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5 Elegant French Bistros for Fine Dining in Westchester County

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Whether it’s Bastille Day or Saturday, these European-inspired bistros are a must for authentic French fare in the region.

Much like the Fourth of July in the U.S., Bastille Day across the pond in France is kind of a big deal. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille (a medieval fortress where arms and prisoners were housed), kicking off the French Revolution. Celebrated annually on July 14 across France, everyone gets the day off from work, family and friends gather for food and drink, a military parade (the oldest and largest in Europe, according to most accounts) marches on the Champs-Elysees, and fireworks light up the sky at night.

The French refer to it as National Day, but, in this neck of the woods, we tend to call it Bastille Day. Either way, feel free to get into the holiday spirit at one of these fine French bistros in Westchester.

Appetit Bistro

540A Willett Ave, Port Chester; 914.690.2000

Situated within a fairly pedestrian strip mall, this eatery doesn’t seem prepossessing from the outside. But step into its small but chic interior, with soothing blue-gray walls and white paneled wainscoting, and you’ll soon get a sense that something special is afoot in the open kitchen. Dip crispy fries into flavor-rich Mussels Mariniere or use a tiny fork to nibble at escargot en croute, bathed in a garlicky sauce.

Caper brown-butter sauce makes the lemon sole here sing, while earthy wild mushrooms lend heartiness to ravioli interspersed with peas. Bonus: French choices abound on the wine menu.

Encore Bistro Francais

22 Chatsworth Ave, Larchmont; 914.833.1661

At this snug French eatery that’s been delighting diners for upwards of two decades, the secret to its staying power starts with the evocative décor — vintage posters line the walls and old-fashioned light fixtures cast the tables in soft glow. Then there’s the food: Kick off your dinner with oven-roasted marrow bones with onion marmalade, or a salade Parisienne of smoked bacon, mushrooms, poached egg, and garlic dressing. Entrées include herb-crusted rack of lamb and sea scallops with crispy Parmesan crust. For dessert, there’s Nutella crepes or a poached pear with ice cream, bathed in warm chocolate sauce. Theme nights (Monday to Wednesday) keep the offerings exciting, Sunday brunch borders on divine, and the three-course $18.50 prix-fixe lunch (Monday to Saturday) is a bargain.

Le Jardin du Roi

95 King St, Chappaqua; 914.238.1368

Whether you’re looking for a French-style BEC any time of day, traditional seared tuna Nicoise salad, or a classic French hangar steak with frites, you’ll find it at this local favorite. The interior is soothing, with dark woods, tall banquettes, and rustic décor. Enjoy moules frites with three different sauces here, or inhale a bowl of linguini carbonara, topped with a farm-fresh egg yolk. The salmon burger, with tarragon aioli, is another go-to. 

Le Provencal Bistro

436 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.777.2324

The yellow awning and paned windows here will remind you of your last trip to France (or inspire you to take your next one). Step inside, and you’ll find a relaxed yet thoughtfully appointed dining room, with daffodil-colored walls and artwork by Provencal artist Gerardi Isiri, plus mirrors, iron racks, and flower-filled vases.

And le menu? Chase your escargots Bourguignonne with duck confit or steak au poivre, and finish with a chocolate pot de crème. The carefully curated wine list includes global favorites as well as French ones — the rosés from the south of France are a can’t-miss.

Saint George Bistro

155 Southside Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson; 914.478.1671

Pressed tin ceilings, antique mirrors, and wine shelves make this eatery feel like a comfy nook right out of Paris, and the kitchen here turns out some of the most sumptuously heartwarming fare in the county. Bring friends along, and they’ll admire your good taste — especially after they’ve sampled the onion soup with duck bouillon and crusty, gooey Gruyère cheese, or nibbled on a starter of Pate Maison with mustard and pickles. While all the entrées, from rainbow trout with watercress, bacon, morels, and a lemon beurre blanc to gnocchi Parisienne, it’s the Steak au Poivre that’s a true showstopper — a 14-ounce NY strip with black peppercorn, cognac, and frites.