French Restaurants in Vacaville

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Angèle: A User’s Guide

Michelin Recommended | Award-Winning French Bistro | Tasting Menu | BYOB | Riverfront Patio
Sample Menu
  • Appetizer: baked oysters with bacon, parmesan, and arugula
  • Entree: mustard-seed-crusted pork loin with cabbage, kale, and apples
  • Dessert: quince tarte tatin with crème fraîche
Where to Sit: Request a seat on the outdoor patio overlooking the Napa River, as the view's been named one of the best by Gayot. You can even enjoy the scenic patio when it's a bit nippy out—according to the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s "warmed by heaters that look like giant birthday candles."

Inside Tips
  • If you bring your own wine, be prepared for a $25 corking fee for the first two 750-milliliter bottles, and $35 for any additional bottles. The restaurant knocks one of those charges off your bill for each bottle you purchase at the restaurant, though.
  • Bring along the whole household—kids and dogs are welcome.
Fun Facts
  • Angèle is located in the Hatt Building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building, located right on the Napa River, was originally erected as a ship chandlery and warehouse in the 1890s.
  • You won't accidently pour salt instead of sugar into your coffee here—coarsely ground salt and pepper don’t come in shakers, but in little ramekins with a spoon for dispensing.
  • Instead of relying on ice buckets, the restaurant chills wine with heavy, clear plastic bags that are filled with ice and decorated with Angèle’s logo. The blog Totally Unauthorized calls it "a very stylish system."
Inside the Kitchen: Executive Chef Rogelio Garcia has come full circle at Angèle. He started there as a line cook in 2006, working his way up to sous chef before taking a position at another restaurant with the help of Angèle's managing partner, Bettina Rouas. He couldn’t stay away for too long, though—when Angèle needed a new executive chef, Garcia returned in 2013.

High Praise
  • "The view over the shimmering river is spectacular." – Michelin Guide
  • "It’s definitely a place to relish bistro desserts like pot de crème and banana gratin." – Gayot

540 Main St
Napa,
CA
US

Formerly La Rose Bistro on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, La Sen Bistro opened its doors in November. Split between reds and whites sourced from Californian and French vineyards, its wine list reflects the California-French cuisine emerging from the kitchen. Chefs coat duck breast in a honey-pepper sauce and craft a traditional French onion soup with garlic croutons and broiled ementale cheese. They also douse salmon in saffron sauce, pair garlic pommes frites with a ribeye steak, and adorn a vegetarian pizza in goat cheese and ratatouille, a tastier alternative to vegetarian pizzas topped with topiaries.

2002 Salvio St
Concord,
CA
US

Little Red Bistro, an idyllic café splashed in vivid crimson accents, suffuses its intimate interior with eyelid-unfurling aromas wafting off three kinds of espresso. As the sun inches over the horizon and the boogeyman dives beneath the bed, the bistro’s chefs fold 17 kinds of crepes, ranging from sweet creations stuffed with peanut butter and jelly to savory pockets piled with green eggs and ham. Golden sear marks color seven piping-hot paninis that swaddle gourmet ingredients such as prosciutto, pesto, and roasted red peppers. Sips of frappes flavored with white chocolate and irish cream forge a fitting accompaniment to the café’s homemade desserts, which rotate daily.

690 Gregory Ln, Ste 4
Pleasant Hill,
CA
US

At Mango Star, patrons can lounge on an outdoor patio while sipping sugary bubble teas, fruit-packed smoothies, and thin, flavorful crepes from a menu that overflows with coffee and café fare. Apply $6 per visit toward hot or cold blended tea ($2.75–$3.75), in flavors such as honeydew, jasmine green, and passion fruit, served with optional tapioca pearls freshly plucked from the mouths of seaside tapioca mollusks. Airborne forks can rip open savory crêpes with gusto, revealing chicken, tomato, pesto, and cheese ($5.95), or gourmet avocado, mushroom, onion, tomato, olives, and cheese ($5.25). Sweet crêpes arrive crowned with powdered sugar and whipped cream and boasting coats of strawberry nutella ($5.25), peach and ice cream ($5.95), and the sweet and tart trifecta of strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry ($6.50). Free WiFi and an outdoor patio let patrons browse favorite dog-fashion blogs while sipping espresso ($2.75+) and gourmet coffee ($1.50–$1.75).

1300 Contra Costa Blvd
Pleasant Hill,
CA
US

Though Crepe Escape stays open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., the café never stops serving breakfast. Chefs blend gourmet ingredients to concoct unique takes on classic morning-time eats, such as the crab cake Florentine version of eggs benedict or stacks of waffles topped with fruit a dollop of whipped cream. Egg-based crepes sate sweet and savory teeth with a bevy of filling options from strawberries to curried chicken. For those who adhere to a strict breakfast regimen of one grapefruit and one boiled marshmallow, the café also dishes up light salads, sandwiches, and pastas. Crepe Escape's espresso bar and wine list provide drinks that pair pleasantly with any dish or time of day.

3445 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento,
CA
US

Executive chef Vanessa Dang follows up her first blockbuster of French-inspired Vietnamese dishes with this intimate sequel promising elegant small-plate options and explosive flavors. The menu pokes sleepy taste buds with shareable small plates such as maple-leaf duck-confit lettuce wraps ($9) and tuna-and-salmon poke with ginger, avocado, mango, and cucumber-and-tomato salsa ($9). Full-sized entrees combine intercontinental palates with mouth-warping orders of cumin-marinated jumbo prawns and garlic noodles ($16) or a rack of lamb marinated with Dijon-mustard peppercorn in a Bing-cherry reduction ($25). Fill out abridged meals with a glass from the saga-worthy, 150-bottle wine list or a sweet-tooth-regaling Fuji-apple-and-coconut egg roll ($8).

1329 N Main St
Walnut Creek,
CA
US