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WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) --Do you love French food? Or is it the ambiance that draws you in?

The experience of dining at a French restaurant can be just as good as the food -- the multiple courses; the relaxed, go-at-your-own-pace, slowness of enjoying a meal bite for bite; the ambiance that's so uniquely Francais, whether the restaurant mimics a French country inn or a Paris bistro.

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There are several restaurants in the district that offer both a delicious menu AND the ambiance of dining in France. The newest French restaurant on the DC dining scene is le Diplomate. Sit under the red awning long enough and you'll imagine you're dining al fresco at a Parisian cafe.

Or escape to the French countryside, er Georgetown, and dine at La Chaumiere. Stepping inside, you'll feel transported to a French country inn with a menu to match. Enjoy dishes such as veal piccata and tripe and delight in desserts like their flourless chocolate cake.

If you prefer dining at a French bistro, there are several to choose from in DC. Grab a table at Capitol Hill bistros Bistro Bis or Montmarte. Enjoy the contemporary atmosphere and menus at Ici Urban Bistro or sip a great French wine at Bistrot Lepic, a family-run bistro and wine bar in Georgetown.

No matter which French restaurant you choose, you'll satisfy your craving in Washington, DC.