Chez Billy Sud

The name of this restaurant is silly. I don’t just say that because my FIL pronounced it as “chezz billy sudd.” Where is Chez Billy Nord? Ouest? Besides which, if your name is Billy, you could at least pretend it’s Guillaume or something for the sole purpose of your restaurant. Please pardon my French jokes. I’ll shut off le snark now.

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It’s beautiful inside. It reminds me of the dim lighting and aqua blue decor at Primrose. True to their roots, there’s plenty of wine, not much beer, and a few cocktails. My in-laws both ordered glasses of white, my husband got his beloved malbec, and I ordered the Pan American Clipper cocktail. Absinthe and calvados were speaking to me. It was lightly anise-y, fruity, and refreshing. It was a struggle to not finish it immediately.

Our chipper server brought us some delicious bread and told us about the special appetizer of the night–something about beets and yogurt. Sign me up!

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The beets were pickled and chilled, served with cool yogurt, cinnamon apples, lentils, and smoked walnuts. The nuts lent a really pleasant crunch with their smokiness and every component was good individually, although it feels a bit like someone was left making dinner with what was in their pantry.

Every menu option here looks equally delicious, but I went straight for the duck leg confit. It fell right off the bone and was insanely crispy outside with perfect spinach and a slice of potato rosti that isn’t really my thing. The meat was moist and delicious.

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My husband had the pork shank, which was enormous (photo below is basically actual size). It also featured really bang-up meat, although the sides of spaetzle and cabbage fell flat for him. Good concept, poor implementation.

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My FIL got sea bass. I enjoyed the crispiness of the bite I tried, along with the roasted vegetables, but I’m a total sucker for fennel in any form. He wasn’t a huge fan, although he admitted that he couldn’t taste anything due to a cold.

Finally, we come to my MIL’s carb bomb: the gnocchi à la parisienne. And I have to admit (as much as I hate to)…this was really fucking good. Aside from being a carb bomb, it was also a garlic-truffle bomb. It was so smooth and savory and balanced by crunch from caramelized cauliflower and hazelnuts. Every time I took a bite of this, “I Hate How Much I Love You” played in my head.

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Shoutout to the old lady in the 1920’s cloche hat who kept shooting nasty looks at the couple with the crying baby. That lady is definitely a retired teacher because her death stare was on fleek. Don’t bring your damn baby here.

Price: $45 per person.

Bottom line: Good but not great, and certainly not worth either the Georgetown prices or the Georgetown traffic. Hit up some fabulous French places at the aforementioned Primrose (Brookland) or the perennial favorite, Le Grenier (H Street) instead.

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