Mock Dinner Service at L’Hommage Bistro Francais

It’s standard in the F&B industry to have mock meal service prior to the opening of a new restaurant. Why? It’s a way to identify kinks before the restaurant opens to the public. Think of it as a dress rehearsal. We were invited to a mock dinner service event at a new restaurant in Washington, DC (Mt. Vernon Triangle area) called L’Hommage Bistro Francais.

I’ve been on both sides of the mock opening table. I’ve served and been served. In fact, everyone in our party had been in both situations, so we knew we were in for an easy, breezy experience no matter what. We were surrounded by friends and family of the restaurant staff, investors and F&B industry people.

Noting that the sole purpose of mock service is to work out service issues, let’s focus on all of the positives.


When you walk into the foyer of L’Hommage, you see the hostess stand straight ahead, the bar will be to the right of the hostess stand and the restaurant seating is behind. There’s also a large patio in front of the restaurant where you can sit, socialize and people watch. Inside, white table clothes adorn the tables. You feel like you are sitting in a classic French bistro.

Du Vin

We started out with wine…lots of wine. We were quite impressed with L’Hommage’s wine by-the-glass list. There were several sommeliers circulating the floor and we witnessed them aiding patrons in their wine choices. We decided to pair our meal ourselves. A few of the table favorites were the Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuisse (2013), the Trimbach Pinot Gris (2011), the Villa Botanica Chardonnay/Viognier and the Christian Lauverjat Sancerre (2014). For some reason, we weren’t in the mood for reds (maybe because it was a blazing hot summer day in the lovely swamp town that is our nation’s capital), so we stuck to whites and champagne. Veuve Cliquot was our champagne of choice for the evening.

wine room at mock service L'Hommage

Wine Room at L’Hommage

Hors d’oeuvres

We had several hors d’oeuvres: steak tartare, escargot and sweet breads. All were flavorful. The steak tartare was a little heavy on the mustard seed. The escargot was served already removed from the shells on top of a creamy potato puree. The sweet breads… amazing!  Definitely the highlight of the hors d’oeuvres. We had multiple orders! They were smoky, slightly sweet and had a tiny bite at the end—and a nice crunch!

escargot at mock service L'Hommage

Escargot | parsley, garlic butter, pommes robuchon

sweet breads at mock service L'Hommage

Sweet Breads Aigre Doux | espellete, raisins, sweet and sour sauce, crème fraîche

Plats Principaux

We all had different main dishes: fried chicken liver pappardelle, shrimp & artichoke chitarra, confit de canard and skate grenobloise.

fried chicken liver pappardelle at mock service L'Hommage

Fried Chicken Liver Pappardelle | marsala sauce


Can’t forget the desserts! Our favorites were the crème brûlée and the dark chocolate cake. A cappuccino on the side would’ve taken it to the next level!

creme brulee at mock service L'Hommage

Crème brûlée


Rosa, one of the managers at L’Hommage, checked on us frequently. The captain, a sommelier and the General Manager all touched our table. The attention to service, including our server for the evening, was en pointe. We all dutifully gave our feedback at the end of the experience and left very happy.

Overall, we would highly suggest that you visit L’Hommage Bistro Francais for their classic French cuisine offerings now that they are open for full service. And please, for the sake of your palate, TRY THE SWEET BREADS!

We’ll be recapping more mock service openings in the future, so stay tuned for more DC new restaurant reviews from ChefXChange!

You can read more about French Fare in Washington, DC here.