You don’t have to go to Paris to dine at a cozy bistro, featuring French favorites. Some of Boston’s best restaurants offer classic cuisine like steak frites, roasted chicken and other favorites. With extensive wine selections and classy, not-too-stuffy atmospheres, the following list features some of the best bistros in Boston.
Petit Robert Central
101 Arch St
Boston, MA 02110
Located in the center of all the action in Downtown Crossing, Petit Robert Central is a French bistro featuring cuisine by award-winning Chef Jacky Robert. The menu features classics like Beef Bourguignon, Salad Nicoise and Croque Madame. The atmosphere is upbeat enough for after-work cocktails and snacks from the $5 Rendezvous Menu, and upscale enough for the special Express Lunch offered, perfect for hosting a client. It even has a great intimate setting for a date night, with affordable entrees up to $25, as you and your dining companion enjoy not just the tasty food but the décor created by celebrity designer Taniya Nayak.
Bistro du Midi
272 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116
Featuring an unbeatable location overlooking Boston’s Public Garden, Bistro du Midi presents a floor plan that includes two levels for guests to feast on French food and drinks. An open kitchen allows diners to get comfortable and feel the excitement from the kitchen and a fireplace makes it extra cozy in colder months. Bistro du Midi prides itself on serving authentic Provencal cuisine with inspirations from the Midi region in France. Highlights on the menu include the Seared Foie Gras with Red Plum, Port Wine and Apple Fennel Jus or the Pan Seared Black Sea Bass with Chorizo, Sun-dried Tomato, Pea Tendrils and a Pea and Mint Emulsion. Prices ranges from $6 for a starter or side dish to $35 for one of the specialties like the Shellfish Bouillabaisse.
553 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
In the trendy South End, Hamersley’s Bistro serves a menu that showcases simple, seasonal New England favorites. Locals especially love the Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley but other standouts include Seared Sea Scallops and Foie Gras with Braised Endives, Cipollini Onions and Roasted Lemon Sauce or the Roasted Artichoke and Ricotta Crêpes with Spring Vegetables, French Lentils and Parmesan-Chive Sauce. Everything on the dinner menu is under $45 including the Vermont Lamb Three Ways with Truffled Mashed Potatoes. On your visit, take advantage of the seasonal wine list as well.
569 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
Also in the South End, Aquitaine is a French restaurant serving prix fixe brunch on weekends for only $9.95, plus lunch and dinner all week long. For dinner, start off with Escargots De Bourgogne ($9.95) which includes White Wine and Thyme Braised Escargots with Garlic and Parsley Butter followed by one of the classic French entrees like the Steak Frites with Périgord Black Truffle Vinaigrette, Watercress Shallot Salade and a Natural Jus ($24.95). Also, make sure to ask your server what the daily specials are at this modern Parisian bistro so you don’t miss out on any of the best tastes in town.
129 South St
Boston, MA 02111
Les Zygomates is a wine bar and bistro over by the Leather District, toward the Waterfront and South Boston areas. Head here for wine tastings, live jazz music and, most importantly, delightful French cuisine. Nosh on Scallop Ceviche from the Raw Bar and order Beef Shortrib Bourguignonne, Braised Duck Leg or the Smoked and Grilled Pork Chop. Each one of these meaty plates is sure to deliver the most tender of bites to your mouth. Sip wines from across the globe available in a tasting portion for around $3, by the glass starting at $7, or go all out with one of the many bottles of wine, with prices up to the $100 range.
Michelle Levine is a creative energetic, young professional that is passionate about everything Boston has to offer. She loves to attend local events, dine out, and cook and wants to share her findings with you. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.