Cafe Society

French Kiss

"Is this your first time dining with us?” she asks, smiling. In response, I just bob my head like a moron—completely gone on whatever weird cocktail of hormones and brain chemicals it is that makes a grown man fall in love with a menu, with nothing more than words on a page. Patiently, she explains to me the basics of dining at French 250: the multiple courses—

“Uh-huh.”

--the carefully paired wines—

“Uh-huh.”

--the spacing of portions—

“Uh-huh.”

She speaks to me as though I am a little dim, for which I don’t blame her at all.

I didn’t expect to like Frnch 250. Not even a little bit. I mean, come on: a haute French restaurant, opened by a guy with no restaurant experience, operating out of a basement in Cherry Creek that has already been the death of several other restaurants? The place reeked of doom from the get-go – and before all the hubbub about complimentary dog-walking and limo service, none of which made me optimistic.

But then I ate there and fell head-over-heels for the place. The menu is a beautiful bit of poetry, a lament for all those haute French classics of days gone by and a celebration of what made them classics in the first place. And the food? Well, let’s just say that the Jeremy Thomas who ran the show at the Ship Tavern (read that review here) and the Jeremy Thomas in the kitchen at French 250 are the same guy in name only. Check out this week’s Bite Me to see just how far he’s come from slinging jalapeno poppers at the Brown, and also to learn how state senator Bob Hagedorn works into the creation story of Denver’s greatest amateur-owned classical French restaurant in a basement.

Also this week: Big news for all you Big Lebowski fans (and for anyone else who likes bowling, white Russians and weed), plus a revisit to one of last year’s best restaurants, Parallel 17, for coffee martinis and curry.

It’s another week of French lessons here at Bite Me World HQ. So study hard, do your homework and don’t forget to try the frog’s legs. C’est magnifique. -- Jason Sheehan

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun