Woodbridge / French / $$$$
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Well, it might not be everybody, but from the moment you are seated at Bistro L’Hermitage, your server addresses you as if he’s known you for years. In many cases, he has. He swans over to a nearby table, where he already knows what your neighbors like to drink. They are pleased at his memory, but presumably not surprised. Chances are, they’ve been dining at the restaurant since it opened in 2007.
In the fine-dining desert that is the junction of Woodbridge and Occoquan, Bistro L’Hermitage stands out because it is alone in its care and formality. But guests from cities full of fancy cuisine will still be pleased with the offerings.
There are dishes inspired by Moroccan-born owner Youssef Eagle Essakl’s heritage, like scallops with harissa, golden raisins, peppers, and capers. There are also slices of traditional French roasted duck breast, blushing like a bride. This might be your first time at Bistro L’Hermitage, but the team will do everything in its power to ensure that it’s not the last.
See this: Francophilic knickknacks mean there’s always something to look at, even if you dine outside.
Eat this: Coquilles St. Jacques (appetizer), magret de canard rôti, crêpes du jour
Service: You will leave on a first-name basis with your server. In fact, you will arrive on one.
When to dine here: You’re celebrating a family achievement worthy of emptying your pocketbook a bit.