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  • Bearnaise

  • Online Reservations

  • Address:
    315 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
    Washington, DC 20003
    Capitol Hill
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary French / American
    Price: $30 and under

Bearnaise Details

  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "A very nice brasserie with wonderful service, wine list could be expanded,"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Waiter spoke very fast and with an accent. And he committed one huge sin. . he was wearing not unpleasant but very noticeable cologne. The Prix Fixe flank steak was was a little bit medium too rare. Very good salad. Near perfect frites. Best Bearnaise sauce on the Hill (maybe the in the city). Caramel covered cake unexpectedly had blueberries (waiter miscomm again) and was a little heavy after a steak meal. Upstairs space would be very loud with a large group (luckily there wasn't one the night I was there)."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Endless fries - enough said. The steak tartine was delicious, and the fries were some of the best fries I've ever had - crisp on the outside and fluffy in the inside."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "The best deal on the menu is the Flat Iron steak prix fixe dinner with salad/soup choice and all the frites you can eat for $28. I usually order a bottle of Malbec (and I ask for a bucket of ice because it's too warm at "room temperature" for my tastes). Although the portions are generous, I also order the flash fried brussel sprouts because they're fantastic. For a Washington, DC, Capitol Hill restaurant, Bernaise is a true value. The food is great, and the service has always been attentive."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "We took out of town friends of ours to dinner here on July 3 and could not be more pleased about every aspect of the evening. Great service, food and ambience. The Brussels sprouts are to die for, the chicken paillard was perfect and so were the steaks!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Watching the aftermath of the US - Belgium World Cup match, we moved from the bar upstairs for a meal. The French onion soup was some of the best I have had anywhere in the world. The chicken pallaird was a large portion prepared in mediocre fashion."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "I was excited to try this place but it definitely fell short. The soup de jour sounded amazing when described (chilled cucumber) but it tasted blah. The warm goat cheese salad was quite good - I would order that again. I also ordered steak frites with the spicy bearnaise. My cut was overcooked and the sauce was glorified sciracha, but those frites were yummmmmm! The ambiance upstairs on a Tuesday night was nice and quiet and peaceful for a party of 4 to catch up over some nice glasses of wine. I would stick with Spike's burgers if I want to dine again in this neighborhood and spend a fraction of the cost."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "We went for a birthday eve dinner.Reservations were for 6:15 and we were seated promptly w/a choice of outside or in (we took a corner table on patio and were not disappointed as the afternoon turned to evening)We ordered a Sazerac & a champagne-both good.I got the fixed price menu with cold roasted pepper soup with goat cheese) & the steak frites. Husband had frisee salad & duck confit.All great. Several types of wine are available for $40.Brussel sprouts were fabulous-flash fried & served w/béarnaise.Only issue was the wait for a 2nd helping of frites (took about 20 min after they were offered-worth waiting for!).Waiter was attentive at 1st but got busy as the patio filled up.We had a lovely evening and will definitely be back again."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Overall, I had a disappointing experience at Bearnaise. Aside from the ambience, the restaurant fell down on the evening my friend and I dined there. It took at least 20 minutes for one of our drinks to come, the server never brought one of our appetizers, and the fish special recommended by our server was extremely dry. My friend's chicken was also dry. The only standout item that we tried was the brussel sprouts - those were quite good. I did let the server know that the fish was dry and he didn't acknowledge my feedback in any discernible way. I really wanted to like this restaurant - it's quite adorable and I love trying new restaurants on the hill - but I just can't give it a good review, based upon my experience."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Pretty damn good, reasonably priced and the cocktails are amazing!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "We live on Capitol Hill and were looking forwarding to dining at Bearnaise for the first time along with another couple this past Saturday night. Unfortunately it was not a good experience. My wife ordered the flat iron steak and I ordered the rib eye - both were tough and grislely. If we had not been with another couple, we would have sent both steaks back. We were seated in the upstairs room beside a table for 16 and a table for 8. Because there was nothing in the room to dampen sound, we could hardly hear each other over the din. We will not be back soon and, if we do return, it will be in the middle of the week."