Tom Sietsema’s 6 favorite places to eat right now

Some people’s idea of romance is eating with their hands. Others gravitate to rooms with views, or dishes with a French je ne sais quoi. Fans of the last are especially

lucky. French restaurants are making headlines with Prince Harry-like frequency around Washington. With an eye on Valentine’s Day, I found restaurants to check those

boxes, plus a few spots that are worth knowing about even if it’s the family — or just you — going out to dinner. Le Clou Nicholas Stefanelli is best known in

Washington for his Italian cooking. Think Masseria, Officina and the late Bibiana. But the top chef likes to remind people he graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine in 2001,

burgundies are his passion, and one of his favorite resources is the French culinary bible, Le Répertoire de La Cuisine. Three years ago, when the owners of the Morrow Hotel

approached him for an idea for their forthcoming property, Stefanelli didn’t hesitate to state his cuisine preference. Le Clou, rolled out in NoMa in December, is the

result, and I only wish I lived closer. Set off the hotel lobby, the airy dining room is both comfortable and chic; baby-blue chairs and brown leather banquettes front the swirled

marble tables. For its part, the menu is one of those that calls to both mainstream and adventurous palates. No problem if one of you wants steak frites and the other hankers for

cuisses de grenouilles (you know, frog legs).