Christmas Dinner, Bûche, and Presents: How to Organize your French Christmas in Washington, D.C.

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Washington D.C.’s French are preparing for some very unusual Christmas celebrations. A good way to support your compatriots is by organizing a French Christmas with help from the many French businesses in the capital.

Order your Christmas dinner from a restaurant

In the Shaw neighborhood, at Convivial, chef Cédric Maupillier is offering a $65 menu to help you dive into your Christmas celebrations. With an appetizer, a hot entree, and a dessert, homesick French people can rediscover a traditional meal this year with French onion soup or endive Roquefort salad, coq au vin or grilled Provençal sea bream, and finally a bûche, Paris-Brest, or chocolate mousse (the chef’s specialty). 801 O St NW, Washington. Order online at their website.

In the Palisades neighborhood, chef Claudio Pirollo of the restaurant Et Voilà has prepared a beautiful 3-course menu for 1 person ($69), 2 people ($139), or 4 people ($259). The menu is composed of a few options: an appetizer of foie gras or langoustine salad, a capon or prime rib, and a beautiful collection of desserts, all accompanied by a bottle of champagne and a baguette. 5120 MacArthur Blvd, Washington. Pre-orders can be made on their website.

At Great Falls in Virginia, L’Auberge Chez François offers an at-home gastronomic experience with a menu for 6 people at $495, available to order online. The order includes a bottle of Charles de Fère Brut, lobster bisque, the “Chateaubriand de L’Auberge” for 6, truffle sauce (a mix of wild mushrooms, green beans, roasted potatoes, and seasonal vegetables), Alsatian bibeleskaes, and a bûche de Noël! 332 Springvale Rd, Great Falls.

Also in Virginia, the restaurant La Bastille will from now on offer its Christmas menus for order online. For $69 per person, with wine pairings for an additional $35, Christophe and Michelle Poteaux offer three courses where one can find traditional salmon or foie gras for the appetizer, turkey with chestnuts or beef filet for the main course, and a trio of cheeses or bûche de Noël for dessert. Something to please the whole family! 606 N Fayette St, Alexandria.

As for the chef of Unconventional Diner, David Deshaies, he will soon offer a menu online for order. So will restaurants La Piquette and Bistrot Lepic.

Order your bûche from a bakery

Before the end of the year, French bakeries will attract gourmands from all over to order their bûche de Noël, the highlight of the meal! At Fresh Baguette, one costs between $17 and $40. On their menu, the bûche Elegance (chocolate, with a chocolate center, and chocolate mousse), the Speculoos and cream cheese (cookie butter, carrot cake, and cream cheese), the Mascarpone Berry (with red fruit preserves), and finally the Chocolate Crunch (chocolate ganache, chocolate cookie). Fresh Baguette has 3 stores located in Bethesda (4919 Bethesda Avenue), Georgetown (1737 Wisconsin Ave), and Rockville (804 Hungerford Dr). Ordering online is easy with the Fresh Baguette app, or their website.

At Dupont Circle, Un Je Ne Sais Quoi has also prepared a beautiful collection of Christmas delicacies. Between $35 and $77 depending on the size, there are three bûches (Merveilleux, Mont Blanc, and Lemon Cracker) you can order by email at [email protected] before December 22. 1361 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington.

Pâtisserie Poupon in Georgetown has created four flavors of de bûche de Noël available from December 8 through 31: Grand Marnier, Forêt Noire, chocolate, and hazelnut, for between $45 and $95 according to size (for 6, 10, or 20 people). The bakery also has other sweets available, like their macaron Christmas tree! 1645 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington. Order on their website.

At Tout de Sweet in Bethesda, Jérôme Colin offers a selection of traditional bûches, as well as original creations for end of the year celebrations. On the traditional side, you will find chocolate or vanilla bûches for $49 or $61 depending on size, and a coffee-vanilla for $51 or $63. For culinary explorers, the bakery offers two more “sophisticated” bûches, their “Caribbean” bûche, praline mixed with dark chocolate mousse, and a “Mix Berry” bûche, with red fruits, for $54 or $66. 7831 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda. Order for delivery or pickup on their site or your preferred delivery app. Livraison ou à emporter à commander sur leur site et les applications.

Ladurée has concocted a gourmet collection of sugary creations like their “La Marquise” bûche, with a hazelnut base and chocolate mousse ($8.50 for a single serving, $68 for 6 to 8 people). For lovers of pistachios and macarons, the “La Favorite” bûche is also available for purchase. 3060 M St NW, Washington et à Union Station. Order on their website.

Gift and decoration ideas

For your Christmas gift needs in Washington D.C., several French businesses have some beautiful surprises for you! The studio Floraison offers flower subscriptions so you can always have a fresh bouquet of flowers at home. Elodie’s Naturals, created by a Frenchwoman who offers natural cosmetics courses, has created gift sets for every type of skin on her site.

The French importer based in Bethesda, Apricot & Honey, has expanded its offerings for the peculiarities of this year. With two gourmet baskets (one at $78 and the other at $122), amateur cooks can treat themselves. For more information, email [email protected].

For French books, don’t forget the ultimate reference in the capital, Bonjour DC Books in Kensington, which offers the most recent popular releases from France, as well as an enormous selection of works for children and adolescents, something for the whole family!

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