50 Best Restaurants: Duo L’Auberge Chez François & Jacques’ Brasserie bring past to present with French cuisine

Enjoy lobster bisque, beef cheek stew and souffle in a restaurant inspired by a nostalgic French country inn plunked down in pastoral Virginia.

fettucini with shrimp
Photo by Rey Lopez

By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano

L’Auberge Chez François & Jacques’ Brasserie

Great Falls | French | $$$$* & $$$

Taking a step back in time isn’t always a good thing. One exception: enjoying a leisurely meal in a restaurant inspired by a nostalgic French country inn plunked down in pastoral Virginia. Settle into the white-tablecloth experience either in the charming dining room or on the equally enchanting patio and prepare to be pampered. A meal begins with an amuse-bouche, such as a rich cream of lentil soup, and moves through a roster of Gallic favorites like French onion soup, lobster bisque and trout amandine. Diners can go light, as with a lobster and citrus salad dressed with vanilla vinaigrette, or heavier with dishes like a stick-to-your-ribs beef cheek stew teeming with mushrooms, vegetables and wine served in a mini Le Creuset crock. With dinner entree prices hovering around $85, it makes more sense to order the prix fixe menu for the same price—which buys diners at least four courses and several nice extras like coffee or tea with mignardises. No matter which way you go, opt for a meal-ending souffle. For those with Champagne tastes on a beer budget, try the a la carte Jacques’ Brasserie, a more casual experience found on the restaurant’s lower level. // 332 Springfield Road, Great Falls

This post originally appeared in our November 2019 issue’s 50 Best Restaurants cover story. For more food reviews, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

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