With French Laundry it’s more than just a meal, it’s the whole experience. Beautiful atmosphere in the middle of the wine country, superb service, and of course great food. You could argue that this restaurant or that restaurant has a better beef course or appetizer, but few have the exquisite combination of everything.
Why did we dine here? – Balthazar is a classic French bistro in New York’s SOHO district. It has been packing them in for over 20 years. We have eaten here for breakfast in the past and decided to try their weekend brunch on our latest trip to the big Apple.
Why did we dine here? – République is similar to Tartine in San Francisco, but they kick it up a notch. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We went for breakfast. There was a short line on a Saturday at 9am, but by 10am, the line was way out the door. Beautiful restaurant full of beautiful people.
Le Diplomate is a popular French Brassiere in Washington DC’s posh Logan Circle neighborhood. You need to reserve well in advance, otherwise come early for a seat in the bar or patio. This restaurant has a high 4.5 stars on Yelp. They serve brunch, lunch, and dinner.
One of our favorite San Francisco restaurants.. Chapeau! is a French Bistro located in the San Francisco Richmond district in the middle of the Clement Street shopping district. At one time, they had two locations, but later wisely consolidated into this one location. Chapeau! SF opened in 1996 and means hat or wow in French.
Mon Ami Gabi is a classic French bistro style restaurant located at street level in the Paris casino at Las Vegas. How quaint that there is a French restaurant in a ‘French’ Casino? They specialize in Classic French Bistro Fare including crepes and quiches. “Mon Ami” means “My Friend” in French and “Gabi” is for renown Chef and Owner Gabino Sotelino. We dined at lunch time. This restaurant is rated 4 stars on Yelp.
Why did we dine here? – Eating Cheaply at NYC’s #1 Restaurant. We did the same at Eleven Madison Park. Le Bernardin is a famous 3 Michelin star restaurant in New York City. Ranked #17 in 2017 on the Top 50 in the world list. It has been on the top of our must visit list for a while. Star chef Eric Ripert has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show several times. He seems to really know how to cook.
Classic French done right. Bouchon is a French bistro that is part of the Thomas Keller French Laundry empire. They have locations in Yountville and Las Vegas, we have been to both and finally had a chance to return to the Napa Valley location after 8 years.
Why did we dine here? – Quaint French Bistro with very good food. Chez Mama is a French Bistro with 2 locations in San Francisco, Potrero Hill and Hayes Valley. We have dined at both restaurants. The downside of this restaurant is the wait. They do not take reservations, so put your name down and chill.
Why did we dine here? – Volta is a new brasserie restaurant from the Perbacco / Barbacco team Chef Staffan Terje and Umberto Gibin. It is located in the space that once housed Wichcraft, next door to Bloomingdale’s in the Westfield San Francisco shopping center. We feel Perbacco is one of the best Italian restaurants in San Francisco and could not wait to try his latest endeavor.
Why did we dine here? – Monsieur Benjamin is the long awaited French restaurant from Corey Lee of Michelin Starred Benu. There has been a vacuum of French restaurants in the last several years, and hopefully this new establishment will fulfill the need for fine French food. Across the street is one of the long standing fine French restaurants, Absinthe.
Why did we dine here? – Petit Crenn is the new restaurant from Chef / Owner: Dominique Crenn of Michelin starred Atelier Crenn.
“Petit Crenn is a neighborhood restaurant inspired by Chef Dominique Crenn’s mother, grandmother and her home in Brittany, France.”
They serve a five-course menu is $79 per person (including service but not including tax and wine), but also have an a la carte menu at the bar.
5-Course Dinner is served twice nightly at 6:00pm and 8:30pm.
Bouchon is a French bistro that is part of the Thomas Keller French Laundry empire. A more affordable way to taste his high quality food. This location is in Las Vegas Strip’s Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, Venezia Tower 10th floor, so it is far from the casino. They have locations in Yountville and Beverly Hills. We came for a quick brunch bite. See our Bouchon Yountville for a longer review. Our last visit was in 2015 for dinner. The receipt had a 25% off at their bakery coupon.
Why did we dine here? – Little Bird is the sister restaurant to Portland’s most popular Le Pigeon. It is cheaper and a little less formal. We felt like something more casual and decided to eat here instead. Our bencmark for French Bistro’s is Chapeau! and Absinthe in San Francisco, so we had some high bars in mind. (We’re not going to get into the real Bistro’s we have been into in France).
