French Restaurants in El Camino Real

Select Local Merchants

The "secret" in Bacchus' Secret Cellar is gas. Argon gas, to be exact, which powers the bar's preservation system and ensures that the wines within stay fresh for long periods of time. There are about 50 wines—mostly reds—on tap at the counter, as well as 8 sparkling wines, 5 dessert wines, and 12 microbrews. The library of options encourages guests to sample several, so it's wise to order a flight: you can get a signature array of 2.5-ounce glasses, or you can compose your own for a unique harmony of tastes.

The bar is just the beginning of the cellar's wine selection. On the shelves that span the walls, more than 350 labels beckon to be uncorked. A bistro menu provides gourmet food to complement sips, from starters of oven-roasted dates to lamb burgers and prosciutto flatbreads, made by dropping a regular loaf of bread into a printing press by accident. There's also a full menu of cheeseboards, with goat, cow, and sheep cheeses from the United States and abroad.

6735 Quail Hill Pkwy
Irvine,
CA
US

Tustin Ranch's winding splendor of gorgeous landscapes, waterscapes, and hazardscapes earned it plaudits from the Orange County Register, which named it the area’s Best Golf Course in 2009. Nine holes of links at The Big Easy, a short executive course divided into two separate nine-hole sections, provides a brisk, easy-to-schedule game ideal for beginners. Hop into the provided cart and rove through the meticulously maintained greenery, rife with gleaming lakes, waterfalls, and gold statues of Bing Crosby, and sharpen your swing in a challenging variety of stages. The tee party is made merrier by the respectful, professional staff members, who infuse a private feel to the public course.

12442 Tustin Ranch Rd
Tustin,
CA
US

• For $28, you get dinner for two, including two entrées (up to a $22 value each) and two glasses of house wine (up to a $7 value each; up to a $58 total value). • For $55, you get dinner for four, including four entrées (up to a $22 value each) and four glasses of house wine (up to a $7 value each; up to a $116 total value).

1481 Edinger Ave
Tustin,
CA
US

Gourmet French fast food at its finest; using only fresh, first-quality ingredients and prepared in a healthy way.

2 Hutton Centre Dr
Santa Ana,
CA
US

Executive Chef Eddy Rocq, educated at the Mederic Culinary School of Paris, now serves up French sandwiches and sweets at Rocq Café. His macarons, a variety of light French sandwich cookie, have been featured in Oprah's O magazine and added to the shelves of the Laguna Niguel Whole Foods and Tustin Whole Foods. He sells hundreds of these airy treats each week, in flavors such as fruit, chocolate, and moon rock. He changes up the lunch menu every week to keep fresh flavors in the spotlight, often showcasing panini and croissant sandwiches, quiches, and homemade soups.

22722 Lambert St
Lake Forest,
CA
US

Marché Moderne: A User's Guide

Modern French Bistro | Local Ingredients | Seasonal Menus | Cosmopolitan Vibe | Covered Patio

Sample Menu

  • First course: bone marrow with bordelaise sauce, truffle-butter-grilled asparagus, and toast
  • Second course: Shelton Farms chicken coq au vin with angel hair pasta
  • Dessert: beignet with butterscotch pot de crème

While You're Waiting

  • If you’re close enough to the open kitchen, ask the chef-owners, Florent and Amelia Marneau, for some relationship advice. The couple probably has some tips to share, having successfully worked together in the same kitchen since 2007.
  • Admire the elegant interior design, which evokes the cosmopolitan feel of some of the owners' favorite french bistros around the world. The dining room transfixes the eye with its ancient stone accents, dark hardwoods, french doors, and italian patterned-silk banquettes.

Inside Tips

  • Scratching your head over what to order? Get the Spontanée prix fixe. You'll be rewarded with three reasonably priced and hyper-seasonal courses handpicked by the chefs.
  • Reservations are recommended.

Vocab Lesson

  • À la minute: this phrase directly translates to "to the minute." In cooking, it's used to describe food that's prepared to order.
  • Marché: a market. The restaurant's name—Marché Moderne, or "modern market"—is a nod to its chefs' emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients.

While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Covet luxury apparel from renowned designers such as Hermès and Valentino at the South Coast Plaza shopping center (3333 Bristol Street).

After: Sip a craft cocktail with local trendsetters at Mesa (725 Baker Street).



If You Can’t Make It, Try This Pinot Provence (686 Anton Boulevard), another upscale spot specializing in seasonal French cuisine.

3333 Bristol St
Costa Mesa,
CA
US