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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 40 times today
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Bistro Cacao

4.7
2451 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
Top Tags:
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
  • Cozy
Where Romance meets Flavor… At Bistro Cacao, chef-owner Kemal Deger brings nearly 25 years of culinary expertise to your table. In Bistro Cacao’s historic location we now invite you to enjoy our new concept of modern bistro-style French cuisine in a romantically charming and comfortable setting blending old France with modern creative touches.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
French, European
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Hours of operation
Brunch: Saturday 11 am - 3 pm, Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm;
Lunch: Monday 11:30 am - 2 pm, Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm;
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm

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Phone number
(202) 546-4737
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Kemal Deger
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Catering
Yes we do Cater
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
3rd and 4th NE
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Public transit
Union Station red line three blocks away
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Gift Card
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Private Dining

All type of private events welcome, Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, Dinner, Cocktail etc. Green Room, up to 26 people Red Room, up to 40 people Rouge Room, up to 16 people Cacao Wine Bar, up to 50 people cocktail, receptions, happy hours etc. Private outdoor available.

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Daily 5:00PM - 5:45PM

What 2451 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7  based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
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Skipper (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 3 days ago

perfect for visiting cousins -- good food, cozy ambiance and easy to converse

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined 4 days ago

My husband and I tried this for a Valentine's dinner and enjoyed it. The staff was very friendly and attentive. The food was good, our favorite dishes were the escargot appetizer and roasted lamb entree. A great place for a date or evening with a few friends, you can actually hear each other in this bistro, which can be hard to find in other places in the city.

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CohiXer (Washington DC)
2.0  Dined 4 days ago

I work in the neighborhood and come here about five times a year, so I was looking forward to spoiling my sweetie for our Valentine's Day weekend. What a disappointment. Even with a reservation made over two weeks in advance, the restaurant did not accommodate my request for one of the cozier tables. The service was perfunctory at best; we did not receive the bread basket we ordered to start things off until we were halfway through the main course, and we were never offered a refresh on our drinks. The food was fine, but hardly the brunch rave everyone speaks of. Overall, it was disappointing, especially in light of the pricing. Ambience is not enough, Cacao. I have recommended this place to several friends in the past, but will hesitate to do so in the future. This experience left me feeling betrayed.

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Copik7 (Columbus)
3.0  Dined 4 days ago

The ambiance is appealing and the servers were very friendly. The nicoise salad was delicious and was the bread, lobster omelet and steak sandwich. Downside: it took a while for us to get our food and the poached eggs were overcooked. However, the eggs were not included in the bill.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined 5 days ago

While the atmosphere of the restaurant took me back in time, and the soft chatter of a French couple the table allowed us to imagine we were on the other side of the globe, the food left some to be desired. We ordered the Fillet and the Rack of Lamb and the first bad sign was that the food was only slightly warm, and by the time we finished our plates completely cold. The other issue was that the two meals had the exact same presentation: same sauce, same vegetables, and same potato cake (all of which were tasty, but nothing to write home about). The quality of the meat was phenomenal, and it was cooked perfectly. While the wine that was selected for us was amazing, the sommelier rattled off endless names when making suggestions, making it impossible for me to follow along with him in the menu and make an educated decision. The bubbly selection was mediocre at best. Eventually we settled on an over priced and mass produced bottle that left a bad taste in our mouth in more than one way.

Overall, the restaurant has the feeling that the spark has faded, and the attention to detail needs to return. While a lot of things were done right, very few were done exceptionally well. I have to say that I would skip Bistro Cacao in favor of Chez Billy Sud or Le Diplomat in the future.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 5 days ago

This is "our" place for romantic dinners celebrating anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions. For a Francophile who used to live in Paris, this is my very favorite French bistro in the DC area. The best part is the cozy ambiance and Parisian-style decor that takes me back. Food is always excellent and while some may feel it's a little pricier, for the caliber of food and level of service, it's well worth it!

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JohnK 
4.0  Dined 5 days ago

I was satisfied with every aspect of the experience. My girlfriend and I had a nice, quiet Valentine’s Day weekend dinner.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined 6 days ago

The food was amazing and our waiter did such a great job. The red drapes were a little annoying at times but the food more than made up for it.