Why did we dine here? – Beast was recommended by a friend. Naomi Pomeroy has been charming Portlandians for a while. There are two communal tables were everyone is served at a 6pm or 8:45pm seating Wednesday through Saturday. Sunday has a 7pm seating. $75 Six-course prix-fixe dinner. Brunch is served on Sunday at 10am and 12pm. There is only one menu for the week and no substitutions are allowed. If you have allergies to certain items, they will remove them from the plate. True Portlandia omakase. We can’t think of one restaurant in San Francisco that does the same thing. Beast is highly rated at 4.5 stars on Yelp.
Why did we dine here? – La Toque (it means Chef’s Hat in French) is a French restaurant in Napa’s Westin Verasa Hotel. It has One Michelin Star, so we have always been wanting to come here. We finally got a chance in the middle of 2013. There are just so many good restaurants in the Napa Valley. The chef is Ken Frank, who focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. The restaurant got its start in Los Angeles and moved up here several years ago.
Why did we dine here? – Keiko is a one Michelin Star restaurant at the ground floor of a posh apartment building a top San Francisco’s Nob Hill. The chef, Keiko Takahashi, previously cooked at places such as El Paseo before Tyler Florence took it over. This 28 seat clubby restaurant makes you feel like you’ve entered a private room, one that feels like you are in New York City. Unlike most other high end restaurants in the City, Keiko lays almost under the radar.
Left Bank is a Brasserie style French restaurant. They have 3 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and got started in 1994. They serve seafood from the CleanFish Alliance of sustainable seafood products. Our last visit in September 2012, was to the Santana Row location in San Jose.
Atelier Crenn is a one Michelin star French restaurant from Dominique Crenn (Formerly of Luce) located in San Francisco’s Marina District. (Atelier means workshop in French.) As she puts it, “An expression of taste, scent, and vision.” Seasonal and sustainable cuisine. We have been debating whether to dine here for a while. Our worries were whether this place was more style or substance. Some of the pictures of the dishes here looked too beautiful to eat!
Joël Robuchon is a Haute Cuisine French Restaurant located in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was opened in 2006 and is the US outlet for most Michelin Starred Restaurateur in the word, Joël Robuchon. This Las Vegas location received 3 Michelin Stars in 2008 and 2009. A separate review is available for the lower cost restaurant next door, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
Why did we dine here? – Bistro Jeanty was one of the last major restaurants in Yountville that we have not reviewed. Has any foodie knows, this town is an eaters paradise. As good a reason as any to give it a try! They lost their Michelin star a couple years back, so we did not have high expectations. Would this place make up for not going to Redd?
Fleur de lys is a long-standing French restaurant from Hubert Keller, who also owns Burger Bar and is featured on a PBS television show. They received one Michelin star in 2011. The last time we were here, perhaps 8 years ago, we were very impressed, so we had high expectations.
Why did we dine here? – Located almost under the Central Freeway, Chez Spencer was on Check Please, long-ago, and looked fairly promising. Being French food fans, we have no choice but to give it a whirl.
Baumé is a French Cuisine Moderne restaurant that uses a lot of molecular gastronomy techniques. The restaurant is named after the pioneering French chemist Antoine Baume. They recently received one Michelin star for 2011. Bruno Chemel was well respected at his last restaurant and also earned a Michelin star there.
La Folie (the madness in French) is a long-running classic French Restaurant located in San Francisco’s Russian Hill. It opened in 1988 and earned one Michelin Star. Chef owner Roland Passot and wife, run La Folie, while Jesse Klaskey is the Executive Sous Chef. Mr. Passot can be found cooking in the kitchen and later out greeting patrons with a glass of wine in hand.
étoile Restaurant is the restaurant located at the Domain Chandon Winery in foodie capital Yountville, just to the left of Highway 29. (Etoile is French for “star”) They received one Michelin star in 2010 and serve French food that is the focus with “daily collaboration between the culinary team and Domaine Chandon’s winemakers, resulting in innovative, wine-inspired cuisine.” Chef Perry Hoffman was named a 2010 Rising Star Chef in the San Francisco Chronicle. We haven’t been to Domain Chandon in a long time and decided to give them a try as recent reviews have been positive.
Cafe des Amis (Amis means Friends in French) is a 3 week old classic French Brasserie on Union Street in middle of the Marina – Cow Hollow area, located were Restaurant Prego used to be. It is run by the Bacchus Management Group who also runs Spruce, Mayfield Bakery, and Village Pub. Former Florio chef Ed Carew is executive chef.
