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Need French Bistro Rec in SF for Friday BD Dinner

OneMoreCindy Jul 14, 2009 11:17 AM

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. b
    bobpantzer RE: OneMoreCindy Jul 14, 2009 11:38 AM

    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
      OneMoreCindy RE: bobpantzer Jul 14, 2009 11:59 AM

      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
        rworange RE: bobpantzer Jul 26, 2009 09:28 AM

        How was L'Ardoise?

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

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

        Restaurant Cassis
        2101 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

        185 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94104

        1. re: rworange
          OneMoreCindy RE: rworange Jul 29, 2009 11:13 AM

          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
            rworange RE: OneMoreCindy Jul 29, 2009 03:18 PM

            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.

            151 Noe Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

          2. re: rworange
            bobpantzer RE: rworange Jul 29, 2009 12:56 PM

            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. m
          mrsricho RE: OneMoreCindy Jul 14, 2009 03:07 PM

          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
            bobpantzer RE: mrsricho Jul 14, 2009 03:15 PM

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

          2. rworange RE: OneMoreCindy Jul 26, 2009 09:28 AM

            How was Le Charm?

            1 Reply
            1. re: rworange
              OneMoreCindy RE: rworange Jul 29, 2009 11:14 AM

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

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