This is such a pretty little restaurant, its walls painted that distinctive Ladurée green (a pale pistachio color) and hung with gold-framed mirrors and drawings, a banquette running the length of one side of the room, and white linen-covered tables placed at just enough distance from each other to encourage sweet tête-à-têtes.
Its cuisine befits the space, thoroughly French and delicious. The menu runs from truite grenobloise (sautéed trout with fennel purée and fingerling potatoes) to cassoulet, to duck à l’orange. Seductive concotions, like The Frenchman (Calvados, lemon, pastis, and champagne), may have you choosing a cocktail over a fine wine.
But if it’s wine and small bites you’re interested in, step across the patio to Chez Billy’s new Bar à Vin (wine bar), the wood-beamed and paneled room that looks as if it was lifted straight out of a country house in the south of France.
Chez Billy Sud is the southern (“Sud”) location of the original Chez Billy in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, a little bit off the beaten track for out-of-towners.
Metro: Foggy Bottom on the Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines, with a 15 to 20-minute walk. Or take the DC Circulator.