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Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

Few countries have culinary traditions as rigorous as the French.

While the cuisine was influenced by the Italians during the Renaissance, during the 17th century chefs like François Pierre La Varenne and Marie-Antoine Carême took the basics and pioneered movements that would create a unique national cuisine of their own.

Yes, they saw that soft and chewy ciabatta, and raised it a perfectly crisped yet pillowy baguette.

To become a master chef in France, one must pass through an accredited program, a serious apprenticeship, years of working in the field, and an onerous test.

To open a bakery, pastry chefs must have about a decade's worth of experience and still sit for a weeklong test.

To them, the croissant is serious business -- forget the new lame croissant/doughnut hybrid. Pffft.

See Also: Ten Best Romantic Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

So, if you're looking to get down on some delicious grub this Valentine's Day -- and a bit of French romance -- you should probably head over to one of South Florida's amorous French restaurants.

From casual bistros to haute elegance, here are the ten best French restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach County.

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

10. Sugar Reef

Like every other seafaring nation, the French spread their seed in tropical locations. (You know what we mean). This open-air Hollywood Beach restaurant is all about intermingling the influences with a menu of French-Caribbean delights. Steamed mussels ($14) are available in classic white wine or lightly spiced green curry and coconut; traditional roast duck foregoes the orange sauce and dives straight into a local mango salsa ($29.50). Hey, even the French are open to interpretation -- as long as it's damn near perfect.

See also: Ten Best Restaurants in Hollywood

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

9. La Brochette Bistro

When it comes to South Florida dining destination one would probably think of Miami, Palm Beach, or Delray Beach -- certainly not Cooper City. However, since March of 1993, regulars from all over Broward County have been happily trekking to the western 'burbs for a taste chef/owner Aboud Kobaitri's French by way of the Middle East cuisine. The Lebanese started his culinary career in France before meeting his Floridian wife in Norway. Dishes like baked escargot ($10); filet mignon au poivre ($33); and pistachio and black pepper crusted snapper filet ($27) with key lime beurre blanc exemplify his use of classic technique and jet-setting way of life.

See also: Five Most Outrageous Burgers in Palm Beach County

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Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

8. Chez Jean-Pierre

Money doesn't buy happiness, but it does buy delectable French cuisine which is almost the same thing. After nearly two decades of serving the rich and famous of Palm Beach, Normandy-born Chef Jean-Pierre Leverrier's fare is still worthy of the accolades -- and the price-tag. Classics like dover sole meuniere ($52); roasted duck with thyme and honey sauce ($39.50); and authentic coq au vin ($32.50) are perfectly executed, and never get old.

See also: Ten Best Bars for Cocktails in Palm Beach County

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

7. Cafe La Bonne Crepe

With a covered outdoor patio and comfortable interior, this Las Olas creperie is about as French as you can get in Fort Lauderdale. While it's known for its breakfast, the cafe serves a selection of traditional non-crepe options. Homemade pate ($12), escargot casserole ($14), and Coquille Saint Jacques ($15) are the perfect precursor to your sweet crepe suzette ($12) with Gran Marnier and orange sauce.

See also: Ten Best Seafood Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

6. Carpe Diem by Cafe de France

When Café de France morphed into Carpe Diem by Café de France, it thankfully retained the intimate charm that had initially drawn people to its Delray Beach address. While the menu is no longer strictly French, it still offers a wide selection of exquisitely prepared classics like Coquille Saint Jacque ($14.99), scallopsin white wine sauce with mushrooms served gratinee; escargot ($9.99); and bouillabaisse ($27.99).

See also: Ten Best New Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties in 2013

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

5. Six Tables

You've heard the saying "Good things come in small packages." You've also heard the best food in the world is French. If both ideas are true, you need to make sure you visit this place. As the name suggests, the tiny Boca Raton restaurant is filled with just six tables, and it offers just one seating per night. The multi-course menu features traditional Gallic fare like duck l'orange, chateaubriand, or poached pear with stilton served on elegant china with silver cutlery, linen napkins, and wine in crystal glasses. We dare you to find a place more elegant -- i.e. French -- than that.

See also: Ten Best Waterfront Restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

4. Brule Bistro

There once was a day in which French cuisine was reserved for fine dining. There was also a day in which you had to throw on a suit to get a good meal in a restaurant. Luckily, those days are gone; we now have places like Brule Bistro with unpretentious and affordable French and American fare. Dishes like Prince Edward Island Mussels ($12)

in bouillabaisse broth and smokey gremolata; duck sausage and ricotta gnudi ($12)

with organic brussels sprouts and vermouth cream; and Labelle Farms foie gras and duck confit crostini ($12) with date jam, goat cheese, and aged balsamic combine impeccable French technique with a playful American sentiment.

See also: Ten Best Cheesesteaks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

3. Sage French Cafe

Set in a shopping plaza on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, this comfortable bistro serves classic rustic French fare in a relaxed homey environment. Dishes like onion soup ($7); chicken liver pate ($7); and Coq au Vin ($16), organic cornish hen in red wine with pearl onions, and mushrooms served with mashed potatoes are rich and satisfying, and not at all pretentious. If crepes are what you're looking for, the place has a solid selection with options like crepe martine ($12) filled with scallops, shrimp, mussells, and fennel sauce and crepe nanette ($11) with apples and baked brie. A meal here is like eating at a French friends house -- but with an open invitation seven days a week.

See also: Ten Best Brunches in Palm Beach County

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

2. Cafe Boulud

Once upon a time, if you were celebrating a special occasion in the United States, you were dining in a fine French establishment. While that's no longer the norm, this is still your celebratory place. Located in the beautiful Brazilian Court on the island of Palm Beach, this highly acclaimed outpost of renowned chef Daniel Boulud offers creative fare in luxurious surrounds. It may be on the pricier side, but dishes like torchon of foie gras ($28) with herbes de provence gastrique, crushed hazelnuts, and pickled blueberries served with toasted brioche; duo of beef ($44), braised short rib, seared tenderloin

pommes anna, and spinach subric topped with sauce bordelaise; and decadent pastries like pear chestnut gateau ($10) with poached pears, chestnut chantilly, and pear william sorbet are ideal for commemorating any occasion -- you'll certainly honor the meal, at least.

See also: Ten Best Brunches in Broward County

Ten Best French Restaurants in Palm Beach and Broward Counties

1. Pistache French Bistro

Set at the east end of ClematisBoulevard overlooking the park and the intracoastal, this laid-back bistro looks -- and smells -- as though it could have been plucked straight off the bank of the Seine. With dark woods, marble floors, giant mirrors, red leather booths, a covered patio, and indoor lounge, it looks the part, but the food is what really draws the Francophile crowds. Moules frites "mariniere" ($24.50) in a white wine-garlic-shallot broth; Hudson Valley duck ($29) with truffled polenta, spinach, and sweet cherry sauce; and steak tartare ($14) are so perfect, you'll be crying 'merci, merci' by the time you leave.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.




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