Tuesday, June 24, 2008

au contraire.bon appetit.c'est magnifique.excusez-moi..... O those French

I know there's a divergence of opinion on the French, but I happen to be a firm believer in their awesomeness. France gave the world fashion! romance! art! Where would we be without them? Well I know where I'd be. I'd be in my own personal hell, a world in which the bubbly, deliciousness of champagne had never been invented. Damn the Freedom Fries! A world without the French and their champagne is not a world I can live in. Good thing Napoleon, the sister restaurant of Cafe Bonaparte, is around! They are entirely willing to make sure I never have to face a France-less day in my life.*

*Aka they are there to serve me tons of champagne.

Now I know I always say that Erin and I were dyyyyying to check out every restaurant I ever write about, but really we were dyyyyying to go to Napoleon! Their website was so chic! (How très French of them.) It seduced me into loving everything about it before I ever walked in the front door. Once I did finally get around to walking in the door, I realized Napoleon is not quite as glamorous as the website makes it seem, but it is still thoroughly enjoyable.

The seating inside tries to be decadent (and succeeds to a certain degree) while the seating on the patio retains that quintessential
street cafè feel. So before I ordered anything, I was excited by the 2 classic French vibes going on. Then you get around to ordering your drink. This is when
Napoleon sold me. They have a great list of champagne cocktails, and because that is their specialty, lots of the cocktails are more creative than what you would find elsewhere. They even have a cocktail that mixes champagne and Campari! (Eeee! Campari's my other favorite summer drink! It's like they read my mind and made the drink just for me!)

After recovering from the shock of discovering what has now become my most favoritest drink in the whole wide world, I was ready to take a look at the menu. There was a lot that looked good, but both Erin and I had to go with the crêpes (seeing as that is what Cafè Bonaparte is known for). They were not at all disappointing. In fact, my crêpe made me regret getting the mussels for an appetizer. The mussels were good and all, but they were just no match for the crêpes. In future trip to Napoleon, I will not waste precious tummy space with anything but the French pastry goodness.

When it came time for dessert, there was no resistance on our part. We both splurged that night and ordered coffee (or hot chocolate in Erin's case) and a sweet to finish of the meal in true Parisian style. Erin went for the crème brûlée trio while I tried the lemony crêpe. In case you were worried, fear not! The sweet crepes lived up the the expectations built from the savory crepes! However, if I had to choose between Erin's dessert and mine, I'd have taken hers in a heart beat. She wasn't 100% crazy about it because of the espresso flavored crème brûlée, but I thought the whole thing was pure heaven!

The bill came (eventually... our waitress was certainly giving us authentic European service... the kind where they often ignore you during various crucial points in the meal), and was fairly painless. For 3 drinks, 2 apps, 2 entrees, 2 coffees, and 2 desserts, the total came to around $90. Not too bad at all. If you looking for an even bigger financial incentive to try out Napoleon, Erin and I also discovered on a later trip that they have a happy hour in which all champagne cocktails are $5! This place is quite the little Adams Morgan jewel.

If you're trying to escape the typical drunk zombies that roam the AdMo strip or if you are looking for a date spot that won't break the bank (or, in my case, max out the credit card), Napoleon is a great option for the summer. The food is great, the drinks are great, the prices are great, the service is kind of meh... but the bartenders are super cute! So that makes up for it, oui?

Afterward: I hope some French kid reads this and totally appreciates how I tried to use all the correct vowels with their funny squiggle marks!

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