Auberge du Soleil (Inn of the Sun) is a posh resort in the Napa Valley with a Michelin starred restaurant that opened in 1981. Executive Chef Robert Curry, formerly of Domain Chandon and Greystone, serves up Wine country cuisine.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is a ‘less’ formal restaurant from “Chef of the Century” Joël Robuchon. He has more Michelin stars than any other chef in the world. This restaurant is located on the Las Vegas Strip in the MGM Grand, right next door to the more formal Joël Robuchon at the Mansion restaurant. This restaurant received One Michelin star. Elegant French food is created right in front of you and served on the counter or on one of the surrounding tables. Our meal at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon was right before a show, so we tried their new low cost pre show menu.
Le Cinq is a famous two Michelin star restaurant in the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris, right near the Champs-Élysées. The restaurant had earned 3 Michelin stars in the past. Eric Briffard, formerly of Paris’ Les Elysées has been head chef since 2008. He is known for dishes with a precision of flavors. They serve classic French Haute cuisine using classic French culinary techniques. Le Cinq embraces newer, lighter cooking styles, and always incorporates the freshest regional ingredients. Le Cinq serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has been open since 1999. A la Carte as well as two prix fixe menus (160, 230€) are available at dinner. We choose the cheaper Decouverte Gourmande Summer Menu de l’ete. (160€)
L’Ardoise is a charming French Bistro located on a quiet street in the 1st Arrondissement, a block from the Jardin des Tuileries, and not far from the Louvre. They have a very affordable 34€ three course meal as well as an a la carte menu. We ordered two of these meals, plus and extra entree. If you need an early dinner, this is one of the few that start dinner at 6:30pm. L’Ardoise is mentioned in many tour books.
L’Arpege is a famous three Michelin star restaurant in Paris run by star Chef Alain Passard. This famous spot opened in 1986. They serve classic French Haute cuisine focusing on seafood, poultry, and vegetables. Their three organic farms outside Paris grow their produce. Vegetables are bullet trained to the restaurant several TIMES a day, to maximize freshness. Alain became bored with meat and removed it from the menu several years ago, but later adjusted to include seafood and poultry. We came for lunch Menu L’Ete des Jardins (The Summer Garden) (120€) available July-September 2009, to lessen the damage to the pocket book. It looked like everyone else ordered it too. They had actually lowered its price by 15€!
Since 1935, La Poule au Pot has specialized in chicken hot pot. They have an extremely good value 35€ three course fixed price menu. We ordered two of then plus an extra entree. This restaurant is located in the Les Halles area (Lots of shops and restaurants), and stays open very late.
La Fontaine de Mars is the known as the famous bistro in the 7th Arrondissement where President Obama went. There is a fountain right outside the restaurant that helped name this place. It is not far from the Eiffel Tower, making this a good place for a meal before/after a visit. They have serve South western French Cuisine including foie gras, duck, and cassoulet since 1908.
Josephine Chez Dumonet is a popular old school Bistro in the 6th Arrondissement, St. Germain, not far from the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was open in 1898 and is run by 3rd generation Jean-Christian Dumonet. We came to this restaurant to feel what Paris felt like in the old days. They serve half portions so you can sample lots of cuisine. They are known for excellent boeuf bourguignon, steak tartare, and roasted saddle of lamb.
Restaurant Guy Savoy (Pronounced G Savoy) is a three Michelin star restaurant in Paris named after the chef owner, who often greets visitors. The Arc de Triomphe is just a couple blocks from here. It was opened back in 1980 and earned 3 stars for the first time in 2002. Guy Savoy has a location in Caesar’s Las Vegas as well as less formal restaurants in Paris. His motto, “Cuisine is the art of instantaneously turning produce suffused with history into happiness.” We had eaten at Guy Savoy Las Vegas and were hesitant to eat here, but one step in the door, eased our fears.
Le Comptoir du Relais Saint Germain is a quaint Left Bank brasserie in the 6th that serves up classic French fare. It is connected to a 4 star hotel, The Relais Saint Germain and a couple blocks from the Jardin du Luxembourg. The owner, Yves Camdeborde, used to work at the famous Crillon restaurant. Lunch is bistro menu based, while dinner follows a more formal daily changing multi course prix fix menu. We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table during lunch. Dinner reservations must be made well in advance. This place is in many tourist guides like the Fodor’s and was on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.
Pain de Sucre (Sugarloaf in English) is a Foodie must visit patisserie in Paris’s dynamic 3rd Arrondissement known as The Marais. This shop is located a couple blocks from the Museum Pompidou. We visited many food shops in Paris and this one still stands out. The owners used to work for 3 Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire, but left to open this store in 2004.
La Fourchette is a Provencal cuisine bistro located in Avignon about a block from the main street with the Palace du Papes. They specialize in Vaucluse caillettes, Les pieds et paquets, or a great Avignon daube. Their three course prix fix dinner costs a reasonable 30.50€.