Le Patio also bills itself as a wine bar, with inexpensive glasses of reds and whites and a few more select bottles on special each day. I never once ordered a wine by name there, though. Each time I asked for a glass, Leroux recounted a list of varietals in her thick French accent — Merlot, pinot noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. When she brought back a glass (each $5 or less), it was always tasty stuff, and each subsequent pour seemed a little fuller than the last.

My favorite pairing that day: crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc with the salty-sweet flavor of orange baby clams baked with garlic and herbs ($6.50). The succulent shellfish came in a little blue crock with a tight-fitting lid, and opening it up was like receiving a present from a friend. I slathered the bread-crumb-imbued clams across slices of fresh-baked French bread and reserved a few slices for a trio of homemade pâtés my father ordered ($6.50). Like the clams, his meal was plated on a cutesy dish, this time a ceramic duck holding a supply of pork, duck, and chicken pâté along with tart cornichons and a mound of spicy Dijon mustard. Each of the pâtés was smooth and rich. But the slightly chunky pork pâté larded with bits of tasty pork fat was easily my favorite.

Another hit: Danielle's manicotti au Provence ($12.95), delicate rolls of pasta filled with ricotta cheese and baked with a chunky tomato sauce flecked with French herbs. And a salad of fresh-sliced avocado and chicken breast draped with champagne vinaigrette was light, simple eating at its best ($11.95). We were too full that day, so I've yet to try Leroux's lasagna made with béchamel and mushrooms or the shepherd's pie topped with whipped potatoes ($13.95).

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

Le Patio

2401 NE 11th Ave.
Wilton Manors, FL 33305

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: Wilton Manors

Details

Le Patio, 2401 NE 11th Ave., Wilton Manors. Open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday noon to 2 p.m. Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. Call 954-530-4641, or click here.

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As we finished our meals, Danielle hopped inside to check out the interior we'd been missing. "There's a hunky picture of Brad Pitt hanging on the wall," she said with a grin. It was right there next to a dozen or so other random, artsy-looking pictures of sculpted bods and black-and-white shots. All the more reason for her to come back, I guess. For me, I can't take my eyes off the patio. It's just too gorgeous — the perfect place to put life on hold.

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