In 1954, Francois Haeringer, was working at a restaurant, Three Musketeers on Connecticut Avenue in Washington DC. He took it over and opened the original Chez Francois.
The restaurant was housed in the Claridge Hotel. (I remember the hotel.) In 1975 the hotel was closed to make way for an office building. After finding the perfect six acres of rolling green hills in Great Falls, Virginia, Haeringer, had a new home.
The current L’Auberge Chez Francois opened in 1976 and is still owned by the same family. [A more fulsome history can be found online.]
Susan, David, Debbie, and I had lunch at this restaurant on a Sunday afternoon.
In addition to what we ordered the restaurant provided to each of us an Amuse Bouche – a small cup of Butternut Squash Soup. Also, there is provided on the table to be shared, a small basket of interesting breads.
The following are the selections that each of us chose.
Susan ordered a bowl of Gazpacho; Maine Lobster & Haricots Verts Salad, with Vanilla Vinaigrette; Organic sliced Tomato Salad with dressing; Raspberry Souffle.
Debbie ordered Chive Crepe stuffed with Duxelle of Wild Mushrooms, Tomato Concasse, Madeira Sauce; Papa’s Bouillabaisse: Medley of fresh fish & shellfish, Saffron Broth; Organic sliced Tomato Salad with dressing; chocolate Souffle.
David ordered a Half Dozen (7) raw Oysters with Mignonette Sauce; Organic Sliced Tomato Salad with dressing, Rainbow Trout Filet, Toasted Almonds, Lemon Brown Butter; Plum Tart.
I ordered Caesar Salad, Lobster Bisque, Marcho Farms Veal Scalloppini, Virginia Ham, Wild Mushrooms, Crème Sauce, Spaetzles; Chocolate Souffle.
David and I each had a glass of Red Lager Beer, a draft from Quebec, Canada.
The restaurant then delivered to be shared, an order of Chocolate Ice cream in Meringue with Raspberry Souffle. Our server had come to understand that we were celebrating David and Susan’s anniversary.
There are two gender neutral restrooms. On the floor where we dined, there is a small single user restroom. There is a larger restroom on another floor.
There are large, tan tiles covering the wall to just over waist height.
There is a square white ceramic wall hanging wash basin and a single white ceramic floor-based commode.
There is a dark wood table in one corner and a black metal floor-based container for trash.
The restaurant seats up to 200 people. If there is anything negative about the restaurant, it is that the chairs at the tables are not very comfortable even with cushions on the seats.
L’Auberge Chez Francois
332 Springvale Road
Great Falls, Virginia 22066