This has been a tough year for French restaurants. French 250, which Jason Sheehan raved about when he reviewed it last spring; closed abruptly this fall after just a year in business -- and at the same time, La Chaumiere bid adieu after more than thirty years in Lyons.
But there are still half-a dozen other worthy French restaurants in town. Our favorites follow:
1 and 2. Z Cuisine and Z Cuisine A Cote, 2245 & 2239 West 33rd Avenue, 303-477-1111. Patrick Dupays doubled our pleasure this year when he opened A Cote, the wine bar that's worth a visit on its own merits, and not just as overflow from the charming, always cramped Z Cuisine.
3. Le Central, 112 East Eighth Avenue, 303-863-0984. For more than twenty years, Le Central has billed itself as "the affordable French restaurant." A new, killer happy hour makes it an even better bargain -- but it's also a great spot for lunch and a romantic dinner destination.
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4. Bistro Vendome, 1420 Larimer Street, 303-825-3232. Lovely setting, lovely ambiance, lovely food. And the brunch? Ooh la la!
5. Brasserie Felix, 3901 Tennyson Street, 303-953-2401. Northwest Denver suddenly has two excellent French restaurants. Felix just joined the lineup a few months ago; it's particularly good at lunch.
6. Indulge French Bistro. 4140 West 38th Avenue, 303-433-7400. William and Stephanie Wahl (above) have the sweetest spot in town. It's quiet and calm -- the perfect spot for a holiday tete a tete.