Best French Restaurants in San Diego?

I used to love Chef Philipe Verpond’s (Sp?) place El Caviallon, but he has longs since fled SD for greener restaurant pastures in Houston. Cafe Chloe for farmhouse French cooking is always a favorite on these boards, but I miss Katy’s cooking. La Bastide isn’t bad and is a good overall value but I tend to find their food and sauces too salty. Have had a couple of enjoyable meals at Bleu Boheme, but have had a couple so so meals as well. Not sure that Bo-Beau even counts as a french restaurant, but even so, not generally my kind of place. Have yet to make it to Cafe Solange in La Jolla, but generally hear positive things (would love to hear more).

Really interested to hear your favorites?

I don’t know when you were the last time at Cafe Chloe but they had a few chef changes after Katie but for about a year now the Junkins have taken over the kitchen (he - savory, she - pastry) and the quality has gotten much better and is also much more “French” (and similar to Katie’s earlier days).
Otherwise we also miss Cavaillon and Farmhouse Cafe - everything else was either overpriced (Blue Boheme) or underwhelming (La Bastide)

Thank you for the info on Cafe Chloe. And do you know if Katie Gebrow is cooking anywhere else yet?

Also, what is your take (if you’ve dined there) on Cafe Solange?

Shortly before she left Cafe Chloe Katie got her first child and decided that she doesn’t want to work in a restaurant kitchen anymore (at least for now but she has now also a second child) and is now a private chef for hire and giving cooking classes which is giving her much better flexibility regarding her time. She is doing some events from time to time - recently for the World Woman Day she was cooking at Cucina Urbana.
As far as I know Cafe Solange closed end of last year - at least Yelp and Facebook seem to indicate it

Katie usually cooks for celebrate the craft as well.

Damn, again I hadn’t realized that (about Solange).

So we have the unknown (to me) . . . Pardon My French, and Bistro du Marché

And we have the good old standbys . . . Mille Fluers, Pamplemousse, Winesellar and Brasserie

Then we have the great and relatively new. . . PAON, and of course best of all, Addison.

I’ve eaten everywhere but the first two. The old standbys I haven’t been recently, but rarely hear them mentioned. Love PAON and can’t afford Addison, but wish I could go more regularly than the one time I’ve been.

We had a few meals at Pamplemousse several years ago and where complete underwhelmed especially for the price. With Winesellar and Brasserie we had recently a 8-course tasting menu and it was one of the most boring ones (no creativity, no good execution)we had in many years with sloppy service.
We also had recently two really good tasting menus set up at Mille Fleur and Marine Room which were two surprisingly good nights with creative food and very well executed. Marine Room more heavily relying on French cuisine (with a lot of Californian/Mediterreanean influences) whereas Mille Fleurs used classical French techniques but uses a lot of German and Austrian culinary influences (not surprising by Chef Martin’s background). And all chefs turned out to be really nice guys to talk to and we have met them now several times by coincidence in other restaurants and still had nice discussions. Both restaurant are highly recommended (even though they tend to fly under the radar as they don’t serve new American cuisine). Both restaurants also stood out for their excellent service
Addison is on our list for a long time but with a price point now higher than French Laundry the food we have seen from bloggers/reviews makes it hard for us to spend this amount of money for a full tasting menu

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The WineSeller can be quite the attractive dining spot (the brasserie upstairs), especially for their guest wine dinner.

Pardon my French is all of about 7 days old…how could you have known.

The wife and used to I love the desserts at Pamplemousse. The pastry chef there was killing it, but we havent been in a while.

No mention of the French Market Grille? LOL

We liked Vincent’s in Escondido back in the day, but I now see that was 10 years ago (which makes me wonder why I’ve kept “RBHound” as my nickname on that other site.

LA Bonne Table

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I could eat in a French bistro everyday of my life.
Thanks 4wino for the rec!


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Your post got us thinking about French food, which we haven’t had in a while. Have you been to Et Voila Bistro? We were maybe going to try it out next week.

Yes, several times and would happily return.

I’ll warn you- there’s no hot sauce.


Monsieur Fakey!
Je suis très heureux avec d’être ici!!

Et Voila provided an enjoyable dining experience this evening. Service was excellent, and the food was good to very good, if not outstanding.

We started with Tanqueray martinis, which were done just right, and shared a bottle of Angeline Reserve Paso Robles cabernet with dinner and dessert, which was fine.

We shared mussels mariniere as an app, which, oddly, come with fries. The mussels were ok. Light on garlic, I thought, and the mussels themselves were a bit too meaty for my taste, but still nice enough. The “broth” in the bowl that the mussels came in was like a good cold garlicy soup when the mussels themselves were gone.

My partner had two ribs from a rack of lamb, with accompaniments, as an entree. I had the short ribs. The lamb was very good; the short ribs just ok. Maybe the chef was in a down mood after the election? The short ribs were tender but the sauce a little heavy and needed some (or more) wine.

We shared a pear soufflé for dessert, which was good, but not great.

Both of us enjoyed the ambience, which is simple yet very tasteful, and there seems to be some acoustic treatment because although the place was about 3/4 full, the noise level was reasonable. There’s music in the background but no TVs.

Will we be back? Dunno. But we were glad to have tried the place. I think Cafe Chloe betters this place, and it remains my personal favorite for French.

Thanks Doc