Chez Billy Sud: Paris in Georgetown

By Christine Fillat

 

Photo courtesy Chez Billy Sud

 

 

A quick little getaway to Georgetown is all that’s needed for a stateside French experience. Chez Billy Sud is in the heart of Georgetown with a subtly lit dining room, chic mint and gold walls, and tables of white linen. Voilà, there you are, transported to Paris.

We choose a bottle of Pouilly-Fumé from Domaine Francis Blanchet. This 2020 Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp and happy wine with flavors that inspire us to dream of the South of France in the summertime. The menu is brief and direct, with quintessential French cuisine. 

The Escargots are a mélange of Burgundy snails, mushrooms, and a parsley-garlic butter sauce on slices of toasted baguette. These plump morsels of escargot are classically French; be sure to ask for extra slices of bread to mop up the rich sauce. Every bite is worth it. 

There is a pleasant earthiness to the Foie de Volaille, a glass ramekin of creamy and flavorful chicken liver mousse, with a subtle Madeira gelée shimmering on the surface.

Regard the humble beet rendered sublime with its treatment at Chez Billy Sud. These beets are pickled in red wine with slices of pear, a smattering of green onion, and a dash of tender greens. This composed salad slowly reveals itself in layers as you dive into it.  First, you encounter the beets and pear, dotted with scoops of goat cheese; then perhaps you taste the walnuts; and finally, beneath it all, a serving of brown Lentils du Puy with a unifying purée of beet at the bottom of the bowl. This is a balance of tart and mild flavors, crunchy and smooth textures, the fresh and the pickled.

We are in a definitive French bistro; for the main course, we have to opt for the representative dishes: Moules-Frites, Steak-Frites, and Confit de Canard. The generously-sized mussels are cooked in a lovely brine with hints of Dijon mustard, cream, and Herbes de Provence, emboldened with pastis. The mussel shells are the perfect scoop for the flavorful bouillon. Since we ordered the Moules-Frites and the Steak-Frites, there are plenty of frites to go around. The fries are crisp on the exterior, creamy on the interior.  Absolutely perfect.

 

The steak is served rare, with a superb, flavorful char, and comes with a side of Béarnaise, the better to dip your fries into. The Confit de Canard is super subtle, with a tender crusty duck leg on more lentils and a carrot purée. It melts in your mouth. 

Dinner at Chez Billy Sud was pretty darn perfect. The only disappointment was in the dessert course. The cheesecake is salty. The apple cake is dry. And the chocolate mousse is not super chocolaty. But the mains more than make up for the vagaries of dessert.

Dining out society is back and alive and well.  With the added enchantment of an ersatz trip to Paris, at Chez Billy Sud, you will be well taken care of.

 

Chez Billy Sud: 1039 31st St. NW, Washington DC 20007
Visit chezbillysud.com for reservations and hours. | 202.965.2606

 

 

 


 

A Day in Georgetown

 

 

Georgetown is not far from Annapolis—just a 45-minute drive away—but it feels like another world.  There’s a sophistication to the historic buildings and urban design that you can’t help but feel as you walk along any of the largely residential streets. It’s something in the atmosphere. This is very likely one of the most beautiful towns in the country. Along with significant architecture, Georgetown offers a host of upscale restaurants, shops, and deluxe showrooms to fill a day.  Christine Fillat

 

To Visit

• Dumbarton Oaks: Byzantine and Pre-Columbian museum and a stunning 16-acre garden

• Georgetown University

• Old Stone House: Oldest DC building on its original foundation (1766)

• Drive by final Jackie Kennedy Home, 3017 North Street

• Drive by former home of Julia Child, 2706 Olive St. NW

 

Home Décor

• Cady’s Alley: Boutiques, home furnishings, and cafés

• Circa Lighting: Illuminating options for the whole house

• Shop Made in DC for locally produced household items

• Thos. Moser: Handmade furniture made entirely of North American hardwoods

 

Eat and Drink

• Kafé Leopold: Austrian cuisine in a smart café on Cady’s Alley

• Stachowski’s Market: Meats, sausage, and made-to-order sandwiches

• Cocktails: Graham Hotel rooftop

• Fine Dining: 1789 Restaurant and Bar

 

Activities 

• Kayak on the Potomac

• Ride the newly restored canal boat on the C&O Canal 

 

These are just a few ideas for things to do and places to go in Georgetown. Thanks to DC tour guide Judi Morris for her suggestions.

 

 

© Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 13, No. 2 2022