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Your Favorite Pasadena Bistro?

Hey Hounds,

My wife and I are always going to our usual places, such as Madeleine's or Cafe Beaujolais, so tomorrow night we want to try a bistro we've never been to. All of these look pretty good:

Firefly
Cafe Verde
Derek's
Bistro de la Gare

Which is your favorite? All of the above? None?

Thanks!

--N8

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Cafe Verde
961 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91106

Firefly
1009 El Centro St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Bistro de la Gare
921 Meridian Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Cafe Beaujolais
1712 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

Madeleine's Restaurant & Wine Bistro
1030 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91106

Derek's Bistro-Dickerson West Caterers
183 E Glenarm St, Pasadena, CA 91105

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  1. Give The Raymond a try.

    New chef, new menu, new 'tude.

    www.theraymond.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      from list above...i like derek's. it is on the high end and more of fine dinning then rest of the places you mention.

    2. FYI, Madeleine's has been closed for about a year now. It's just as well, they went through some changes in the back, and the think the down economy took them out. You are in luck though, the former chef at Madeleine's Claud Beltran opened up a new place on Mentor next to the Ice House. It's called Noir. It's pretty small, though the recently opened patio will be nice I think when the days get longer (and when it's not raining). They have an extensive wine list and the food, which is mostly small plates, is excellent.

      I'd recommend it, but make a reservation, because it is small.

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      Noir Food & Wine
      40 North Mentor Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91106

      2 Replies
      1. re: inlikeflt

        Wow, I'm surprised. I didn't realize it's been more than a year since we went! It's continuing to be recommended on the boards, too...

        Noir looks great. I feel a little bad now about not supporting Claud more at Madeleine's, so we'll have to give it a shot tonight!

        Thanks to all for your input. I'm definitely going to put a star next to Red White + Bluezz for next time.

        1. re: inlikeflt

          Noir is excellent; great food and service

        2. Except for Cafe Beaujolais, I've never tried the places on your list... due to mixed reviews I've read here on CH and around the web.

          My favorite evening out in Pasadena is generally Red White + Bluezz. Vertical Wine Bistro is on my radar again, too, with the arrival of Chef Laurent Quenioux. We went for his Sunday night cassoulet dinner a few weeks ago and it was spectacular.

          We also enjoy Briganti in South Pasadena-- lovely enclosed patio, and Gus's BBQ though that's not exactly a bistro.

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          Vertical Wine Bistro
          70 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

          Briganti
          1423 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

          1. I've only had breakfast at Cafe Verde. Not cheap, but good.
            You might consider Smitty's but I think Red White + Bluezz is better.

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            Red White & Bluezz
            70 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

            1. Quadrupel Brasserie on Union Street in Pasadena calls itself a French bistro.... menu looks interesting so I plan to check it out tomorrow

              3 Replies
              1. re: foufou

                We hit Quadrupel once, but found it to me fairly mediocre. The ideas were decent, nothing revolutionary, very typical fine dining fair. But in general, the execution was off.

                1. re: inlikeflt

                  Agree re: Quadrupel. With a Belgian name and Belgian Art-Nouveau decor theme, I was hoping they'd have a nice Belgian menu too, but it seems they lost their nerve and went Continental-California-whateverish. It wasn't horrible but wasn't memorable either, and there are better options at that price.

                  1. re: Bradbury

                    Thank you, inlikefit and Bradbury, I will go to Gus's instead Quadrupel today....Wild Swede had an enthusiastic, detailed review and its a DINELA option