The French Embassy hosts a variety of activities in its event space, La Maison Française, in Georgetown. It’s best known for regular, free screenings of French films; other programming includes concerts, wine tastings and, last summer, packed World Cup viewing parties that ended in a champagne-drenched celebration.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the embassy, though, is Le Café Descartes, a cafeteria and restaurant open to anyone who fills out a form on its website. The kitchen is run by Mark Courseille, a native of Bordeaux who served as pastry chef at Citronelle and Et Voila! The most popular order, says general manager Max Jacquet, is the three-course, $30 menu du jour, which might include butternut squash soup and sauteed sea scallops. And although fine dining is a draw, don’t overlook the cafeteria, where daily specials, such as duck confit or a haddock filet in sancerre sauce, cost $10. Both are open for lunch daily; the bar hosts Friday happy hours from May through September. 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW.