone: (202) 450-4800
  • Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday: 11:00am - 11:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary French / American, French
  • Executive Chef: Brad Race
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, 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 Avenues Southeast, Béarnaise serves bistro fare in a humble, but chic, atmosphere. Inspired by their childhood memories in Montreal and Paris, Chef Spike Mendelsohn and his sister, Micheline Luhn, opened the bistro modeling their prix fixe menu after the famous L'Entrecôte St-Jean. In the lively dining room, guests dine on steak frites in leather booths surrounded by antique mirrors and vibrant 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. Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "For my 38 Anniversary, my wife and I dined at Bearnaise. What a treat! I can see why the congressional folks are always so cheerful after having the lunch special at Bearnaise, just a couple of blocks from Capitol Hill. The escargot were extremely tasty, the soups outstanding, (both soup of the day (a creamy fennel) and the classic French onion), and the mussels were just what the marriage counselor called for after i forgot this special day, once again. The staff was friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. The ambience cheerful and friendly. An excellent dining experience."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Good selection of standard Bistro fare, including bone marrow and pigs feet. Duck Confit and Frite was delicious. Also the Steak-Frite was excellent. Authentic bistro atmosphere. It will give Monmartre some competition."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "The staff here never fails to disappoint. Having eaten several times I know the food is always great and consistently great. This last time I was there I had a slight cold and without even asking our waiter brought out hot tea for me. Superb."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Food: Ordered steak frites prix fix salad to start. They were out of filet mignon so I settled on the flank steak. The waiter didn't ask me how I wanted my steak cooked, so beware if that bothers you- I didn't totally mind the medium cooking point. I don't often take a lot sauce on my steak, so I appreciated it coming on the side automatically. The bernaise was a little thicker than I am used to, but decent. The fries were wonderful. Noisy dinner party made speaking a little difficult. Would I go back? Maybe. I think it's a solid 3 after having almost all of the city's steak frites options. You wouldn't go wrong dining there, just don't expect anything over."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Although there have been a few menu tweaks (and more on the way), Bearnaise delivered another great experience. We even had the same waiter as 6 months ago -- and he remembered us! It is rare to find consistent high-level dining experiences in Capitol Hill, but Bearnaise delivers. Steak frites were perfect and the borderlaise sauce was exceptional."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Steaks were only fair. Didn't want french fries, but they had no mashed potatoes -- kind of hard to believe for a decent steak house. Not worth a return visit."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Loved the decor of this place--I felt like I was back in Paris. Food was solid and on the mark: great steak, signature frites, and a delightful bearnaise. A little on the pricier side, but provides the perfect environment for an intimate evening with significant others, family, and/or close friends."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This is a fabulous bistro. The food was well-thought out (real bistro cooking, not some corporate HQ idea of bistro cooking) and the service was attentive but not overbearing. It's a nice Capital Hill find."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "The steak frites is definitely the thing to get on the menu. I got mine prix fixe with the house salad, but my mom ordered hers with the soup du jour. It was a fennel soup that was out of this world - so creamy and delicious, great flavor! The steaks were a little undercooked for us girls that like it medium well, but the amazing french fries and Béarnaise sauce made up for it. A great meal!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This has a great neighborhood feel and the good was very yummy. My only regret was not having more room in my stomach. We will definitely be back."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "The fries were the star of this dinner. They were perfectly cooked and tasted fantastic. I wish I could say the same for the steak from the Steak Frites. It was a bit chewy and didn't have a huge amount of flavor - not bad, but not good either. I thought it might just be me but my guest also had the steak (cooked medium rare versus mine medium well) and hers was also chewy. The béarnaise sauce was perfect. The salad that started the meal was also fresh with just the right amount of dressing. I will give this place another shot. We'll chalk it up to a bad piece of meat and hope for better the next time."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Our meal was delicious and the service was outstanding!! We will be back."