French cuisine is often regarded as the most decadent of fine dining options. If you're looking to expand your palate or enjoy a fancy night out on the town, check out our list below of some local favorite French restaurants.
The cuisine at La Voile transports diners straight to the south of France. The dishes served are traditional French classics with some Mediterranean influence thrown in as well. There are two locations, one on Newbury St. and another in Brookline, but both outposts offer an a la carte menu and a three-course tasting menu.
In Newbury, sample foie gras either as a terrine or try it pan-seared. If you can't decide, order the foie duo and get both! Try P.E.I. mussels one of three ways, in a spicy saffron broth, creamy curry or a traditional white wine and butter sauce. In Brookline, heighten your dining experience with a red or white wine flight and guided tasting.
Chef Chris Coombs serves modern French cuisine at Deuxave using locally sourced ingredients from the best farmers, foragers, and fishers in New England. The impeccably plated dishes and world-class wine program are unparalleled in the area. Begin your culinary adventure with the duck liver pâté served with sourdough, vanilla poached pears, pickled rhubarb and huckleberry compote.
The nine-hour French onion soup is decadent. The rich, slow-cooked beef broth, fatty bone marrow croutons and melty comté cheese are a heavenly combination. The star of the main courses is the spiced Long Island duck breast with charred baby leeks, wild mushrooms and mascarpone, but the crispy-skinned Giannone chicken is a close second.
Aquitaine is the South End's premier French bistro-inspired by Parisian cafes. The outdoor patio has been expanded, and the indoor dining room renovated to accommodate the summer crowds. There are many classic dishes on the menu, including duck pâté, French onion soup, escargot and mussel cassoulet.
The house steak frite is made with hangar steak, and the steak frite Parisian uses a thick NY strip. There's also a steak au poivre made from center-cut tenderloin with a cognac cream sauce if those weren't enough steak options. The chocolate mousse or the chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel are both decadent finishers.
Several renowned Michelin-starred chefs are responsible for making Lyonnaise cuisine a national sensation, but Chef Paul Bocuse brought it global attention. Bar Lyon celebrates all of the beautiful ingredients and Bouchon dishes made famous in Lyon.
Get one of the most iconic Lyonnaise specialties, quenelle de crochet (pike dumplings, crayfish tails, lobster velouté) in either a half or whole portion. The chicken paillard and roasted Cornish game hen are other worthy orders. For dessert, order the créme caramel, a traditional French custard baked with silky caramel. Sip on a classic pastis cocktail, a popular summer beverage in Provence.
What better place to enjoy French food than at a restaurant where the chef is actually French? Chef Jacky Roberts of Ma Maison is a Maitre Cuisiniers de France member, a global organization of 200 chefs including Daniel Boulud and Eric Ripert. Ma Maison is one of the few places in Boston to sample frog legs Provencal or pan-seared ray fine with lemon butter.
The coq au vin is a neighborhood favorite for a main course, as is the duck Margret, a variation on duck a l'orange with baby bok choy. Wednesday's special of the day is sweetbreads, an excellent delicacy. Ma Maison has one of the most extensive French dessert menus with showstoppers like strawberry baked Alaska, pear frangipane tart and a giant profiterole with warm chocolate sauce.
Frenchie is an effortlessly trendy, casual spot in the South End with delicious wine and French fare. Slurp the oysters of the day with a bright citrus mignonette with a glass of crisp Sancerre from the Loire Valley.
The goat cheese a la plancha with mandarin and apricot marmalade and grilled bread for dipping is a fun, shareable dish to start. The salt-encrusted branzino with fingerling potatoes, haricot vert, and tapenade is photo-worthy, as is the duck, which is served on a warm spinach salad with bacon and blackberry jus. Pair the duck with a glass of cabernet franc from Chinon.