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Rating the French Restaurants in Southwest Florida

We're having a French moment.



The Provencale shrimp at Chez Boet

Vanessa Rogers

 

Whether or not you consider yourself a Francophile, you can’t ignore the fact we’ve got an amazing array of French restaurants—and a shocking number have opened in the past year. Here’s how they compare, on the always-reliable one to five star system.

Price
$$$$   $25 and more
$$$     $16-$25
$$       $11-$15

★★★★★

Azure (Fort Myers) $$$$ 
Cuisine: moderne
Best Bet: Anything that chef Joe Pittman’s hands touch in his open kitchen, from escargots to duck confit risotto, is worth your while.

★★★★½

Bleu Provence (Naples) $$$$
Cuisine: mixte
Best Bet: For the health-conscious, go with the juice tonics and buckwheat quiche; for an indulgent dinner, filet mignon with a raclette soufflé and any of the award-winning wines.

The Office (Cape Coral) $$$$
Cuisine: moderne
Best Bet: Each dish from this Michelin-trained chef is as au courant as is it is memorable and reminiscent of the Riviera, especially the foie gras brioche.

★★★★

Chez Boet (Naples) $$$$
Cuisine: traditionnel
Best Bet: In chef Lisa Boet’s chic boîte, opt for her country-style pork terrine followed by wild-caught local snapper en papillotte.

★★★½

Bleu Rendez-Vous (Sanibel) $$$
Cuisine: traditionnel
Best Bet: The nightly prix-fixe with escargots, filet and profiteroles is a steal; for a bit more oomph, try the rabbit with white wine and mushrooms.

Cote d’Azur (Naples) $$$$
Cuisine: mixte
Best Bet: This storefront takes risks with the usual suspects that pay off, such as a crispy duck with fruit chutney, butternut squash purée and a peppercorn-wine sauce.

La Bazenne (Naples) $$$$
Cuisine: moderne
Best Bet: Get the French “Mex” tabbouleh with quinoa, tomatoes and jalapeño and the free-range chicken coq au vin with mushroom risotto at this sidewalk café.

Le Lafayette (Naples) $$$$
Cuisine: traditionnel
Best Bet: There’s a lot of foie gras and caviar to go around on this sumptuous menu touting classic French dishes.

★★★

Escargot 41 (Naples) $$$$
Cuisine: traditionnel
Best Bet: You cannot leave this proudly old-school Provencal dining room without having the escargot.

★★½

Café Normandie (Naples) $$$ 
Cuisine: traditionnel
Best Bet: A casual northern French country kitchen makes mean stuffed croissants, crepes, quiches and more.

Mad Fresh Bistro (Fort Myers) $$
Cuisine: moderne
Best Bet: Open-faced sandwiches and deeply flavorful salads dominate at this tiny contemporary eatery.

★★

Tartine & Tartelette (Naples) $$$
Cuisine: moderne
Best Bet: The lighter plates at this casual-chic hideaway, like a salmon millefeuille with apple, are an ideal way to save space for the decadent desserts.

 

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