Mt Vernon Square is only one metro stop away from my neighborhood of Shaw, yet I can’t help but feel like it is no man’s land. Technically, the neighborhood is defined as the area between the Convention Center and Union Station, which never gave me a reason to venture over there. However, as of late, there are several new establishments that make the trek worthwhile, namely SoulCycle, A Baked Joint, and Silo (also on our “to-brunch” list).
On a leisurely Sunday, my sister and I were looking to run a few errands, and decided to check out the rapidly changing neighborhood. We walked into A Baked Joint, but the line was wrapped around the cafe, so we walked right out. Starving, we stumbled upon L’Hommage Bistro Francais next door. I’d heard of the restaurant but never visited. The restaurant is massive—it can apparently hold up to 200 people inside and 80+ on the outdoor patio. We walked in and noted three things: it was huge, it was empty, and it felt like a knock-off Le Diplomate.
Despite this, we took a seat at a table by the window. About 10 minutes went by before we were greeted by a server, which was concerning as the restaurant was virtually vacant.
By the time our server arrived we were ready to order, only to learn the restaurant was out of Quiche Lorraine, the dish I was hoping to try. I quickly revised my order and instead decided to start with a half a dozen oysters, the Gougères, which are cheese filled puffs, and the Eggs Norwegian. Christina decided to go with a French staple and ordered the Croque Madame.
The Gougères came out first and were piping hot and tasty. The cheese puffs were sprinkled with fresh herbs, which gave the rather simple appetizer a nice layer of flavor. We were disappointed with the oysters, as this particular varietal was rather skimpy and small.
Good thing we weren’t in a rush, because our entrees arrived 30 minutes later. The Eggs Norwegian was essentially overcooked eggs Benedict with lox on a raw, open-faced kaiser roll. The presentation came with a swipe of brown sauce that tasted as weird as it looked.
Hoping my sister had a better experience with her Croque Madame, I asked how it was as I caught a glimpse of the burnt edges. She said, “it’s hard to mess up a grilled cheese with an egg on top, but they got pretty close.”
Two hours later, we left hungry and frustrated. As we walked out we saw a few tables with mussel pots and noted that we would be willing to come back to try the dinner menu, maybe after a SoulCycle class at the new Mt. Vernon Square location.
The Bitches say: D+. The restaurant had a pleasant atmosphere, but the brunch dishes and service lacked in flavor and execution. We’ve heard great things about the dinner service, so we’d be willing to give it another try.
L’Hommage Bistro Francais
450 K St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001