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The food was good enough, but somewhat overpriced. Drinks were the same. There was nothing particularly memorable about it. Service was a little slow. A couple of people in our group got the steaks and asked for 'medium' but clearly got 'rare'. So in the end I won't highly recommend a steak-heavy restaraunt that can't cook them to the right specification."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Skipped the steak dinner and went for brunch instead. Expected a crowded restaurant at noon on a Saturday, but we were one of only two tables. Nonetheless, brunch was delicious and the service was fantastic. Pleasantly surprised."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Bearnaise had decent food and nice drinks. Steak menu with a few mussels, duck and chicken dishes."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Inside was quite loud, but we sat outside on the patio and it was wonderful. Service was great and the fries were the best I have had. I had steak frites and steak was well seasoned and well prepared. Wife had mussels Vietnamese which were also great."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "delicious! Staff was very accommodating. The food was awesome. The brulee french toast was soooo good and I'm not usually a french toast fan..."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "The servers were very friendly, though a little absent minded. We waited for nearly an hour and a half before we received our entrees, and at one point a server brought us out the wrong meals. There was a rat that ran between the tables a couple of times, but because it was sidewalk seating it didn't seem like an issue the restaurant could control."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "I've been here twice and will find myself here regularly. Excellent food, good service and reasonably priced. A great addition to the Hill."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Promptly seated. Efficient but not hovering service, made appropriate menue suggestions. Excellent grass fed flatiron steak perfectly cooked. Left with a happy feeling."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Delicious food, drinks and a great server. Vietnamese mussels were fantastic.... Will definitely go back at another time."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I don't usually write reviews, but this was one of the nicest dinners I've had in a very long time. Typical French fare, but prepared beautifully, attentive service, and just a really lovely experience. Seats on the sidewalk on a lovely summer night - just the place to go!!! The only thing that could have made it any better was a personal visit from Spike himself :)"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "My friends and I were on Capitol Hill one afternoon when we saw this restaurant. We immediately made reservations for the following weekend. The atmosphere was great and the food was even better. The steak and frites were perfect and we can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "I had dreaded visiting Bernaise because after visiting Good Stuff and We the Pizza I could imagine Chef Mendelsohn doing fine dining. Boy was I wrong. We had brunch outside on a cute little porch table - great atmosphere! Our server was delightful - fast, efficient, friendly and funny - a pleasure to talk with. Food was delicious and reasonably priced. We started with the bakery basket - croissants, biscuits and bread with several butters, jams and jellies - fresh and highest quality. Entrees were perfect - Salmon dish was light and air - perfectly complemented by a mixture of capers, onions and green onions finely minced. Bagel was light and flavorful. Eggs benedict were rich and the eggs were perfectly cooked. A++ Spike!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Other than service, this restaurant just missed having all the components working together to make a great evening. 6 young women at a nearby table were very loud and nothing in the dining room absorbed their laughter and giggles. Food was prepared as we desired but presentation and flavor was just off what I would expect at a moderate-to-expensive restaurant. Very good frites! The tarragon mass the special."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Great spot for pre-show dinner before something at the Folger. Affordably-priced and nice quality wine by the glass. Service was pleasant, but kept taking our courses to the wrong table and no idea who was having what dish. Salad with goat cheese was balsamic and large lettuce leaves with slightl warmed goat cheese. Mussels were EXCELLENT, well prepared and Asian broth was good. Fries also are good a plentiful. Nice night, not sure I would travel across town, but if in the 'hood - good value. "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Amazing spot for a birthday. We had one of the steak options, the duck, brussel sprouts and every bite was better than the last! They overheard it was a celebration and delivered a dessert on the house. Couldn't have asked for more pleasant service. It was quiet (but not too quiet) at 8 p.m. on Tuesday... highly recommended for a romantic early week dinner, especially if you want to be able to hear each other. :) A total gem on the hill! (But don't expect a heart-healthy or calorie-conscious meal!)"
