French Restaurants in Middletown

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It's not often that The New York Times is charmed by something being untrendy, but the publication said a few years back that Brasserie Swiss's lack of chicness "is the key to its appeal." The timeworn decor leaves glittering fixtures and pomp to new culinary kids on the block, and instead complements the restaurant's menu—a roster of traditional dishes such as fondue and snails bourguignon. Many of the meats come from a Colorado butcher, because the Geneva Conventions state that Swiss food can only be sourced from mountainous regions. These meats include the veal cutlets used for the sauteed wiener schnitzel, and the lamb chops that are paired with roesti, a crispy potato side. In true European fashion, the desserts are hardly overlooked: diners should save room for decadent creations such as chocolate mousse or coupe cherry Swiss steeped in wine.

As Rolf Baumgartner, co-owner of Brasserie Swiss for nearly 35 years, prepares the European-inspired meals, his wife Verena minds the dining room. "She's an enthusiastic interpreter of Swiss culture," the Times said adoringly. "Ask her about the large Alpine horns on the walls or about Swiss culinary preferences, and she will have stories to tell."

118 Croton Ave
Ossining,
NY
US

Only months after its inception, French American Bistro—AKA “FAB”—grabbed the attention of The New York Times with its buttery croissants and fresh salads. Today, head chef Octavio Sandoval continues to mesh French and American flavors to elegantly plate dishes ranging from escargot to 10-ounce burgers on brioche buns. Patrons inside the upscale dining room can pair FAB’s seasonal menu with live musical performances and an eclectic selection of beers, wines, and water piped in from the Seine.

222 E Main St
Mount Kisco,
NY
US

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38 E Main St
Mount Kisco,
NY
US

Le Jardin du Roi serves French cuisine, seemingly to suit the time zones in both Paris and New York. They're open bright and early every morning, concocting omelets and lattes before most people's workday begins. Late in the evening the staff is still at it, serving sandwiches, steaks, and other French staples. The eatery's lavish appetizers include escargot in garlic butter and parsley sauce and platters of smoked salmon with diced hard-boiled egg, capers, and toast. Cooks flambé pan-seared duck breast in honey and steam mussels in a choice of six sauces, including saffron cream, pernod, and curry cream. Grilled hanger steak comes in port-wine-shallot sauce and linguini, like the goddess Sulis, bathes in a bacon and cream sauce.

95 King St
Chappaqua,
NY
US

Epernay’s executive chef Jayson Grossberg trained under legendary French chef Jean-Louis Palladin before attending New York’s Culinary Institute of America. Grossberg has used his pabulum-preparing powers for good and not evil, recently redesigning Epernay’s menu to add flavorful new dishes, such as the summer gazpacho with crab meat and lime ($10.95). Fresh-caught mussels come in three broths, such as the “a la Linda” with saffron and tomato ($15.95 single serving, $19.95 shared platter). If you'd like to keep your meal as light at a globetrotting eccentric's hot-air balloon, try a juicy beet salad with summer melon, arugula, and feta cheese ($10.95). Reward your stomach for keeping quiet during last night’s visit to the opera with an entree such as caramelized sea scallops with sweet corn, bacon, and tomato ($26.95). Or delve into the crispy duck breast with wild mushrooms, pistachios, and asparagus soaking in a sundried blueberry jus ($26.95) to enjoy a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves.

6 Park St
Montclair,
NJ
US

Red Hen Bistro's made-from-scratch menu revolves around the fresh, seasonal meats, fish, and produce in French and Californian cuisine. Francophiles will feel conflicted in trying to select only one dish, be it the croque madame, an upscale ham-and-cheese sandwich topped with a sunny-side-up egg ($10.95), or the salad nicoise, a hearty helping of organic greens crowned with roasted potatoes and hard-boiled eggs ($8.95). California dreamers can sample West Coast–inspired temptations such as tamales with braised pork ($8.95) and fish tacos served in crisp tortillas ($9.95). Simplicity seekers can opt for the tomato soup and grilled cheese ($9.95) while enjoying the restaurant’s attention to detail—evident in both the food and front-of-house service. With rich-red walls, large windows boasting street views, and touches of French country charm, Red Hen Bistro exudes an air of casual intimacy, though lacy nightclothes are discouraged.

525 Moonachie Ave
Wood Ridge,
NJ
US