Tuesday, September 1, 2015

L’Hommage Bistro Francais Opens in Early September Bringing French Flair to Downtown Washington

Photo Credit: Chris & Don MacAskill

From our friends at L'Hommage Bistro Francais...

Restaurateur Hakan Ilhan is pleased to announce his newest French restaurant venture, L’Hommage Bistro Francais, which will open in stages beginning in early September at 450 K Street, NW, within the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. Those craving French pastries and freshly baked bread will want to stop in at the Boulangerie as it opens first on Friday, September 4th and will operate daily, from 7 AM to 8 PM serving breakfast options like house-made breakfast pastries, sandwiches for lunch, as well as coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, cakes and patisseries to go, for those who’d like to enjoy their French meal at home. Then the 170-seat L’Hommage Bistro Francais’ main dining room and spacious bar will commence for dinner service on Friday, September 11th, and will be served Sunday through Thursday, from 5:30 PM to 11 PM; Friday and Saturday, from 5:30 PM to 12 Midnight. Lunch will debut Tuesday, September 15th, and will be available weekdays from 11 AM to 3 PM with a late lunch offering available from 3 PM to 5:30 PM; and weekend brunch will also become available in the near future.

Ilhan has tapped Executive Chef Joshua Laban Perkins to oversee the menu at L’Hommage. Perkins has worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants, and served as executive chef at Brasserie Le Coze in Atlanta, sister restaurant to Le Bernardin in New York City, where he worked closely under highly acclaimed chef Eric Ripert. In 2005, Perkins opened the Globe, a successful American contemporary bistro that was named “Restaurant of the Year” by Atlanta Magazine one year later. Under Perkins’ leadership, Globe received four stars from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was named one of Bon Appetit’s “Top Tables.” Prior to his appointment at L’Hommage, Perkins worked for two years as a chef at The Grove Grill in Memphis, Tennessee. During his tenure, he was named a “Top Three Chef” by Memphis Magazine, and the restaurant was awarded “Best Place to Lunch,” “Best Martini” and “Best Place to Hold a Business Dinner” by Memphis Flyer. Perkins will work alongside his Chef de Cuisine Taylor Pierce and Pastry Chef Nicole Shirley to showcase a menu that offers classic dishes that incorporate traditional cooking techniques that pay tribute to the true flavors and techniques of French cuisine.

Taylor Pierce has relocated to Washington to serve as chef de cuisine of L’Hommage. A native of Tennessee, he earned an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts, Culinary and Restaurant Management from L’École Culinaire in Memphis, Tennessee in 2012. After finishing at Mississippi State University in civil engineering, Pierce launched his culinary career in September 2012, in Memphis, as a line cook at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, a popular hot spot serving classic American cuisine. Then in May 2013, Pierce worked his way up to serve as sous chef at Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar. Interested in exploring other cuisine styles, in March 2015, Pierce accepted a new position to work at Bluefin, in downtown Memphis. Bluefin is known for its Asian influenced “edge cuisine” and sushi. The opportunity to work in the kitchen with Perkins and to serve on the opening team at L’Hommage got the Tennessean to move to DC.

Newcomer Nicole Shirley brings over twelve years of experience as a pastry chef, baker and confectioner to her new role as pastry chef of L’Hommage Bistro Francais. She was tapped for this position in July 2015. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Shirley began her culinary training, taking courses at the Wilton School of Cake Decorating in Woodridge, Illinois and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY in 2003. Then in 2005, Shirley opened her own gourmet cake and confectionary company, Nicole’s Sweet Temptations, Ltd., in Kingston, featuring her product line of signature items in a retail outlet and through her catering operation. Her wedding cake was featured in Martha Stewart’s Weddings Fall 2010 issue, which motivated her to hone her skills further in the world of desserts. Moving to Chicago, Illinois, in 2013, she earned her L’Art de la Pâtisserie from The French Pastry School, Chicago, that same year. She went on to work as a pastry chef instructor for Sur La Table’s in-store recreational culinary program from November 2013 to April 2015. Concurrently, she was also a pastry assistant for Chicago’s notable Le Sardine French bistro from January to May 2014. Next, Shirley accepted the position of resident pastry chef and general manager for Veruca Chocolates. An artisan chocolate and confectionary company, in 2013, Veruca was ranked among the “Best Chocolates in the USA” by Food & Wine. Moving to the Washington, DC metro area in April 2015, Shirley served as assistant pastry chef at Amphora Bakery in Herndon, Virginia before joining the opening team at L’Hommage.

