50 Best Restaurants 2018: Bistro L’Hermitage

A French restaurant in Woodbridge

Even on a rainy, gloomy Sunday, the parking lot is packed with locals celebrating birthdays, engagements and perhaps just the ability to experience this quirky yet somehow authentically French restaurant hidden on a back road near Occoquan. The decor is adorably elaborate, with stone walls, wooden beams above, colorful oil paintings, mismatched light fixtures and a bathroom that features a fire-engine-red toilet and sink.

Sprays of roses on the white tablecloths signal that this is a shoe-in as a special-occasion spot, but there are also young families with happy tykes noshing on slices of French bread and very good croissants, which are included in the breadbasket at lunch. Couples should ask for the charming round table in the back corner. Dishes arrive wonderfully old-school, such as a shareable Caesar salad draped with anchovy filets and a bowl of lobster bisque that’s every bit as decadent as a diner might hope. Chicken might be the boring choice at many restaurants, but not here with its mustard sauce and addictive fries. The seasoned steak is equally satisfying, and the seasonal crepe—which might be topped with berries and whipped cream—is a smart way to end.

Bistro L’Hermitage
French | $$$$
12724 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge

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