Laperaux Bistro opened for dinner Tuesday in Germantown with the aim of being a neighborhood spot for locals with a classic French flair.
Gregory Webb, chef and owner of the restaurant, said every chef always has an idea in their back pocket of what their restaurant would be like. Laperaux Bistro, The Journeymanchef’s French Bistro, is was he envisioned.
Webb’s extensive career has taken him through many kitchens including Marriott Marquis in New York’s Time Square, W Hotel in Mexico City, Radisson Martinique on Broadway, Café Deluxe in Washington, D.C. and Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar in Gaithersburg. Webb said this is the first restaurant that he has really owned and developed on his own.
Webb, 60, said after conducting market research, there was nothing like Laperaux Bistro in the area and he wanted to fill the gap.
“What I’m trying to do is a very high level of cuisine in a very relaxed atmosphere,” he said. “I want people to recognize the value. I want them to feel comfortable. I want there to be laughter in the dining room. I want families to be available, I want date nights to be there. I want it to be affordable so we can look for frequency in dining. I want to see regulars.”
Although a Texas native and well versed in Mexican cuisine, Webb said the love of French cuisine and cooking has always followed him throughout his culinary career.
Webb said he got his start learning French cuisine when he was 15 working at a restaurant in Connecticut. He later went on to work in New Orleans, where there’s a great deal of French influence, and in Houston where he said he added French technique and execution to interior and coastline Mexican cuisine.
“French cuisine and my love for French [cuisine] has always been there,” he said.
The menu includes staple French items including escargot (which Webb said was the first ticket to the kitchen when Laperaux opened), onion soup, lobster bisque, lobster Americaine and Coquilles St. Jacques, all of which Webb said were popular items on the restaurant’s opening night.
The full menu can be seen on the restaurant’s website, which is also where diners can make reservations.
The bistro, located at 18056 Mateny Road, is currently only open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday through the end of February. The restaurant is closed Monday and Sunday, but Webb said he intends to open on Sundays next month for brunch.
The bistro’s classic French flair doesn’t start at the menu, but at the entrance of the eatery. Diners are greeted with the restaurant’s name accompanied by its logo featuring a messy-haired rabbit. “The Laperaux is the word used to describe – in Le Guide Culinaire by Georges Auguste Escoffier that was published in 1903, the most famous and important French cookbook of all time. Laperaux is his old French language usage for young wild rabbit,” said Webb, who now lives in Lakelands. “I started this business concept and it’s been in my head for 30 years at that time, I was a jump around chef, doing all kinds of things, learning and so forth and I associated myself very well with Laperaux.”