Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bistro D'Oc

Bistro D'Oc
Bistro D'Oc is a small French bistro located in downtown DC just west of Gallery Place/Penn Quarter. Unlikely the many mussel heavy French bistros scattered throughout DC, Bistro D'Oc focuses on food from the south of France, specifically the Languedoc. So instead of mussels, there's steak in various sauces, such as my favorite, the Ongelet Grillé, or the Boeuf Braise au Vin. But more importantly, there's lots of offal. Lamb's brain, sweetbreads, and tripe, to be specific. Now it can be hard to find offal in DC, and my wife loves it, so this is a very good reason for us to go here when we're in the area.

Bistro D'Oc Sweetbreads.
On our most recent trip, I had the tripe, and my wife had the sweetbreads. I've had their food before, it's generally quite good, and the sweetbreads were no exception. Wonderful little nuggets of savory goodness in a puff pastry (picture on the left). The tripe was less satisfactory. In their defense, I haven't had tripe prepared this way before, since I usually have it in Asian dishes, so I don't know if the problems I had were with my palate or with Bistro D'Oc. But I found them unpalatable. They were in a wine, tomato, and mustard potato purée, which itself was quite tasty. But the dish smelled like a pig farm (and my Dad grew up near a pig farm, so I know what it smells like), and the tripe was so chewy as to be nearly inedible.

Dessert was tasty. We had the peach brioche pudding, brioche and peaches in a ramekin topped with whipped cream. It was a nice complement to the savoriness of the other dishes, and a great way to top off the evening. I'd definitely recommend Bistro D'Oc, perhaps not as a destination restaurant, but one to go to when you're in the area.

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