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Top 10 French Restaurants in Sonoma County

Author: | posted 07/8/09 | Print This Post Print This Post |

French Garden Restaurant: Stop by from 11am to 2pm Sunday for a mini farm market featuring produce from the restaurant’s own biodynamic gardens and shockingly good house-made pastries including mini quiches, eclairs, cookies and tarts. 8050 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol, 824-2030

Bistro 29: Crepes, both sweet and savory, are the signature of Brian Anderson’s Santa Rosa bistro. Order off the menu or mix and match ingredients (bacon, maple syrup and a soft-boiled egg is BiteClub’s fave) to make your own creation.  Plus, the best escargots stewing in a miniature hot tub of garlic, herbs and melted butter. Five-course Prix Fixe Bastille Day menu includes two crepes, charcuterie, roasted pork loin and salad. 620 5th Street, Santa Rosa, 546-2929

Rendez Vous Bistro: Downtown Santa Rosa’s newest comer to the French bistro game has made big improvements since opening and features a top-notch patio for summer sipping. Late night and two happy hours each day. 614 4th Street
Santa Rosa, (707) 526-7700

Chloe’s French Cafe: This is a restaurant I get asked about often– partially because folks can’t believe how good it is, and
partially because they’re trying to figure out where it is. Located in the Sutter Medical Building, its an unlikely location, but always ridiculously crowded at lunch. Brothers Alain and Marc Pisan, along with Alain’s wife Renee serve up brasserie-style fare: homemade croissants, Palmier, sandwiches (including a hearty Nicoise, grilled ham and Brie and zut alor, Croque Monsieur–Béchamel sauce, baked ham and Gruyere on bread) along with soups, quiche, salads and daily crepe
specials. Don’t leave without some of Alain’s Parisian-quality pastries — eclairs, tarts and cakes made daily. Chloe’s French Café, 3883 Airway Dr., Suite 145, Santa Rosa, 707.528.3095. Open 7:30am to 5pm
weekdays. Closed on weekends.

K&L Bistro: Michelin-rated, Sebastopol’s home of French soul food has long been a favorite of Francophiles. Best bets include duck confit, rich onion soup, skate wing and steak frites. On July 14 they’ll be serving up a prix fixe dinner with a number of choices including warm rabbit rillette, fig salad, Coq au Vin, duck confit, skate wing, creme brulee or Crepes Suzette. 119 S Main St, Sebastopol, 823-6614

Cousteaux Bakery: Healdsburg’s Frenchest bakery goes full-tilt into the July 14 spirit with moustache painting, Eiffel Tower decorating, can-can dancers, cake tossing and the Tour de Cousteaux Stationary Bike Race. Oh, and then there’s the bread and pastries, not to mention a special menu on Bastille Day of Vichyssoise, escargots, Parisian sandwiches and french fries. 9am to 4pm, July 14, 417 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 433.1913.

La Gare: Classic, old school French cuisine. Chef Roger’s a whiz a Beef Wellington and is trying to mix things up at this 30-year-old institution by adding dishes like goat curry. 208 Wilson St., Santa Rosa, (707) 528-4355.

Healdsburg Charcuterie: Escargots are always on the menu at this cozy bistro, along with a house charcuterie plate of salami, duck rillette and pate.335 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, (707) 431-7213.

Bistro Des Copains: Worth the drive to Occidental for Provencial pates, duck and hearty French home-cookin.3782 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, 874-2436.

Bistro M: Settled into the Windsor Town Green Bistro M has familiar old friends from owners Bryan and Matthew Bousquet’s former restaurant, Mirepoix: steak frite, escargot, coq au vin and steak au poivre. 610 McClelland Drive, Windsor, 707-838-3118

 

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24 Responses

  1. Monica July 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    C’est mon anniversaire!!! This article is just what I was looking for! I was born on Bastille day and I wanted to celebrate with delicious french food. Suggestions in Napa county would be greatly appreciated too. :-)

    Merci!

  2. Gia September 21, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    My husband and I eat at LaGare about twice a month. We love the escargots, the service and the decor! Very charming and elegant, prices are reasonable and the quality is excellent not to mention we never leave hungry. Roger is a wonderful chef and Jacque treats us like family. Happy 30th Anniversary LaGare, you must be doing something right!

  3. karina September 18, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    How could you include French Garden when they’ve got burgers and eggplant parmigiana on the menu? Is eggplant parmigiana French? Are burgers?

