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Apr 1, 2007 10:56 AM

Romantic dinner with French BF

Hi, I'm trying to figure out a new place to take my French boyfriend for a nice romantic dinner tomorrow night... I'm looking for a restaurant with a great French wine selection. We've been to The Little Door, which he liked a lot; I love the ambiance and want something similarly cozy.

Right now I'm thinking about AOC or Lucques (I've been to neither). I've been reading the reviews here on Chowhound and they both sound like terrific food and wine, if a little pricey for what you get. (I'm comfortable with spending around $150 for the two of us, though, so I know what I'm in for.) The BF is from southern France, tho, so the Mediterranean influences at AOC might be just th thing for him.

Any suggestions about one over the other? Or anyplace else we might want to try? (I was toying with Jar but I don't know their wine selection, and it feels more like a place to take a group of friends or a celebration dinner than a romantic meal.)

thank you,

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  1. I like AOC, but don't think I'd categorize it as a romantic restaurant. And though they have French wine choices, I'm not sure they really specialize in French wines. Lucques is charming and seems to fit your description a bit more. But if you're really looking for a romantic spot--why not try the Bel Air Hotel?
    Incredible location, good food, extensive wine list.

    3 Replies
    1. re: perk

      probably, though, the hotel bel-air will be well over $150 for two.

      1. re: perk

        Just in case you're not a local... there are two Bel-Air hotels, and the one you want is called Hotel Bel-Air on Stone Canyon Road. Absolutely gorgeous. On the formal side, though, not very 'isn't this a great little unknown hotspot'.

        1. re: Cinnamon

          Didn't even know about it-- looks charming. Thanks for the recc.

      2. Not been to Lucques, but AOC gets my vote. While not being overtly romantic, it's still a sweet spot. We went with two couples, love the ambience, had plenty of cheese, food, and two bottles of excellent wine for $320 with tip.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bbirch

          I vote for Figaro Bistrot on Vermont Ave. Others may disagree, but I love the place, and the waiter I have had each time (Giles?) is French, not an actor, and wonderfuly knowledgeable about wine. The ambiance is very French and beautiful: dark wood, silver, scrolly things, mirrors, small...The bartender (Zoe) is not French, but is delightful. The food (I had the special both times--chicken dijon) was exquisite. The veggies and potatoes that came with it were perfect. And for two, with wine and desserts and after dinner drinks: about $120.

          1. re: ecaitlin

            I think it's going to be AOC tonight, partly because it's walking distance... but I'm loving all these other ideas, too! Figaro sounds lovely and v. French, which I know he'll like. Thanks for the idea.

            1. re: ecaitlin

              I, too, love Figaro. They have the best mussels I have ever had. It's not exactly cheap, but the food is fantastic and you can just sit there forever and have a lovely, leisurely meal.

          2. I haven't been in awhile, but I like Le Petite Bistro on La Cienega. The food and the wines are French and delicious.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bite Me

              Ah! We went there and had a funny moment-- when we asked the waiter about the souffle, he waved his hand and said "blah blah blah." (I mean, that's exactly what he said.) We interpreted that as "what is there to say?" and ordered it; unfortunately it was spongy and not very good at all, despite the delicious accompanying sauces (crème fraîche, a lemon sauce and a chocolate sauce). The rest of the meal was terrific, though, and even the house wine was decent. The BF pronounced it "very Parisian." ;-)

            2. Two options to consider on the "cozy" side.

              Bistro Verdu in Montrose.


              Bistro K in South Pasadena.

              1. Just remembered Lilly's in Venice. It's French owned and appeared to hav a great French wine selection.