L'Ardoise Bistro was opened in 2008 by Chef Thierry Clement (who previously worked at Le Charm, now Mathilde French Bistro). On a recent evening when my husband had a work dinner, my teen and I did a quick search for a well-reviewed French bistro and found ourselves at L'Ardoise.
L'Ardoise Bistro Location and Hours
L'Ardoise is located at 151 Noe Street in San Francisco's Duboce Triangle and is open for dinner from 5-10 pm Tuesdays to Saturdays. We highly recommend a reservation, as it's a small place and very popular.
L'Ardoise Menu and Food
After arriving, we were seated at the only available table for two, happy that we'd made a reservation. We were given menus and a wine list, although didn't order wine on this occasion.
We were offered fresh baguette with butter to start. The butter was a bit hard, but I preferred keeping the bread in reserve to soak up the sauce with my main course.
As it was a weekday, we opted to skip an appetizer and go straight to main courses. My teen ordered the Mixed Mushrooms and Parmesan Risotto, which was delicious. It's a modest portion size (well proportioned if you've already had an appetizer) so keep that in mind if ravenous.
I opted for the Coq au Vin, a bistro classic, and this version was fantastic: tender chicken falling off the bone, draped in a delectable, velvety sauce studded with pearl onions, all of it over mashed potatoes. You couldn't ask for a more comforting dish to warm up with given San Francisco's generally chilly evenings. While I happily would have finished the dish myself, I took note of how quickly my teen was consuming his risotto and saved him about a third of my dish. He cleaned every last inch of both dishes with bread: hungry teen boy = no waste.
We also ordered a side of brussels sprouts with bacon, which was a satisfying vegetable.
To end on a sweet note, we chose to share a piece of Tarte Tatin. It was textbook perfect, with its evenly caramelized apples and buttery crust, far better than I've been able to make it at home. It's on the pricey side, at $15, but given the work involved, worth it.
L'Ardoise Bistro is the perfect choice for San Francisco visitors and residents who crave French comfort food and friendly service in a cozy space. It's not a special occasion place like Gary Danko, so don't expect to linger a long time, but it's ideal when you and your dining companions want good food but don't want to wait a long time for it.
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