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KaylaS 
4.0  Dined 6 days ago

Food was well prepped and presentation was elegant. My water glass was always filled. The chocolate cake with the mango coulis was to die for.

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ShawnK 
5.0  Dined 7 days ago

First I would say that I made arrangements for a specific seat through Open table, I then called in to double check and they said it was available. The day of the date I called and then they said it was taken and had been for 2 months. I was upset about the miscommunication, the manager said that the other seats would be nice as well and the person who was using the seat was going to propose.
We saw the proposal and my wife and I enjoyed the other seat as well as the great chefs tasting and our server was very good.
Overall experience I would highly recommend this restaurant for a romantic date with great food and good wine.

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GarrettG (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

The ambience was romantic and charming. The food had beautiful presentation and pleasing textures. Unfortunately I was hit with a cold and stuffed up nose the day of our reservations and couldn't taste anything. I'm very bummed out about that timing as the venison was tender and cooked to perfection and this was my first time trying Escargot and Foie Gras

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vipajfoodie (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

We had never been to Bistro Cacao despite living on the Hill and hearing about it forever. We decided to take the plunge on Valentines Day. Great choice! VERY romantic, VERY French. Comfy shabby-chic overstuffed armchairs for seating; strategically placed curtains for privacy. Perfect for quiet conversation! Very attentive service. Good cocktails, excellent wine list. Knowledgeable servers. Pri fixe menu (on this special occasion) included a surfeit of difficult choices. All were excellent. We are already planning a return trip, maybe for brunch.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

This was not our first visit nor will it be our last. We love the ambiance of the restaurant as well as the food. The Valentines Day special touches they provided such as rose for my wife upon entrance and gift bag upon leaving were nice.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

The ambiance struck me while the service and food was impeccable

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Ellen (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 13, 2018

Washington restaurants are normally noisy, but the owners of Bistro Cacao believe that diners should be able to hear each other in a relaxed setting. The French music adds to the atmosphere but is never too loud. The booths are particularly private and romantic. On chilly evenings, the fire in the fireplace adds to the cozy, home-like atmosphere. And the food and wine are excellent. Menu items are not cheap, but they are not exorbitant either.
Bistro Cacao is my favorite restaurant on Capitol Hill and maybe in the city.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 12, 2018

This was definitely one of the best dining experiences I've had in DC. Everything was excellent, but the service in particular was wonderful.

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EdgardoJLL (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

I come here with a friend for dinner. It was everything and more then I imagined. My friend who is of French orgin was expressed. Great Job Bistro Cacao

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ScottS (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

Definitely a good date spot. It is a bit dimly lit and small, but quiet and well decorated.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
3.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

Everything started off very well. The decor is outstanding, pretty, cosy, romantic. They play music of the 20s and 30s, mostly, Edith Piaf, etc.

Trouble started when I undid the clasp on the curtain in our booth, which caused it to hang straight down. I was playing with the belt and the button came undone, so I just draped the belt on my chair back without touching the curtain itself. I let the server know. He, a man with a mole on his face, Damian?, gave me a good talking to for ruining the ambiance for the other guests, and that I could have caused the curtain to fall on my head, and it would have been very embarrassing. It's the kind of thing an annoyed parent might say to a child. My date and I just looked at each other and didn't know what to say. The spell was broken, and the place no longer seemed magical, though we tried quite hard. That is also when the waiter decided to no longer ham it up with stories about the wine varietals we were drinking (we went for a pairing menu). Our bill came up to about $300 for two people. We tipped $50 and I think it was too much.

Being a French national, actually, I know my French food. This was creative, presentation was good, but the flavor was so-so for most dishes. The rillete de canard was good. The steak was overdone for medium rare, and the sauce (a deglazed brown sauce) was far too heavy in flavor for both the steak and the shrimp (yes, shrimp) that was situated on the steak. The asparagus was not well done in my opinion, it was very simple, and therefore should have been cooked to retain just a touch of crispness on the inside. Sadly, it was floppy.

The dessert was okay. It wasn't bad, but it was definitely more cafe/bistro than fine dining. The profiterol should retain a tiny bit of crispness, and the chocolate on it was not particularly dark.

All in all, the service ruined the evening for us, and it was a very special date. We won't be going back.

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OpenTable Diner (Indiana)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

Great overall experience.

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