While some of the glitz of M Street has worn off – and by “glitz” I mean claustrophobic (cozy?) streets teeming with tourists on any given day – I have fallen even more in love with the townhomes and small restaurants and stores that are tucked away from the masses on Georgetown’s less-travelled paths.
Chez Billy is one of those places. Recommended to me by a friend after an evening in Georgetown, the patio and decor seem legitimately French without erring on kitschy. This is odd, but I urge you to visit the bathroom – if you’re at all a Francophile or an admirer of French modern design, you’ll fall in love with the lightly tarnished mirrors and Impressionist-ish art lining the walls. The coffee is strong and locally-sourced, re-filled attentively by a great waiting staff. Classics like the croque monsieur shine in a menu that is simple and very well-done, and I can easily say that the pain perdu is the best one I’ve ever had – I think the secret was orange zest mixed with cinnamon, but I don’t think Executive Chef L’Etoile is sharing his recipe anytime soon.
Though I’ve only been there for brunch, I’m eagerly waiting for an occasion special enough to deserve a dinner-date once I’ve returned in DC in August – especially now that the owners have opened up a wine store and bar next-door.
If your brunch favorites get a little old this summer, put Chez Billy on your list and prepare yourself for a sunny, Southern French meal that is perfectly instagrammable.