While some of the glitz of M Street has worn off - and by "glitz" I mean cobbled streets teeming with tourists - I have fallen even more in love with the townhomes and small restaurants and stores tucked away on Georgetown's less-travelled paths.
Chez Billy is one of those places. Recommended to me by a friend after an evening out in Georgetown, the patio and decor seem legitimately French without erring on kitschy. Not impressed? Visit the bathroom. If you're at all a Francophile or an admirer of French modern design, you'll fall in love with the lightly tarnished mirrors and cheerful art lining the walls. The coffee is strong and locally-sourced, re-filled lovingly by attentive waiting staff. Classics like the croque monsieur and the pain perdu shine on a menu that revels in its simplicity. I think the secret was orange zest mixed with cinnamon, but I don't think Executive Chef L'Etoile will be sharing his recipe anytime soon.
Though I've only been there for brunch, I'm eagerly waiting for an occasion special enough to deserve a dinner-date once I've returned in DC in August, especially now that the owners have opened up a wine store and bar next-door.
If your brunch favorites get a little old this summer, place Chez Billy high on your list and prepare yourself for a classically French meal.