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.
Under the cathedral roofs and amid the bucolic artwork of Chef Hannes, plates of fine Italian fare wafting aromas of garlic and basil arrive on white tablecloths. After examining the menu, diners can begin meals with the smoked salmon carpaccio, savory paper-thin slices of salmon playing dress-up with baby arugula robes and a crown of olive oil ($6.75). Spaghetti alla trevi coils around roasted eggplant and fresh basil ($11.95), and the grilled pork chops bask in apple-cilantro chutney ($14.95). Diners can also indulge in the fresh catch of the day, an ever-changing dish based on the yields of the sea and the whims of feline warlords. Meals can be taken in one of three banquet rooms, or on the outdoor patio amid vibrant flowers and a white picket fence.
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.
Inspired by the culture and culinary traditions of Brittany, France, Crème de la Crêpe specializes in authentically prepared sweet and savory crepes, which are staples of the region. The staff stuffs buckwheat breakfast crepes with combinations of eggs, meats, and cheeses, and dessert crepes—such as the bretonne—come layered with Nutella, bananas, and housemade whipped cream. Hearty pastas, risotto dishes, and specialties such as beef bourguignon join the menu for lunch and dinner, helping guests recover from stressful daytime chores, such as ironing clothes while wearing them.
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.
Frostbites Crepes & Frozen Delights' freshly made delectable desserts have garnered this ice creamery several accolades: MyFOXla voted Frostbites the best ice-cream parlor, while The Tonight Show granted it a custom-made jingle. Loosen up with the 16 flavors of sorbet chill (starting at $2.59), made with authentic italian ice, or dive taste buds into creamy chocolate frozen custard (starting at $2.79), made from natural ingredients such as egg yolk. Commitment-phobic customers can combine the two with the sorbet cream (starting at $2.89), where fruity flavors such as watermelon, coconut, and orange merge with rich vanilla custard. Those in the mood for pancake-esque desserts can fill up with a sweet crêpe ($3.29) hot off the griddle and topped with a choice of sauces (each $.69) and accoutrements (each $.89). Buck traditional notions of French cuisine with a sandwich crêpe (starting at $3.99), stuffed with a choice of meat, cheese, condiments, and fresh vegetables.
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.