Walking down U Street, it’s easy to be lured by the sparkle of Marvin and the Gibson or the solid good deal of The Islander, but tucked away between 13th and 14th Streets is Bistro la Bonne. In between some clubs, nail salons, and a Mexican restaurant, Bistro la Bonne is a slice of no-nonsense French bistro in the middle of the bustle of U Street.
The happy hour prices are delicious, as is the fare. $15 gets you a glass of wine and a serving of mussels. Choose from three different varieties, Marinieres, Provencales, Poulettes, or create your own. The mussels come in a steaming pot, perfect for these brisk fall days, and are served with crispy handcut fries.
The wine included in the special is a nice, healthy pour, and allows for choices of several French wines, not just a house red or white. No champagne though, sorry, high fliers. Beer is $4 a glass, while a glass of wine alone (sans mussels) is $5.
The staff, the price, and the food are what make this a successful happy hour. I find a different tenor of service for happy hours versus normal dinner service, but such is not the case here. The waitress was very friendly and accommodating, my water glass was always full and rustic bread and butter appeared on the table before I’d even ordered. I was treated like a real customer, and not just some cheapskate only there for happy hour (though that is exactly what I was).
The inside of the restaurant had filled up with the dinner rush by the time I left, and I hope to return for a full meal. But for happy hour, for the price and location, Bistro la Bonne hit the spot.
Located at 1340 U Street, NW.