Friday, November 15, 2013

Lavandou Food Review

Sandwich d’Onglet Grillé

Authentic Provençal cuisine... to some, it may not mean much; but to lovers of French cuisine, it means a heck of a lot. Lavandou has been a fixture on the (Connecticut) Avenue since owner Florence Devilliers opened it, back in 1990. That's almost a quarter century of Bouillabaisse de Marseille, Onglet Grillé and Risotto de Fruits de Mer for the masses (including yours truly, on several occasions.) Oddly enough, I'd never had lunch there... yet alone (cringe) take-away. There's a first for everything, I suppose.

It turns out carry-out isn't such a crazy concept after all, judging by Lavandou's smart packaging and cheerful disposition (both on the phone, and in person.) My buddy and I celebrated free lunch (well, for me anyhow) with a pair of steak sandwiches, affectionately known here as Sandwich d’Onglet Grillé: Sounds better, doesn't it?

Well it should, given its $14.95 price tag. Roasted country bread Hanger Steak Sandwich with parmesan greens and a red wine vinaigrette comes dressed with frites and a heaping slather of mayonnaise. We asked for tomatoes in place of greens (typical Americans, no?) and service was quick (10 minutes) & friendly.

Fries were tasty, although a bit oily (with a generous sprinkle of salt.) The sandwich had too much mayo for my taste; but the steak itself was impeccable. Ditto for the bread, which I'd love to find a loaf of (for safe keeping in my freezer.) Not sure it's worth $15, but it makes for a welcome break from the standard burger fare we're used to in Cleveland Park. Speaking of, why is it so hard to find a good steak sandwich nowadays? Even Medium Rare (one block away) doesn't offer one: What gives?

Lavandou remains a great option for that special dinner, when you want to impress (with old school style and rustic charm) and a safe bet for lunch.