My favorite spot for a fun, relaxed, and delicious birthday dinner in Old Town is La Refuge on North Washington. The service is outstanding. The food is delectable.
The famed French Restaurant was founded in 1983 across from Christ Church and it’s remained in the family ever since. One can easily see why it’s the oldest running French Restaurant in Old Town. And why you need to make a reservation.
I won’t ruin the surprise if you haven’t had it yet. They have a happy birthday experience that’s sure to make you smile and feel special. And by “experience” it’s actually pretty subtle. I’m one to get embarrassed when people sing Happy Birthday to me but I’m fine with this.
I heard the “experience” start when we were having appetizers and I thought: golly they’re celebrating me really early in the meal. As I was watching the presentation and getting ready to make a wish, they walked right past me to some other birthday gal. Then there was another birthday after that, and another one after that, before I got my show. Guess we weren’t the only ones thinking it was the perfect spot to celebrate.
La Refuge is adorably kitschy. I just love the decor. So many fun things to look at. Very instagrammable!
And it’s not just the dining room that’s photogenic. The food looks like it came out of a magazine. And it all tastes divine!
I started with the French Onion Soup. They actually use Swiss cheese instead of the more traditional Gruyère or Comté — which are all cheese from cows and somehow incestually related. It was really delicious. I think it’s my favorite in Old Town!
I didn’t have a particular craving other than the onion soup so I asked for a recommendation. Our waiter recommended the duck which is something I’m shy about ordering in the States. When we vacationing at our friends’ home in the Pyrenees our hostess served duck a couple times. It tasted amazing and all she said she did was season it with salt and pepper. But she told us that you’d never get duck in America like she served us from her region of France. Well. Oh My Golly. La Refuge know’s what they’re doing.
The duck was on the specials menu and served with a raspberry sauce. The meat was so tender. And can we just take a moment and be grateful for the abundance of delicious vegetables are that accompany the entree.
I loved the duck and Miles really enjoyed his filet mignon with bearnaise. Very tender and delicious also served with the abundance of glorious veggies.
Don’t know what you’re doing for your birthday? If you’re celebrating in Old Town, make a reservation at La Refuge. Go hungry. And enjoy your birthday show!
127 North Washington Street
Old Town, Alexandria, Va
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