George Washington Would Eat at the Bistro de Leon

President’s Day weekend is almost here, and we just got an awesome deal to pass on to our guests.

Bistro de Leon, one of the best restaurants in town, is offering our guests a free kir chardonnais from February 17 through the 20th. If you’re interested, just stop in the office and we’ll print a coupon for you. The coupon is only good this upcoming weekend, so celebrate the holiday the George Washington way–with a wonderful Frenchman (if you care more about food than history, I’m referring to Washington’s bud the Marquis de Lafayette).

Jean Stephan and Valerie Poinard (two of our favorite French) have brought a little bit of their country to 12 Cathedral Street in Saint Augustine (about 3 blocks from our inn, so if you have really really cute shoes you want to wear to dinner, you can probably do it without too much pain). Jean Stephan is a fifth-generation chef, and his dna shows up in every meal, from the complementary amuse buche (last time I went, it was an amazing little spoon of soup) to the French pastries that greet you from behind glass as you walk into the door.

Don’t plan on running into the Bistro for a quick bite. In fact, the menu itself extolls the virtues of slow food (it warns in a pleasantly broken English “as everything is home made “a la Minute” be aware that Chef Jean and sous chef Florian need some time at least 25 to 30 minutes to prepare and cook your entree, so order an appetizer waiting for it”). I have to agree–get an appetizer. I recommend their goat cheese salad…the smooth cheese is baked in honey and datil pepper sauce, and its combination of cool and hot and smooth and fiery is an awesome way to start the night.

For an entree, I love the Chicken Tajine, a breast of chicken slow cooked in candied lemons and Moroccan spices. It’s complex and warm…a perfectly cozy little dish.

I usually don’t have the gumption to get dessert, but as I said, the pastries will beckon you from the case (that’s them, pictured above). I’ve been known to ask for one in a to-go box.

No matter what you ultimately eat, make sure you come downstairs and get your coupon for a free drink. And then get out there and celebrate…George Washington would want you to.