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "This was a repeat visti from my first time back in November, this time with a friend. First time it was French Onion Soup and filet; this time I went with a Warm Goat Cheese Salad and the classic Steak Frites. Salad was outstanding with fresh greens, flavorful balsamic and a nice portion of tangy goat cheese with amazing croutons (yes, the croutons were the star of this salad). The flat iron steak was just this side of tough and a little underdone for my medium doneness request; accompanying bordelaise sauce was good. The frites just don't taste real and lack that robust potato flavor. Side dishes were the signature brussell sprouts with bernaise and sauteed portabellos. Dessert was a creme brulee with a chocolate chip topping."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "I felt the food was to salty. Bar was out of Seagrams, so unable to make my drink of choice. That said we would still give it another try and recommend it to family and friends. Our server was amazing both funny and helpful in guiding us to good food choices. Try the pig feet appetizer it was excellent as was the French soup."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "I've been to the original St Paul in Montreal, so I had high hopes for Bernaise. And it didn't disappoint. Both our steaks were perfectly cooked (mine well done and hubby's medium). We both had the bernaise, which was delicious. And the frites were addictive! Well done, Bernaise! Love this place!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Menu was simple and unpretentious food spoke for itself and didn't disappoint."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The steak frites and mussels Dijon and a must. This place has the authentic French bistro vibe down in a serious way."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "The soup was amazing, the offerings well beyond steak and Frittes, but other than Mussels, there were no seafood offerings. Our waiter was charming and gracious, a bit solicitous without being overt. A great meal without any hint of needing to turn the table."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Went for lunch for the first time. The menu is very limited. I had the steak tartine which was delicious with the Hemingway cocktail. Service was personable and efficient."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "When my wife saw that her steak was undercooked -- closer to the ranch than to her request for medium -- she figured the kitchen would simply throw the remaining portion back on the grill and serve it up when ready. "If this is a really good place, they'll replace the entire plate," she told me, not expecting that to happen. But it did. A fresh plate was brought out with new portions of properly cooked steak and frites. That turned the meal from the ordinary and predictable to a most pleasant experience. Bien fait."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "This little bistro has a very nice cocktail menu as well as a small, nice wine list. The food here is simple bistro style prepared with care and attention to detail. The crispy pigs feet are a must try as they've been removed from the bone and are served with pickled veg to cut the fat, the mussels Vietnamese were lovely and require much extra bread to sop up the sauce. The flat iron steak was perfectly cooked and very tender for a steak of this cut and to top it all off everything is served with unlimited frites, which were fantastic on their own and wonderful dipped in the Bearnaise sauce - mmmmmm."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Positives: Seated right away. Service excellent. Frites & drinks very good. Negatives: Ribeye ord med rare & arrived medium. Filet ord med rare &!arrived barely rare. Au poive too syrupy sweet for us but others were delicious. Anniversary dinner for us. We were treated to a nice dessert on the house. Nice surprise. One odd thing - right after dinner some random guy asked if we wanted fresh roses. Sure...What a nice gesture. But hold in a second... They were $10 for three. Like HUH? Does Spike allow random vendors to accost his guests during dinner? Also, I ordered the Brussels Sprouts but never got them. Of course. I wasn't charged for them, but that's not the point. Overall, I can't give this establishment more than a "fair""
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We'd read such good things. Our experience was inconsistent. The server was not that knowledgeable. Our steak was significantly underdone; we noticed a neighboring table had the same issue. At another neighboring table, one diner was served his entree 15 minutes after the others at the table. One of our diners had soup that was much more watery than the others'. Frites were fine; sauces not that inspiring. The desserts -- mousse and creme brulee -- were delicious."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Been here several times for dinner and have always had a great experience. The bartenders and servers are very knowledgable and the chef is amazing."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Signature dishes are signature for a reason. Flatiron (hanger) steak with frites more tender than most and of course the cut is tasty and perfectly cooked as befits a good bistro. Mussels were sweet/garlic/tarragon - so yum that the you overeat on the fine bread to soak up the broth.."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Provides what it promises - good beef, good service, moderate prices - well worth a visit"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "But the food was just ok - had the steak frites but the steak was not very flavorful and the frites were a little squishy. Not bad but you could get better steak frites elsewhere. Good wines available by the glass though and the service was great."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Avoid! The service is atrocious for only "okay" food."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "There are few restaurants in Capitol Hill which are worth a trip outside of the neighborhood. This is not one of them. The food was average, the service was okay and the restaurant smelled like Good Stuff Eatery."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Wonderful food, great server, interesting decor -- but oh, the noise level! We knew from Tom Sietsema's review that it would be noisy and we asked for a quiet table if possible, but talking for us old folks was difficiult. Still, we're certainly return."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "I had the duck confit and frisée salad. Both were very good. My husband had the flat iron steak and it was awful. Too much gristle that was impossible to cut out. Dining room was cold and smoked glass mirrors and dim light felt gloomy rather than romantic. Very loud. Great fries. Extremely limited menu."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Cocktails were great. Choice of wines at $40 were excellent. . Appetizers were amazing - duck confit cooked to perfection and flavorful. Bone marrow, served in toast with cartelized onion jam, sea salt and herbs -- so good we could have stopped there and been happy. Steak tartar yummy. Only disappointment was the pork chop. Although the sauce was excellent - calvados- based glaze - it was too big a chunk of meant and not enough of it cooked on the bone to render it some flavor. The steak frites were great as were the mussels Provençal Brussels sprouts with bernaise great. Of course we will go back! No one had room for dessert, unfortunately."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "We almost always forego dessert & when we do have dessert we stay clear of chocolate because of the consistently low quality. Bearnaise changed our attitude. The best profiteroles ever. Crisp, light pastry, ample gelato quality ice cream & chocolate sauce you could eat with a spoon. Memorable."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "If you're in the market for steak and frites, Spike's Bearnaise is a must visit. The Prix Fixe menu--quite a deal, with Flat Iron, Filet or Ribeye all scrumptiously sauced with your choice of Bearnaise, Spicy Bearnaise, Bordelaise, or served Au Poivre, Bearnaise is a carnivore's delight. Having tried both the Filet Bordelaise and the Flat Iron Bearnaise, it's obvious the chefs know how to prepare meat with perfection. I'd encourage most folks to ask for a light touch on the salt for their frites as ours were a bit over salted, but they stood up well to the steak and sauces. The downstairs of the restaurant seems well-suited for a romantic dinner, it's limited size and close quarters also means that it can tend to be a bit loud."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We waited 25 minutes before getting water: our drinks took even longer to arrive. Our waiter seemed more interested in a table of four across the room from us and a single gentleman dining alone. Another waiter stepped in to grab some water and to fetch our drinks from the bar downstairs - almost 35 minutes after we arrived and the place was half empty."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "This is an awesome French bistro style restaurant in an old townhouse on Capitol Hill. Steak and frites are the main offering but they have mussels and other good things on the menu. The steak and frites are great! The steak tartare and roasted bone marrow appetizers were the best we've ever had. The day after we went, we have already told friends about it and are planning our next visit! No valet parking, just have to find something on the street. We didn't have a problem but we went early (5:30pm)."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "At last, another good place for steak frites & company. As more of these restaurants show up, it might even be possible to get into one at normal hours. As it is, we eat very late, usually after a show, and that was the case with Bearnaise. Despite the recent favorable review, we had no trouble getting a res for 10pm on a weeknight. Other places have better onion soup, but the frisee salad was superb, the steak tartare pretty good, the frites outstanding, and the duck confit also good. Wine selections are affordable. Excellent service."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Friends loved the mussels . I had steak, which was done as I asked, and was good."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "No longer just steak & frites, you now have options like duck confit, chicken and pork. Oh, and mussels. Big bowls of steaming mussels. Go spend an evening in Paris (or Montreal, I think is the inspiration) without leaving DC."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Fantastic location, decor, lighting, ambiance and--most importantly--incredible food. The filet mignon and the duck confit were both outrageously good. And the french fries..don't get me started on those french fries. Perfectly cooked and seasoned. Go to Bearnaise as soon as possible. Your stomach will thank you."
    Dined on 2/14/2014