Petite Cerise is the new “little cherry” atop Washington, D.C.’s dining sundae.
The Michelin-starred chef Jeremiah Langhorne (the Dabney) debuted his new French-inspired restaurant on Tuesday, giving the nation’s capital an all-day spot where diners can enjoy classic French pastries in the morning and braised meats in the evening.
Langhorne and his partner Alex Zink were inspired by their own travels to France, and they’re hoping to bring some of that country’s joie de vivre to the States. That starts with the space, a bright, dual-level restaurant where you’ll want to waste away your days, just like Parisians do in their ubiquitous cafés. (Once the weather warms up, the party can move outside, too.)
The food, meanwhile, is largely ingredient-driven and highlights the best of the season. As we head into spring, that means eggs en cocotte with escargot, green garlic, and morels or a soft scramble with dandelion jam and chanterelles. If you find yourself with a morning sweet tooth, pastries range from croissants to crullers to kouign amann, and there are sweet crepes and candied brioche to boot.
Midday, Langhorne is preparing snacks and small plates like Salade à la Petite Cerise—with endive, bacon, a poached egg, and brioche croutons—and buckwheat crepes with salami, honey, goat cheese, and lemon zest. Those with a larger afternoon appetite can choose from bigger dishes such as crawfish gratin with frites and black bass served alongside young lettuces, spring peas, tarragon, confit lemon, and beurre blanc.
In the evening, start your meal off with a cocktail or a glass of wine from the restaurant’s all-French list. The table can share small bites like a grilled artichoke or lobster and celeriac remoulade before digging into larger starters such as Coquilles St. Jacques (scallops with white asparagus and sauce barigoule) and beef crudo. Mains strew from the traditional steak frites and coq au vin—instead, you’ll be presented with Poisson à la John Haywood (potato-crusted snapper, fennel, bacon, lemon, pearl onion) and braised lamb with spring vegetables and black garlic.
Whenever you decide to stop by, take Petite Cerise’s advice to slow down and really savor your meal. You’re here to get a little taste of the French way of living, after all.
Click here to see all the photos of Petite Cerise.