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Best French Restarant: Pride in the home country 

Le Bistro

For how many decades have American restaurateurs sold us the fantasy of dining á la française? With their chateaubriand avec légumes and their zinc-topped bars, they've used Frenchitude as the primary marker of class. There's something about Jean-Paul and Kathleen Peluffo's restaurant, though, that would even make a French person recall her home country. It's not the decor -- the vine-wrapped ceilings and sponge-painted walls are pure Walnut Creek -- but more in the way Kathleen greets the customers with a European courtesy that feels natural, and in the simultaneously fussy and homey menu, a trick that many try but only the truly French can pull off. Chef Jean-Paul, whose work has taken him around the world, makes bistro food -- a little rustic, a little refined, with as many offcuts and unfamiliar kinds of seafood as the suburbs will let him get away with, and lots of creamy sauces.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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