It’s not easy to find an authentic French bistro in San Francisco. When I say authentic, I mean not just the food but also the service. Restaurants in France (and other parts of Europe) serve the coffee after the dessert and bring you the bill only after you ask for it. I have a pet peeve about restaurants in the US: the staff are always trying to rush you out the door. They’ll bring you the check just as you’ve polished off the last bit of chocolate souffle and then with smile, say, “here’s the bill, but there’s no rush.” Yeah right.
Not at L’Ardoise. The place looks like a cozy little bistro in France and the service is European. The food is outstanding: foie gras, escargots in a garlic parsley sauce, coq au vin, seafood gratin, tarte tatin and more. Definitely worth a visit.
- Vibe: cozy French bistro near Duboce Park; dark wood panelling, wooden chairs and tables as one would find in a bistro.
- Pros: very delicious, reasonably priced French dishes like coq au vin and foie gras; excellent service (European style).
- Cons: Noisy when the place is full, but not impossible to hear your dining companion; hardly any street parking so take the SF Muni subway (the closest stop is Duboce Park on the N-line, otherwise get off at the Castro underground station).
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