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Need French Bistro Rec in SF for Friday BD Dinner

When we lived in D.C., our favorite place was Les Halles. Relaxed, unhurried, great food. Husband likes a good steak frites, I love a hangar steak. Prefer not to be seated on top of the people next to us. Please advise of your favorite French bistros in the city, and your favorite dishes at each. Thanks!

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  1. Is it for this coming Friday, July 17th? I ask because we are going for the first time that night to L'Ardoise. It has been recommended by others and I can let you know on Saturday about our experience. Hyde Street Bistro has been a favorite of ours. They recently got a new chef, though, so can't vouch for it. They took the cassoulet off the menu and that was one of the reasons I liked it so much. Rue St. Jacques on Russian Hill is another favorite. I wouldn't necessarily call it a French bistro, but a new restauant, Midi, has an excellent hanger steak with roquefort butter. The frites have to be ordered as a side and they are among the best I've had. Cassis is also an option and the tables are not as close together as most bistros seem to be. Le Charm in the SOMA area is also good, not as expensive as some and if you get a window table it will not feel crowded. I'm sure you will get other recommendations, as well.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bobpantzer

      Thanks! It's for this Friday. I booked Le Charm and asked for a quiet table. My Parisian neighbor loves L'Ardoise -- says it is her favorite French place in the city. Bon Apetit!

      1. re: bobpantzer

        How was L'Ardoise?

        Hyde Street Bistro recently had a very nice report which is linked to the restauant record

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        Hyde Street Bistro
        1521 Hyde St., San Francisco, CA 94109

        Restaurant Cassis
        2101 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

        Midi
        185 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94104

        1. re: rworange

          Sorry for the long delay in reviewing... We went to L'Ardoise since it was so close to our house. They gave us a great table by the window, and the service was very good - they kept a close eye on the water and bread, and were helpful in choosing wine. They even put a candle in hubby's dessert (I indicated BD on OpenTable). I had the lamb chop special, and they accommodated my change from the regular pommes frites to their special potatoes in duck fat. Hubby had the hangar steak, which he loved. I only had 2 complaints -- the aioli they served for the fries/potatoes was way too salty (and I am a salt fiend, so that's saying something). Also, my lamb was extremely fatty -- I had to cut huge pieces of fat away to get to the meat. A little fat is divine, too much fat is unappetizing. I am inclined to check out some of the other places mentioned before going back, but I would certainly try L'Ardoise again.

          1. re: OneMoreCindy

            Thanks. An advantage of getting behind in my Chowhound reading is reading the post after the event. Asking how it went, usually gets a response about what the place is like.

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            L'Ardoise
            151 Noe Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

          2. re: rworange

            We loved L'Ardoise and will likely go there often. It is such a nice location and feels like a neighborhood Parisian bistro. We were seated at a table by the window and enjoyed wonderful food and service. I started with a delicious ravioli stuffed with tiger prawns in a light cream sauce with i forget what herb. My wife had a goat cheese salad with, what she felt, was the best tomato she has had this season. She then had the duck confit, served with their house potatoes and I had the coq au vin which was also excellent. We enjoyed a nice, reasonably priced Cotes du Rhone and I finished with the tarte tatin and my wife had an apricot tart. All in all, we loved it and, as I said, will return.

        2. I know you've already booked, but at some point, you should try Gamine on Union Street. Great steak frites, wonderful atmosphere and service.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrsricho

            I agree, but I don't think they take reservations. Do they?

            1. re: rworange

              Went to L'Ardoise instead. See review above in thread.