La Rive Gauche takes its name from the French word for the Seine River’s left bank, a source of inspiration for the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso. The restaurant’s menu embraces the spirit of this iconic riverside area, spotlighting the rich flavors of gourmet French cuisine.
The Zagat-rated venue serves lobster bisque, venison loin drenched in raspberry sauce, sautéed swordfish, and other French favorites. As with any French restaurants, dessert is a must, with decadent delights such as crêpes suzette and chocolate soufflés.
When you step into Boubouffe Grille, you can feel the Middle Eastern influence all around you, which is exactly what owner Wally Nasser wants. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors open onto a relaxed outdoor patio, giving the space an open, airy feeling reminiscent of the Mediterranean seashore. On the walls, spotlighted vases in recessed shelves hark back to the antiquities of ancient Greece. Guests talk and laugh as they share mezze—small plates that originated centuries ago in Turkey—while playing tabletop soccer with falafel.
And the food is just as representative of the Mediterranean region as the decor. Diners can crisscross the Mediterranean Sea via stuffed north african peppers, lebanese grilled lamb chops with warm harissa, algerian chicken tagine, and traditional baklava. The eatery also serves classic breakfast dishes such as smoked-salmon-topped bagels and french toast with fresh fruit.
Start a romantic evening with a Dungeness crab cake with aioli, caper, lemon, and coleslaw ($15) and a bowl of the soup of the day ($10). Eye entrees like the soft and succulent roasted half chicken with fingerling potatoes, haricots verts, mixed wild mushrooms, and pearl onions ($24) and the braised short ribs with polenta, Swiss chard, and salsa verde ($25). Complete the circle of life by burying your fork in a slice of key lime pie with guava puree and mango sorbet ($10) or the chocolate chocolate chocolate trio ($16), whose richness is so deadly it was, until recently, banned by nonproliferation treaties. If you've recently cycled through Fraiche and think you've tasted it all, try the new lunch menu. The chopped salad with Italian cured meats, tomato, provolone, and chick peas ($13) and the Moroccan lamb sausage sandwich with harissa aioli ($13) offer just the right noontime spice-kick to erase your morning malaise.
Bistro Laurent shows off authentic French delicacies in its relaxed yet stylish dining space, festooned with elegantly framed vintage photographs. Armed with the bistro’s dinner menu, diners can bid bienvenue to the bavette à la Bordelaise ($14.75), a succulent hanger steak finished in a cabernet and onion balsamic reduction. Or, sink your mouth bones into one of the bistro's signature crepes, such as the Florentine, an edible envelope stuffed with spinach, smoked turkey breast, béchamel, parmesan, and elf wishes ($7.75). On the lunch menu, the biquet salad proudly brandishes its crest, emblazoned with goat cheese, grilled chicken, seasonal fresh berries, and grilled pecans ($5.95). Bistro Laurent's robust wine list offers complements for any meal and high praise for any diner who can correctly identify the tannins in a bottle of merlot.
One sunny afternoon, Ginnie Lu and her friends sat in a café sipping hot drinks and chatting about how much they would love to run their own tea and coffee house. When the group realized that they had the means to carve their dream into reality, they spent the next two years saving and planning. Finally, in 2010, they opened Four Leaf Tea Room, a cozy enclave where guests can sip specialty brews amidst the aromas of sweet and savory crepes. Mugs of oolong and chrysanthemum keep fingers warm during the year's cooler temperatures, and when the summer returns, they cool down with iced teas and mango freezes on an outdoor patio.
Despite Four Leaf’s name, its upscale, innovate crepes force its teas to share the limelight. A chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu dreams up the lavish fillings, pairing smoked salmon and caper-herb cream or soy-marinated chicken with crushed peanuts for savory meals. Sweet versions make use of exotic ingredients such as red-wine-poached pears, candied pecans, taro paste, and gelato. As guests fork into these creations, they can admire walls decorated with spring-green leaves and shelves filled with loose-leaf blends and prehistoric fossils of steam from early teas.