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Feb 25, 2008 03:29 AM

French, Special Occasion, Suggestions Please

I know I asked this question before a couple of years ago, but couldn't find the original post. Same question: price no object really; not bistro food; classical French preferred, but could be across the river; we would be driving. I remember one place suggested was in N. J., but that isn't necessary. If I could say "knock our socks off" in French, I would, but I'm not great with languages!

Special occassion: me treating hubby.

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  1. What could be better than Le Bec Fin?

    1 Reply
    1. re: idia

      True, about LBF being great, but we have been there for lunch several times; I can't do stairs so Le BAr Lynonnais is out. Birchrunville sounds fab, and might be perfect for this occasion, so I will research.

      But, keep em coming, and "epatez nous", which is one heck of a great phrase if that means 'knock ones socks off'! Thanks much.

    2. First of all the French is "├ępatez nous". Now, to the restaurants. You won't go wrong with LBF -- the ultimate special occasion, classical French place. Of course, it'll cost you a bundle. I like Le Bar Lyonnais downstairs -- same kitchen, half the price, but watch the wine list -- same prices as upstairs, ie real, real steep. The food is less formal, but not bistro food.

      You don't mention western suburbs, but I am very fond of the Birchrunville Store Cafe. It tries to replicate the 1-star Michelin (they don't have a star, BTW, but I bet if they were licensed, they would be a candidate) inn in the countryside of France (I don't know if this is what you meant by classical French). It will cost you a great deal less, partly because it's BYO, but the food quality is an amazing value. And truly French.

      Other than that, the truly French pickings are pretty slim around here. Couple of other places that I know of, that are French and pretty good, but not up to the standard I think you're looking for -- Spring Mill Cafe and Gilmore's.


      1. Did you ever visit Pif when it was open? It's closed now, but the chef's newer restaurant, Ansill, does a prix-fixe Pif menu every Sunday, it's really good and definitely classical French. If you get the prix-fixe they'll let you BYO, too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Buckethead

          No, I never went to Pif (I'm only in the area a few years). I had it on the list (my wishful list of places to try, which grows longer rather than shorter) but it closed before I got there. Thanks for the tip on Ansill. On the list.


        2. The Inn at Philips Mill right outside of New Hope is quite good. Classsic french fare, nice traditional cozy atmosphere. BYO and prices are reasonable. Also, its a very pretty drive to get there, you feel like you are away from the rest of the world!

          1. You can't go wrong with Birchrunville Store Cafe, Gilmore's, or the Inn at Phillips Mill. Each one of those offers outstanding service, creatively prepared excellent food, and wonderful ambiance.