“France,” says Christophe Poteaux, “is deeply rooted in the culture of food. The art of eating and sitting at a table and enjoying a meal is really high for us. And because of the geographic position of France in Europe — the different type of climates, exposure on three different sea bodies — you get a lot of different types of food.”
One of the country’s most famous regions, Bordeaux, lies to the southwest and is the showpiece of this year’s Bastille Day prix fixe special at Bastille, the decade-old Alexandria restaurant Poteaux owns and operates with his wife, Michelle, a locally-celebrated pastry chef. The region is renowned for its wine, but one of its mainstay ingredients is duck, and for the occasion, Poteaux, who has called America home for twenty years, has concocted a succulent roasted duck with fresh peaches.
The prix fixe menu, offered through Sunday, July 17, offers diners a choice: three courses for $39, four for $49, or five for $59. Dishes include everything from foie gras to eggplant tarts to sea bass paired with papaya (“to make it a little different”) to a classic ribeye bordelaise.
“I’m very proud of everything I have on the menu,” says the 48-year-old chef. “It takes its root in the classic French, but we also do things that are a little less considered classic. We take a little freedom, sometimes.”
Bastille, at 606 N. Fayette St. in Alexandria, Va., two blocks from the Braddock Metro, is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 703-519-3776 or visit bastillerestaurant.com.
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