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all photos: Jeff Martin

Just over two years a go, the original Chez Billy opened its doors on Georgia Ave. Now, as of yesterday, there is another version of it open in (maybe the least likely? maybe the most likely?) other location for a new Hilton Brothers restaurant: Georgetown.

Chez Billy Sud, located on 1039 31st Street NW (just below the canal) has, we’re happy to inform, a whole separate-but-equal bistro identity to its origin location, and upon our first visit, well, it seems pretty perfect to us.

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The vibe is light, bright and reminiscent of your best French trip you (maybe never even) took. Chef Brandon L’Etoile’s menu focuses heavily on the flavors of Southern France (hence the Sud in the name, it all going perfectly with that airy vacation feel of the place) and keeps things refreshingly no non-sense: no small plates, no gimmicks, just meals you want to eat. While bistro stand-bys like steak frites are bound to be popular, the Chez Billy Sud also serves up great seafood options beyond the classic mussle plates; look for  sea scallops on top of braised leeks and pan roasted trout with fennel puree.

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The desserts are decadent, the cocktail menu French serious (grab a Negroni Blanco before the weather turns for too cold) and the wine list priced in a way that encourages you to linger for that second glass (or bottle).

Add to that a lovely, tucked away courtyard, and the verdict is clear: eat and drink it it now and look for it in the 2015 edition of our SEAL THE DEAL date guide. For sure.

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