Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

November 23, 2013 11:53 AM

Restaurant: La Ferme

La Ferme

7101 Brookville Road
Chevy Chase MD 20815
In June 2002 I did a review of La Ferme. Debbie and I went there recently with Rita and Bob, and it struck me that it might be interesting to look back on that review and see what, if anything, had changed.

On the whole, not much has changed.

In 2002 I wrote, “It feels homey when you walk in and while you are having dinner.” That has not changed.

Tables seating parties of 2, 4, 5, 6 or 8 are placed in two raised areas that extend right and left from the entry, and a main dining area which is a few steps below. There are also two, 2-person tables on a high balcony on one side of the room.

Debbie started with the Avocado and Crabmeat salad. Bob and Rita chose the Mache with apples, walnuts, Roquefort, pomegranates and balsamic vinaigrette. Bob also ordered the French onion soup gratinee with Swiss Emmenthal. I opted for an Assortment of House-smoked seafood with sesame seaweed salad and horseradish sauce.

As a main course Rita chose Herb roasted “Tournedo” of Norwegian salmon with a warm vegetable flan; frisee salad and black olive butter. No surprise, Bob picked Roast half free-range chicken “Frestiere” (sautéed fingerling potatoes and wild mushrooms).

I selected the Pan-seared Chilean sea bass (my favorite fish), served over mashed potatoes with Swiss chard and Beurre rouge. It turns out that my preference for Chilean sea bass is not new. In 2002, I had Sautéed Chilean sea bass with barley risotto, ragout of wild mushrooms, and a garlic and parsley cream sauce.

For dessert Debbie and I shared a Grand Marinie Soufflé, and Bob and Rita shared a Chocolate Soufflé.

In 2002, “The service is attentive and it appears that the service personnel have been at their craft for a long time.”

That was certainly the case on the current visit. The one service glitch was when Bob asked for his salad and French Onion soup to be delivered at the same time, it took several reminders before it was presented. Observing the scene, it appeared to me that the soup was delivered to a lower shelf of a serving station right behind our table. By the time Bob started asking for it, the server likely realized that the soup was cold and ordered a fresh bowl.

There is an interesting note at the bottom of the menu: “Minimum food and beverage for dinner: $20.00 per guest.” It is hard to imagine what one could order for dinner that would be less than that, but it must have happened.

In 2002 I wrote, “The restaurant is a little noisy, but not so as to make it unpleasant.” That remains the case today.

The piano player is still off in the corner doing his thing. As he did a dozen years ago, he played Happy Birthday at least ten times, with various numbers of the diners chiming in with the words.

In 2002, I described the men’s room, “The men’s room has one urinal, hung on a wall of large dark green marble-like squares, one commode in a tan partial- wall enclosure with a door and one wash basin in a light green marble countertop. It is perfectly serviceable and clean.”

In this area there have been some changes. The marble squares are gone, replaced by green painted walls. The urinal is still hung on a wall of large dark green squares. The green marble countertop and washbasin are gone. They have been replaced by a large white ceramic washbasin, attached to the wall and held up by two decorative white ceramic legs.

There is a large parking lot.

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