MVT Spotlight: Executive Chef Joshua Perkins of L’Hommage Bistro Francais. L’Hommage Bistro Francais is the newest dining concept from restaurateur Hakan Ilhan, inspired by his weekend visits to Paris while attending university in the United Kingdom.
Friday April 15, 2016
L’Hommage Bistro Francais is the newest dining concept from restaurateur Hakan Ilhan, inspired by his weekend visits to Paris while attending university in the United Kingdom. With seating for 200 inside and another 82 on the outdoor patio, L’Hommage offers a casual and approachable French dining experience. Executive Chef, Josh Laban Perkins, works with local farms and food purveyors to bring the freshest meats and produce to L’Hommage for his take on classic French dishes like steak frites and coq au vin. In addition to the main dining room and lounge area, the bistro features a bakery, offering a full coffee menu, grab-and-go snacks and dinner entrees, and made-to-order sandwiches. Breads and pastries are prepared in-house daily. L’Hommage maintains a wine list of more than 200 bottle options, six wines and more than a dozen European beers on draft, as well as local beers and cocktails. L’Hommage can host private events in their bright, cheerful rooms, including breakfast meetings and morning events. We asked L’Hommage’s Executive Chef, Joshua Laban Perkins, to talk about his “homey French” menu and why this Bistro is designed to change people’s expectations about classic French cuisine.
MVTCID: Josh, please tell us how you came to be at the helm of L’Hommage.
Josh: My experience in French bistros began in 1992 at Bistro 122 and continued throughout my career. After returning from several years of working in Michelin starred kitchens in Europe, early in 2001 I was chosen to head the kitchen at Brasserie le coze, little sister to Le Bernardin. It was a fantastic opportunity to run my own kitchen while being mentored by Eric Ripert and Maguy le Coze. I have wanted to live and work in the DC area for a long time and Hakan offered me the perfect setting to do so.
MVTCID: Since you opened, you’ve received some great reviews, with many applauding your classic but approachable menu and dishes. What does “classic” mean and what might surprise people about the dining experience here?
Josh: I have always been known for my stripped down classicism in all aspect of my life. I try to keep things simple and honest, while remaining true to its roots. We are a neighborhood restaurant and that is the original spirit of bistros. I wanted to keep the menu affordable and approachable so that it would become a gathering spot for area residents for any occasion.
MVTCID: We heard about some exciting menus and specials for the MVT community coming this spring – tell us more about what to expect.
Josh: I have added a few more modern, light summer dishes to the repertoire. Also I am focusing on my poissonnier (fish cook) experience to bring more healthy seafood choices. We are also adding a great variety of oysters to the menu and selling them half price for happy hour. I think a neighborhood patio with great oysters and beer just defines summer.
MVTCID: Tell us about your three personal favorite “must try” dishes at L’Hommage.
Josh: The Moules mariniere with the classic white wine butter sauce. The roasted chicken was the dish that got me in Esquire magazine back in ‘06 and will remain on my menu forever. The rockfish with the pot au feu broth and jasmine rice is something I eat on regular basis. It tastes like an island vacation.
MVTCID: Thank you, Josh! The restaurant is beautiful, the food mouth-watering and we can’t wait to share more with the neighborhood.