  4. Karina September 18, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    I had the most delicious and enchanting birthday dinner at Eloise! I can’t wait to go back. xo

  5. Pete & Christine Winkel July 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    We ate at La Gare on the 22nd. It was excellent! The Chateau Briand, as our French friend would say, “To die for!” The service was personal and friendly. It was truly the best we have experienced in a long time!

  6. Pete & Christine Winkel July 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    We ate at La Gare on the 22nd. It was excellent! The Chateau Briand, as our French friend would say, “To die for!” The service was personal and friendly. It was truly the best we have experienced in a long time!

  7. Pete & Christine Winkel July 23, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    We just celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary at La Gare last night. The service was the best we have experienced in a long time. The Chateau Briand was excellent! The seasoning was perfectly balanced and harmonized. We will certainly be making La Gare a tradition!

  8. Pete & Christine Winkel July 23, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    We just celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary at La Gare last night. The service was the best we have experienced in a long time. The Chateau Briand was excellent! The seasoning was perfectly balanced and harmonized. We will certainly be making La Gare a tradition!

  9. Dan July 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    But where can one find the best classic escargots at a decent price and, above all, the best standard duck dishes?

  10. Willi Hilliard July 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    I can’t believe you left out Eloise. I feel it is one of the oustanding restaurants in So. Co. and I have tried them all.
    willi hilliard

  11. SAM618 July 15, 2009 at 3:26 pm #

    So I noticed that Rendez Vous Bistro isn’t on here. Is there a legitimate reason for this? How about your Poll of the moment? Shouldn’t they have the opportunity to be considered by your public?

  12. I remember Pierre July 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Pierre from Chez Peyo…isn’t he the maitre d’ at The French Garden?

  13. Bard July 14, 2009 at 10:20 am #

    What is the story with La Gare? They desperately need a remodel. The interior is very outdated – they need new seating, new decorating, new everything. And they should check the kitchen too. We have been there twice in the past year or so and both times the food was not good. We won’t be going back anytime soon.

  14. Virginia July 14, 2009 at 7:56 am #

    So what is the story with La Gare? Did they change ownership, remodeling or on vacation? Also, where did the chef of Chez Peyo cooking these days?

  15. Garrett July 13, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    Looks like the readers demand another article. You could title it…French-ish Restaurants in Sonoma Cty. Cheers!

  16. Its Me July 12, 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    I like Les Chiens Chauds at my place.

  17. Kathleen July 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    I think you should have the complainers just try to write a column and see just how much people agree with what they say. You certainly are much more knowlegable than I am about restaurants in the area and I enjoy what you write very much. So tell the naysayers to take a hike!

  18. BiteClubEats July 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    Ugh. Okay, I’ll concede that I went back and forth on whether to include Eloise. It’s not a slight, trust me. But I felt like if I included Eloise then there were a whole host of other restaurants I’d have to add to the list, too.
    You guys are bustin’ my chops!
    I’ll add them and Mirepoix. But only because I love you. And them. :)

  19. Mike July 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Oh, come on. Eloise is a COMPLETELY French restaurant, and a significantly better one than French Garden. Yes, most of their stuff comes from the southern part of the country. Last I checked, that was still France. Would you exclude a Galician joint from a column about Spanish restaurants?

  20. BiteClubEats July 9, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    I am the BIGGEST fan of Eloise, but I didn’t include them because while they definitely have a strong French influence, they consider themselves to be French-Mediterranean. For this article, I wanted to stick to spots that focus on regional French cuisine.
    You’ll notice that I didn’t include places like Cyrus, Syrah, etc. because, again, while they all are based in French cuisine, they wouldn’t categorize themselves as “French”.
    It’s all a little wiggly, I suppose. But you get the idea…

  21. BiteClubEats July 9, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    Mirepoix was an oversight. I called to see if they had anything special going on for bastille day and didn’t hear back. Just ended up forgetting. But yes, they’re great.

  22. west county foodie July 9, 2009 at 7:38 am #

    holy cow, a bit on sonoma county french restaurants that doesn’t include restaurant eloise? their food is sublime…

  23. svg July 9, 2009 at 7:36 am #

    No mention of Mirepoix?

  24. zolo76 July 9, 2009 at 6:43 am #

    Thank you for not having Rendez Vous Bistro featured in this blog! The owners are VERY inept & there food needs help!

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