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French in Seattle?

I am looking for a French restaurant in the Seattle area that serves good caviar and foie gras... or the best french food here.. checked out reviews of rover's, campagne, maximilien and le pichet. what would you choose if you only had time for one french meal in seattle? thanks in advance!

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  1. Rover's hands down for a fine dining experience. Le Pichet for a casual brasserie like dinner. I have not seen caviar at Le Pichet. it's more cheeses, pates, sausages, seafood. Very good, but not what you are describing.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cocktailhour

      I concur, for upscale, Rover's is the place, just divine. But really all those you have posted are not apples to apples. I adore le pichet, but it is bistro or country style (also cafe presse, same scale) and Campagne is somewhere in between, and probably a little more tradional french than Rovers. You can't go wrong with any of them, just depends on what experience you want and how much you want to spend.

      oh, and can't speak for Maximilien, some how I have never made it there.

      1. re: cocktailhour

        I also agree. Rovers is wonderful - very comfortable, excellent food, great service. I also love Campagne and have had excellent foie gras there.

      2. not French per se, but...i think Oceanaire does a caviar service (have not tried it), and i have had caviar on blinis at Crush (probably best to request it when you make a reservation, since i don't think it's a menu item), who also do good foie.

        1. I like Cremant. I have had good expriences there.

          1. What about Le Gourmand?

            Has anyone been there? I've been wanting to go, but it's a bit steep. I've dined at their adjoining bar, and that was delicious.

            6 Replies
            1. re: dylinw

              i thought Le Gourmand was way overpriced for what you get and extremely disappointing food-wise (others will disagree).

              1. re: barleywino

                I completely agree with barleywino. We splurged on Le Gourmand last year - I got the tasting menu, and was severely disappointed in the food and the service given the price. I liked Campagne better, and Cremant better still.

                1. re: Freida

                  Regarding my comment on Le Gourmand...I did like the place, and I've heard nothing but great things about the chef there. I simply found the food too rich (everything in a cream sauce) for my tastes. And since it was the single most expensive meal I'd ever ordered, I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I really prefer French bistro food, like Cafe Campagne or Le Pichet, but it took me a while to figure that out :)

                2. re: barleywino

                  I ate there several years ago and was extremely disappointed. The seating is uncomfortable (banquettes with pillows - yuck) and the food was inconsistant. We had two excellent dishes, the several so-so ones. The sorbet I had as a dessert was so sour it was inedible - not a great way to end an evening. For such an expensive place, it really needs to be much better.

                  1. re: akq

                    good to know! perhaps i'll cross it off my list.

                    Cremant is excellent though!

                  2. re: barleywino

                    I agree - but the new wine, David, is the bartender from le Pichet and I recommend you try the little small bar attached. Sambar I think it's called. fun - but not high-end French.

                3. If Mistral is still open - haven't checked on it in year - it's hands down delightful. In Belltown - it can offer you gentle elegance, private menu, pre-order your champagne and caviar. Or if you just want some great caviar and champagne - just go to the little store - Seattle Caviar on Eastlake. They have quality champagne and wonderful caviar - oh and if you take it to go, they'll give it to you in a little cooler bag that's kind of fun.

                  1 Reply
                  1. We are rather fond of Entre Nous on Stewart street across from the Bon/Macy garage. All day Saturday they serve a tapas type menu which is great for sharing and relaxed eating.

                    Also we found "Portage" on Queen Anne Hill across from "How to Cook a Wolf". Both serve tasty things at a good price.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gualtier Malde

                      Entre Nous is great - I enjoy their pate sandwich at lunchtime (the last time I had it I think there was a bit of congac and lavender in there!). I've never been there for their french tapas, though.

                    2. Well for what it's worth (I know not much :-)) I would defend and go with Le Gourmand but just so ya know I don't think they have either cavier or foie. My favorite items are the beef in cabernet pressing sauce and the rabbit pate . Rovers is overpriced and way overrated (also very uptight ambiance) in my opinion and the other French restaurants you mention are nothing special. Cremant does have a great Foie Gras terrine tho . Bon chance!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: landguy

                        The rabbit pate was one of the high points of my meal at Le Gourmand, although, I found it a bit too sweet. I did only eat at Le Gourmand once, though, but at those prices if it's not spot-on the first time, I am extremely hesitant to go back.

                        Rovers was, I thought, quite nice - the food is great, the service is great. I don't find it uptight - our server was gracious and extremely helpful. It can be a little tight, though - my chair was squeezed in behind a chair at a neighboring table, but I was able to get in/out without having to ask him to scoot, so it was fine.

                      2. not sure you will find many French restaurants in Seattle that serve caviar ... we have few French restaurant style places Rovers, Campagne (upstairs), Le Gourmand ...but quite a few bistro style places ... le Pichet, Cremant, Campagne (downstairs) amongst them. I have had fabulous meals at Rovers and Le Gourmand over the years ... though both have their detractors on this site. I prefer le Pichet to Cremant and Campagne .. and will add that I have had lovely French inspired meals at Union too.

                        1. Le Gourmand can definitely be a unique, wonderful experience, I suppose depending on what night you hit it. They do use organic / local ingredients sourced straight from the markets around town.

                          Cafe Campagne, again..is a winner. Maybe my scope is smaller, but I think Cafe Campagne and Le Gourmand are unique and really cool w/ some really good food. Never been to Rovers.

                          1. "DE GUSTIBUS NON DISPUTANDEM EST" but my last visit to the admittedly very beige dining room at le gourmand was rewarded with an exquisite tasting menu that included a sadly small portion of perfectly undercooked foie gras along with many other luscious treats. i am certain that arrangements can made for caviar service or for foie gras in its desired amplitude; chef naftaly is a local treasure.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: howard 1st

                              I've heard that the interior at Le Gourmand has recently been updated .. perhaps it's not so beige? I'll agree 250% that he is a local treasure. I took a cooking class from him some 15+ years ago (in the kitchen at LG) and back then he was on the local bandwagon, was in a co-op for his butter ...

                              1. re: oliveoyl

                                Other than the strange masks on the wall, the remodel is beautiful. Still beige, but that never bothered me. It's much more clean and modern now.

                            2. I would also add Boat St Cafe to this list.

                              1. Classic French comfort food, not too pretentious....has to be Campagne!

                                1. I forgot about Chez Shea...beautiful little place overlooking Pike Place Market and great food!

                                  1. Le Pichet was booked at the time that we wanted so we ate at Cremant last Sunday. The food was very very good. We started with a mixed plate of pate/terrines which was very good -- best part being the crispy pig belly. It was hugely filling and we barely made a dent in it with 4 people.

                                    My steak was off the chart good, maybe the best that I've ever had. It was not the thin pan seared kind that I was expecting, but it was amazing. Chicken was very good, boullabaise was very good.

                                    Only bad thing was a inexperienced and pretty inattentive server. I think that we just got unluck because, other tables seemed to get more love from their servers.

                                    I would have no problem recommending it.