Best French Restaurant - 2008
Sophie's Bistro - CLOSED
We're completely aware of the stuffy reputation that French restaurants have, and we're certain that the folks at Sophie's are, too. In fact, it seems like they're trying to completely defy that snooty stereotype. The service is warm and welcoming, and the setting — with wood floors, rustic wooden ceiling beams, colorful abstract art, and a little piano jazz in the background — is stylishly cozy. Meanwhile, the bistro-style menu is both sophisticated and comforting, a roundup of French greatest hits, from tender, garlicky escargots and velvety pâté du chef (made with Madeira, Cognac, and lavender honey), to crispy frites à la Parisienne. Pan-seared coquilles Saint-Jacques (scallops served with ricotta gnocchi) is hard to resist, while the magret de canard aux peches is one of this city's tastiest preparations of duck. Here, Maple Leaf Farm duck breast is perfectly seared, glazed with saba and cinnamon. Desserts are seductive as well, from lemon-honey crème brûlée to the decadent chocolate-hazelnut pyramid. You don't have to be a Francophile to visit Sophie's, but it's hard not to be one after eating here.