Take a Trip to France Without Ever Setting Foot in an Airport

Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek

If you don’t have the time to take an international excursion this summer, not to worry. Just head to the Sofitel in NW DC for a posh Parisian getaway. The hotel’s newly renovated suites are sophisticated and luxurious, but for the day tripper, the iCi Urban Bistro provides an authentic artistic and gastronomical French experience.

Printemps by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek)

Printemps by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek)

Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek

Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek

Sophie Caporossi of Batignolles in DC has partnered with the Sofitel to bring French artist Hervé Maury’s whimsical work to DC. Maury, a Parisian now based in Marseille, paints unique depictions of playful animals. They are characterized by unusual textures, including marble powder, sands or ochers. He typically paints on linen or recycled marine sails.

Totem à trois and Totem sur rouge by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek)

Totem à trois and Totem sur rouge by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek)

More than 20 of his pieces are currently on display at the bistro, and to complement them, the Sofitel’s Executive Chef Franck Loquet created a 3-course prix-fixe menu for lunch or dinner. For $45 per person, fin gourmets can enjoy five dishes inspired by five of Maury’s paintings.

The 30-Minute Lunch option presents the savory courses all at once, for busy DC professionals.

Chef Loquet drew his inspiration for the Fava Bean Hummus with Lavash Crisps from Maury’s painting of butterflies. The floral garnish embodies the colorful, delicate nature of the piece.

Printemps by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

Printemps by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

The white and fluffy Lemon Goat Cheese Mousse with Black Olive Tapenade pairs with “Armada Polaire,” or as it was humorously nicknamed, Polar Bear Selfie.

Armada Polaire by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

Armada Polaire by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

The two fish courses, the Mixed Seafood Salad (with Arugula and Pea Shoot Salad, Green Peppercorn, Caper Berry and Onion Relish) and the Ahi Tuna (with Fennel Mousseline, Rapini and Soy Sauce Glaze) were, of course, inspired by the two fish paintings.

Mixed Seafood Salad

Heure de pointe by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

Heure de pointe by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

Ahi Tuna

Cohue by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

Cohue by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

And last but not least, the dessert: dainty in appearance, but powerful in flavor. The Vanilla and Rose Jumbo Macaron (with Lychee and Raspberries) is a portrait of a portrait. Can you see the resemblance?

Avec expérience by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

Avec expérience by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Batignolles in DC)

The exhibit opened on May 14th and will run until June 14th. Hundreds of diners and art lovers have already visited to experience the marriage of flavors and colors, so don’t miss your chance to be whisked away to France for a day!

Paintings by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek)

Paintings by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek)

Paintings by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek)

Paintings by Hervé Maury (Photo Courtesy of Peter Stepanek)

The Sofitel iCi Urban Bistro

806 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Lunch & Dinner Monday-Friday: 11:30 am – 10 pm

Dinner Saturday: 5 pm – 10:30 pm

Dinner Sunday: 5 pm – 10 pm

(Photo of the Sofitel’s exterior courtesy of Peter Stepanek.)

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