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Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

Miami Beach, FL
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Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

Okay, I've been driving myself crazy trying to pin down one fabulous French restaurant for our trip to Napa. Would love to hear opinions on where the best French food is dished out. Of course, we all know about French Laundry, but are skipping it this time around (don't judge!).

Btw, this board has been so incredibly helpful throughout our planning -- I think I'm actually going to miss it when our trip finally arrives (sigh). Many, many thanks!

New Orleans...
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1. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

I've only eaten at Bouchon, but it was excellent.

Napa, CA
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2. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

CMG-

Our favorite French spots are Bistro Jeanty and Julia's Kitchen. JK is more California-French (it's dedicated to Julia Childs), and the menu is decidely more adventurous than traditional French.

Bistro Jeanty, on the other hand, feels like you've walked into a French country cafe. Only the people speaking English around you spoil the illusion. And what you've heard about the tomato soup is true-- it really is world class (pommes frites are also the best in the Valley).

Bouchon bakery, while not a restaurant, is a wonderful place to pick up traditional French baked goods. It's located next to Bouchon restaurant in Yountville.

There are other spots with multiple course tasting menus (La Toque, Redd) which are more in the tradition of French Laundry as far as style-- but we wouldn't really describe the food as "French".

Hope this helps. :)

-The Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

Miami Beach, FL
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3. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

Thanks, Innkeepers. I keep going back and forth between Angele and Bistro Jeanty. I've only got one night for French food and I just can't decide. We already have reservations at Redd and Cyrus, but I'm afraid of doing too much of the same thing (looking for a different experience every night).

Likewise, I can't decide on whether to do Celedon or BDG. Everything just sounds so amazing at all these wonderful restaurants, it's impossible choose.

Oh how I wish we had more time in Napa!

Houston, TX
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4. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

CMG: Angele just changed chef. See this review from Sfgate Feb 2006: www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi…

I too had a hard time deciding where to dine for the 2 nights we're there. I posted a question about dining venues, and received wonderful feedback from helpful posters on this forum. We've finally decided on Angele and Redd. (Bistro Jeanty for lunch). We thought we'd give Angele a try since the reviews were good. When are you going? I will be there on May 8th - 10th, and if I go before you, I will post some afterthoughts.

Miami Beach, FL
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5. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

CK:

I'll actually be there right after you (May 21-23) I'm definitely looking forward to your reviews. Thanks so much!

I'm thinking maybe we'll do Celadon and/or Bistro Jeanty for lunch. That way we *might* be able to fit everything in.

Houston, TX
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6. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

It is so hard to pick the restaurant choices since there are too many great ones... I think you're smart doing Celadon & Bistro Jeanty for lunch so you can try a few more restaurants. We opted for picnic lunch to enjoy the winery surroundings on one of the two days we're there. Too bad we can't stay longer...

I will post my afterthoughts on Angele upon my return.

Charleston, South...
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7. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

Are these restaurants family friendly? We will be traveling with our 13 year old daughter and while we would love to dine in some of these places, I'm concerned that they may be a bit too adventuresome for her tastes.

Napa, CA
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8. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

Canterbury-

Your daughter should love both. Celedon is very high-tech romantic (contemporary lines, but artfully done with wood and other natural materials). Check out their menus online and show her (we have no idea what foods she likes/doesn't like)

Bistro Jeanty should be a winner all around. The tomato soup and french fries are absolutely incredible, and the atmosphere is very fun and interesting.

It really depends on what your 13 year old eats. If her diet consists of hamburgers and pop tarts, or if she only orders the same thing wherever you go, then by all means check out all of the menus beforehand.

We hope you have a wonderful time. :)

-The Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

Charleston, South...
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9. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

Napa:

Thanks for your advice. I have been browsing this forum for a while and your recommendations to others are always thoughtful and on point. I will definitely check out both restaurants. We are coming your way in August. Is it too soon to make reservations? It seems as though other travelers have their itineraries planned far in advance. This is our first trip to Napa so I really don't know what to expect.

New Orleans...
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10. Re: Best FRENCH restaurant(s) (other than FL)

For whatever it's worth, someone from MD just posted this review on the Yountville site:

Don't believe all of the rave reviews you read about Redds. They have quickly gotten too full of themselves. Their restaurant's design is a large hard room - everyone shouts too be heard. This noise is so distracting that any discriminating diner can't really enjoy the food. Portions are teeny and prices are trendy high. If you want this kind of noise - go to the rain forrest. Their are too many choices for restaurants in the Napa Valley to waste your time and money on a place that thinks that their good reviews will carry them. Avoid this one - it's just not worth the gamble.