Diners can look forward to beginning their experience at L’Hommage with hors d’oeuvres such as the classic Onion Soup Gratinée, onions, beef broth, gruyere cheese and toasted baguette; Steak Tartare, hand-chopped tenderloin with capers and cornichons; Duck Terrine with house-made pickles, onion marmalade and Moutarde a L’Ancienne; Escargot with parsley, garlic butter and “Pommes Robuchon”; Gougers, Mornay sauce filled cheese puffs; Mushroom Tart, mixed mushrooms, eggplant caviar and pecorino, as well as Sweetbreads Aigre Doux, espelette powder, sultans, sweet and sour sauce and crème fraîche. Prices range from $7.50 to $16.50.

Salads are just as enticing and include Salade Verte, petite herbs, radishes and crème fraîche dressing; Salade Endive, Dijon vinaigrette, blue cheese, scallion and tomatoes; Chilled Shrimp Salade with gazpacho and avocado, as well as Sauté Chicken Liver Salade, fried liver, egg, tomatoes and balsamic. Salads are priced from $10 to $13.50.

L’Hommage also offers Moules-frites four different ways, all priced at $18 each: Marinière, white wine, butter, shallots and garlic; Moules à la Diable, spicy tomato broth; Curry Lime Broth with coconut milk and kefir, as well as Monagasque, chopped tomato, red onion, garlic and basil. 

Plats Principaux or entrée options include Fried Chicken Liver Fettuccini, crispy chicken livers, Marsala sauce and fettuccini; Steak Frites, flat iron steak, maître d’butter, pommes frites and watercress salad; Dorade Royale with verjus butter, gnocchi and farm vegetables; Boeuf Bourguignon, red wine braised beef with baby vegetables; Coq au Vin, red wine braised chicken with pearl onions, mushrooms and baby carrots; Confit de Canard with petite herb salade, as well as Skate Grenobloise, Pantelleria capers, lemon beurre noisette and seasonal marmalade. Entrées are priced from $14.50 to $24.50. Guests can also opt for a variety of sides, which include Pommes Frites with Chardonnay mayonnaise; Sautéed Spinach with shallots and garlic; Pommes Puree with cream and butter; Grilled Asparagus with roasted tomato vinaigrette and crème fraîche; Macaroni Gratin with lardons, béchamel and gruyere. Sides are priced from $8 to $10.

To complete the meal on a sweet note, dessert options include Alsatian Apple Tart with almond pastry cream and dulce de leche ice cream; Lemon Tart with blackberry coulis and caramelized filo; Crème Brûlée; Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce; Gigi’s Pavlova, meringue filled with strawberries Romanov, as well as Opera Cake, coffee sponge cake with hazelnut cream and chocolate ganache. Shirley will also spearhead the development and production of their classically-inspired French breads and pastries, made fresh in-house daily, and available in the Boulangerie.

L’Hommage Bistro Francais is located in Mount Vernon Triangle at 450 K Street, NW, Washington, DC. The Boulangerie will operate daily, from 7 AM to 8 PM. Lunch will be served Monday through Friday, from 11 AM to 3 PM with a mid-day lunch offering available from 3 PM to 5:30 PM. Dinner will be serviced Sunday through Thursday, from 5:30 PM to 11 PM; Friday and Saturday, from 5:30 PM to 12 Midnight. Brunch will begin at a later date, and will be served Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM. For reservations or additional information, please call (202) 419-6755 or visit http://lhommagedc.com.