Community and authentic French flavors come together at La Jambe (1550 Seventh St. NW).
Originally from the south of France, owner Anastasia Mori lived in Paris before relocating to the United States. She created La Jambe as an authentic French neighborhood cafe experience for Washingtonians.
“The idea behind La Jambe was to reproduce something that I was very familiar with and loved back when I lived in Paris,” Mori reminisced. “It is the neighborhood bar where you go after work, have a bottle of wine with your friends and share a board of cheese and charcuterie.”
Mori aims to keep the cafe authentic—casual and “unpretentious,” like the ones she loved in Paris. The menu centers around three things: cheese, meats and wine. About 80% of the cheese selection is French, and all of the wines are from France, while other menu items are locally sourced from the DMV region.
A second location at Union Market also offers a cheese club membership, which allows customers to pick up a monthly selection of cheeses and a small gift. The shop currently offers one-, three- and six-month memberships.
“It’s a great way to discover new cheeses,” Mori said. “We definitely do not stick to French. Even though there will be a lot of French cheeses, we try to showcase cheeses from around the world.”
Mori emphasized that the authenticity of La Jambe is not limited to the menu, but is also found in the experience. She said she chose Shaw because of its neighborhood and community feel. She has worked hard to make the cafe feel like home for her customers.
“Some people consider it as their second living room, which makes a lot of sense now. When I created this space, I never thought we would be able to attain that. Having people feeling so strongly and connected to this place is extremely rewarding.”
La Jambe is open Wednesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant features happy hour Wednesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Union Market location (1309 5th Street NE) is open daily.
Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.