French Restaurants in Windsor

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From the simple, understated confines behind Bistro M's bright French doors, Parisian-born pastry-punchers pound out traditional Gallic gastronomy. Night-shift noshers can cloak themselves in the warm light of the chandeliers while rhapsodizing on inviting entrees such as trout almondine ($16) and braised pork shoulder with butternut-squash gratin ($21). Otherwise, seek pearls and spark plugs amid the raw, barbecue, and Rockefeller shell-meat of the full oyster bar ($1.75 each). Bistro M also assuages mid-afternoon belly temblors with a storehouse of lunch and brunch provisions. Set upon a refined feast with the croque madame's seared ham and fresh fried-egg chapeau ($11), or unmask hunger and robot invaders masquerading as sandwiches with the honesty of the open-faced vegetable and brie tartine ($8).

610 McClelland Dr

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

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).

1715 Solano Ave

Zazou's simple but powerful selection of café fare includes savory eats and fresh sweets. Stumble out of an ear-buzzing alarm-clock stupor with an Italian dark-roast or an organic, fair-trade medium-roast coffee before diving into a classic Nutella, chocolate, and banana crêpe ($6) or a hearty vegetarian crêpe stuffed with roasted red pepper, tomato, pesto, and monterey jack ($6.95). The hot pressed sandwiches see that cuts of pastrami, ham, turkey, or grilled chicken are lovingly squished between ciabatta or baguette halves with grandmotherly intensity, after receiving a number of pinches on the cheek and savory fillings, such as roasted red pepper, pesto, and swiss cheese ($7.50¬–$7.75). The meal-worthy Lebanese salad woos ravenous leaf-loving appetites with organic mixed greens, fresh tomatoes, and kalamata olives topped with feta cheese and pomegranate dressing ($7.25). Zazou’s also features a fresh soup du jour, with past offerings that include North African lentil ($3.50 for cup, $5 for bowl).

2309 San Pablo Ave

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.

2037 Shattuck Ave

The anticipation of finding out what executive chef Eric Lanvert chose to include on today's menu is part of the charm of dining at Rue Saint Jacques, where dishes are crafted from organic and sustainably farmed ingredients whenever possible. Lanvert draws inspiration from his childhood in southern France's Roussillon region and relies on ingredients from local producers, area farmers' markets, and gourmet food fights. The San Francisco Bay Guardian remarked in 2009 that despite their Californian origins, "the dishes rely on a timeless appeal and are very much the ones you'd find in countless neighborhood bistros in Paris."

The intimately sized dining room strikes a balance between refinement and rustic allure, featuring plaster-textured walls and exposed ceiling beams that tower over crisp white tablecloths.

1098 Jackson St
San Francisco,