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "Excellent addition to Capitol Hill and even better now with the amazing weekend brunch with bottomless bloodys and mimosas! Couldn't be more excited they are becoming a true part of the neighborhood."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "My wife and I decided to try out Bearnaise on a rare night out without the kids. We had read some mixed reviews but decided to give it a try. The French Onion Soup was really good, but my Rib Eye was burnt and tough, and my wife's filet wasn't any better, I could have made both better at home on my grill, both where terrible. The fries were great, but if I wanted great fries I could have gone next door to Good Stuff. For desert we has the mousse, it was nice, but nothing to write home about. I will say that the service was very good. The ambiance was a disappointment, there was a stale smell in the air, and the dinning room felt a bit like an afterthought."
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Hello. I made 2pm reservations for my girlfriends and I for brunch. I was super excited because I had read a lot about the restaurant but had not been there. The hostess was great and accommodating. Our waiter was friendly but we did have to remind him of several orders. Overall, I would say he was a good waiter. The main issue was with the food. First, the kitchen was out of salad, fruit, bread, and mussels. We were told we could only get fries as the side with all the brunch items. The signature dish was the creme brulee french toast which was burnt and drenched in a not tasty sauce. As it stands right now I would not go again or suggest to friends. I hope the problems with the kitchen are solved soon. "
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "Food was excellent. Sides soups apps steak and dessert all great"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Let me begin by saying I am really biased here. My husband and I just love love love this restaurant. Food - fantastic steak tartare, duck confit, the steaks wonderful,sauces mm mm good. the lovely way to eat escargot. Wine and cocktails delicious, bar just right.. Hard to describe this restaurant, staff are terrific, you are made comfortable from the moment you enter, not pretentious just right. Oh and don't forget those profiterole OMG....to die for.. Anyway I hope to be dining here for many years to come. Everyone we take there goes back repeatedly. Relatives from Toronto are coming back just to go to Bearnaise and they are sending other relatives. SO there Spike you guys have done real well dahlin "
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Good food and the service couldn't have been better."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We had an excellent burger and glass of wine before Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Folger. The food was delicious and service great as we dined outside on a beautiful evening. The waiter took our order and brought our food quickly as the play started an hour after our arrival at the restaurant. We will return.""
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Had a chance to catch up with a friend and had a very attentive waiter without being overbearing. Food came out as expected but fries were over salted. Brunch was decent value for the price. Not amazing but didn't feel ripped off. Serves La Colombe coffee. Can't go wrong with that!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "I took my mom here for Mother's Day brunch, and it was absolutely fantastic! The food was incredible, the service was excellent, and I could not have asked for a better Mother's Day experience! :)"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Superb food, incredible service and we thought we were dining in a Parisian neighborhood .... The highest of compliments to the chef... "Brad""
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Service slow throughout. Salad salty. Steak not cooked to temp. Bearnaise just passable. The best part if the meal was the reasonably priced wine and the ambience. The food does a disservice to the cute location. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Awful dining experience, food was terrible, service was slow, our waiter left us hanging for an hour. I would never go back and would not recommend this restaruant to anyone. Expected more from a celebrity chef. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "My boyfriend and I came here when he was visiting from out of town. I'm a big fan of anything Chef Spike related so this was a no brainer. Everything was SO great. The duck rendered me speechless. The fries were amazing. Best French Onion soup I've ever had. Escargot was an 8 out of 10. His steak looked great but I was too in love with the duck confit to even want a bite. "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Loved the ambiance of this comfortable and welcoming french bistro located on Capitol Hill. Soup de jour and onion soup were superb. The chicken liver pate was divine (rich and creamy) hanger steaks perfectly cooked and fries hot and well-seasoned). Unfortunately, we were so full, we did not have room for dessert. Next time!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014