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contemporary French

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My seriously foodie friends are coming from Baltimore in a few weeks. We have their food agenda pretty well set, but they are looking for an interesting French restaurant for a Sunday night. They are staying in Cambridge but will travel. Thanks.

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  1. What kind of price point are you talking? Overall vibe? I think L'Espalier is a pretty dull dining experience, but others find it interesting.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mkfisher

      it's also one of the city's most expensive restaurants. is the op looking to drop at least $150 pp, plus wine? agreed the food is uninspired, but the service is top-notch and the wine list is an encyclopedia.

      plenty of our best chefs have "French-driven" styles and menus, so yeah, price point and ambiance desired would help out a lot.

      where else are you eating?

    2. Craigie on Main - no doubt about it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        there is also clio and menton.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I was thinking the Cambridge location helped narrow things down.

          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            i do not disagree. :)

      2. clio/uni has a good reputation with everyone save opinionated chef. I have not eaten the French for a while though i continue to like the sashimi. Let me also second Craigie on Main. If you want a wine driven meal, then Troquet is great for the wine and good for the food. Menton sounds good, but i have not eat there.

        1. Craigie is a good option; Troquet has good food and a great wine list. i like Clio/Uni though i most frequently eat the sashimi.

          1. Thanks for all the suggestions. Price is not an issue; excellent wine is. The husband of this couple is being treated to two weeks in France by some major wine society over there because of all his oeniphile activities in the Balto/DC area. Glad you mentioned that aspect of their choice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fantundo

              French, price no issue, great wine... I think L'Espailer is the obvious choice, the others are all good suggestions but maybe don't fit as perfectly into what you seem to be looking for.

            2. Bistro du Midi may work for you. Good location, contemporary menu, good service and interesting wine list. Very nice room.
              enjoy,
              CocoDan

              3 Replies
              1. re: CocoDan

                For wine, Troquet, and I quite like the food. L'Espalier does hold up I think. In Cambridge, I'd try Rendezvous or Salts for less formal but good, and in Boston for less formal I like La Voile. Number 9 Park is not French but does have an excellent wine list.

                1. re: teezeetoo

                  So true! For wine, Troquet will give you very good recommendations. In another thread discussing value of wines, I believe that Troquet has very good value in the wines that are more expensive, that is the mark-up is not as crazy. Chris, the owner is very knowledgeable. Food is good IMHO, but I haven't been in a while. There was a very recent thread discussing the merits of food at Troquet as well.

                  1. re: Crazy Egg

                    Here is the very recent thread on Troquet food: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/847443

              2. Thanks for all the good ideas. Our mutual friends' son had his wedding at LEspalier, and we've been to Craigie, so I think I've persuaded them to bag the French idea and go to Oleana!

                1 Reply
                1. re: fantundo

                  Oleana is a good choice.