France is home to some of the world’s most revered wine regions, and it’s the birthplace of countless foundational cooking techniques. So it’s no surprise that many American restaurateurs look to this country for inspiration when crafting ambitious concepts. These eight Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning brasseries, bistros and fine-dining rooms have successfully transported classic French dining experiences, along with top wines. The destinations in this guide are just a small sampling of the nearly 300 Restaurant Award winners serving French cuisine across the country.
To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s more than 2,900 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 97 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.
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Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, Calif.
Telephone (858) 314-1900
Located at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, Calif., Grand Award winner Addison is a wine-and-golf lover’s dream restaurant (the hotel features the 18-hole Grand Golf Club). A display cellar in the middle of the dining room highlights wine director Victoria O’Bryan’s 3,200-label selection, which is strongest in wines from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Italy and California. Guests can explore Addison’s program with a robust by-the-glass list, as well as the restaurant’s many large-format options. These wines accompany chef William Bradley’s seasonal tasting menus, which offer distinctive spins on California ingredients. This includes Bradley’s spring squab and black sesame tartlets with strawberries, as well as his nettle rice with burnt onion and black truffle.
1234 Eighth St. S., Naples, Fla.
Telephone (239) 261-8239
Lysielle and Jacques Cariot invite guests to enjoy the flavors of their native Provence at their restaurant Bleu Provence in Naples, Fla. This includes an impressive wine list, one that’s earned the restaurant a Grand Award since 2015. Assembled by Jacques Cariot, the 4,850-label list spotlights French regions like Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, the Rhône and, of course, Provence. There are also wines from regions farther abroad, like California and Italy, as well as bottles from noted estates like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Duckhorn. Diners can finish their meals with one of the noteworthy dessert wines featured on the restaurant’s hefty by-the-glass list. To join these sips, Lysielle Cariot’s seafood-heavy, Provençal-inspired menu features pairable dishes like a fish soup with croutons, seared foie gras, escargot and tuna tartare.
60 E. 65th St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 288-0033
The flagship restaurant and namesake of iconic chef Daniel Boulud, New York City’s Daniel has held a Grand Award since 2002. The restaurant’s success can also be attributed to wine director Daniel Johnnes’ 2,100-label list, which offers bottles from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Champagne and Germany, among many other regions (being from Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu, a commune of Lyon, Boulud has especially close ties to the nearby Rhône and Burgundy regions). Wine fans can also look to lengthy verticals from well-known estates like Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Margaux. French flavors form the core of chef Jean-Francois Bruel’s ever-changing prix-fixe menu (wine pairings can be added for $88), which includes dishes like artichokes with porcini mushrooms and green-olive tapenade, Scottish langoustine ravioli and a sea-urchin emulsion, and Ozark rabbit stuffed with lobster.
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
MGM Grand Hotel, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, Nev.
Telephone (702) 891-7925
The legacy of late chef Joël Robuchon lives on in Las Vegas at his restaurant in the MGM Grand Hotel, which has held a Grand Award since 2009. Wine director Michael Rone upholds the restaurant’s reputation with 1,875 labels from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, the Rhône, California and beyond. Guests may choose from a wide range of collectible bottles from star names like Château Lafite Rothschild and François Raveneau, and they can sip these wines in the restaurant’s townhouse-inspired interior adorned with jewel tones, marble floors and chandeliers. There is also chef Christophe de Lellis’ prix-fixe menu, of course, which offers French-influenced dishes like avocado and Salmon cannelloni, frog leg kadaif fritters with red miso, seared scallops in a green curry sauce and truffled langoustine ravioli.
201 W. 79th St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 873-6423
Holding a Grand Award since 2014, Nice Matin has proven to be one of New York City’s French cuisine hubs, combining a casual brasserie setting with a world-class wine list. Wine director Aviram Turgeman has put together 2,450 labels from France, California, Italy and farther abroad. The list is expectedly packed with older vintages and impressive names, but guests can discover delicious values priced under $50 as well. Wine devotees can even join the restaurant’s wine club. Chef Andy d’Amico’s menu accompanies these wines with dishes inspired by his and owner Simon Oren’s travels in Nice, France. This Mediterranean fare includes melon with speck ham, heirloom tomatoes with white peaches and balsamic, duck breast with fresh cherries and the restaurant’s signature burger with smoked gouda and white onions.
1601 14th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
Telephone (202) 332-3333
Best of Award of Excellence
Le Diplomate looks like it was plucked straight from a Parisian street corner and dropped in central Washington, D.C. Its awning-lined patio and tiled floors transport guests to a French café, with food and beverage programs to match. Collectively, this has earned the restaurant a Best of Award of Excellence since 2016. The wine list focuses on France, accordingly, with a range of Champagnes from well-known houses like Krug and Ruinart. Le Diplomate’s impressive Burgundy selection is joined by many Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from California wineries like Ramey and Mayacamas. Chef Greg Lloyd’s menu is an inclusive mix of classics, opening with seafood starters, various cheeses and hors d’oeuvres like escargots and a mushroom tart with truffle pecorino. Staples like duck à l’orange and beef Bourguignon fill out the entrées, in addition to daily specials.
Ludlow Hotel, 180 Ludlow St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 254-3000
Best of Award of Excellence
Chef-restaurateur Mario Carbone and Major Food Group, the prolific team behind Grand Award winner the Grill, explore French cuisine at the aptly named Dirty French in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Wine director Luke Wise has assembled a France-focused list of 800 labels, which opens with an impressive Champagne display. France’s best-known regions are heavily featured, along with verticals from noted wineries like Château de Beaucastel and Jean-Louis Chave, and there are bottles from other regions like Alsace and Jura as well. Chef Rich Torrisi’s menu follows suit with French-style dishes like oysters Bourguignon, tuna tartare and steak au poivre.
O’ by Claude Le Tohic
165 Farrell St., San Francisco, Calif.
Telephone (415) 814-8888
Best of Award of Excellence
Chef Claude Le Tohic’s O’ is located at the top of the chef’s multi-tiered dining destination ONE65 in San Francisco, where Le Tohic explores French cuisine at other spots One 65 and Elements. O’ stands out with a 755-label wine list that’s earned the restaurant a Best of Award of Excellence since 2020. Californian wines mingle with bottles from Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhône, emphasized in a substantial by-the-glass list. There are many small format bottlings to choose from too, as well as older vintages and verticals from iconic names like Chablis’ Dauvissat and Napa’s Opus One. Diners can look out for these eye-catching names or food-friendly values as they match bottles with Le Tohic’s tasting menus (vegetarian menus are also offered). The chef offers his own take on French cuisine with dishes like Wagyu ribeye with a vegetable mille-feuille and slow-cooked chanterelles with duck liver and fava beans.
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