Great little French Bistro near downtown. Authentically inspired Bistro food served by authentic French waitstaff. Charming interior and the owner is super gracious and welcoming. Nice French wine list completes the authentic theme here. Quite romantic, with a covered patio area that doubles the seating area. Great for parties. Love this place and will be returning often.
The live music was too loud and we three could not carry on a conversation. The eldest of us, 79 years old, had a hearing aid he had to turn off. I found nothing special with the food. We tried to waive down wait staff to get refills on our drinks but they were focused on larger groups. I would have expected a tab for the three of us to be a little over $100 (had we eaten elsewhere) given 2 appetizers, 3 entrees, one cocktail, and 2 desserts. Instead the total was well over $200. Really not worth the price. I rarely write a bad review, but I was honestly surprised that this visit was nearly a complete fail.
Great little gem tucked away on 5th St. All the employees were friendly & attentive. Owner is a pleasure to talk to. Ambience is romantic & brings me back to France. Just enough noise but not noisy. The food is really good as well!
Very good French restaurant! Had everything we were looking for and everything was authentic.
First of all, it was nice to be able to speak French with the French server who was attentive and yet not omnipresent. We dined in the heated patio which was comfortable even at this time of the year. My husband loved his starter, a generous charcuterie platter, and a duck confit for his entrée. I loved the moules marinières and enjoyed the scallops, although I didn't care much for the mixing the tomatoes with them. Our desserts were great, tarte tartan for my husband, and floating island ("oeufs à la neige"), my favorite dessert. It was uncanny, for on the way to the restaurant I told my husband that I really craved "oeufs à la neige", but have never seen them on an American menu. The last time I had this dessert was in France 2 years ago when I visited my family and friends.....and here it was on the menu! I was delighted and it was REALLY good. So I recommend this restaurant. Just wish the patio would be improved, not sure how...perhaps more light?
Absolutely wonderful. Chicken liver salad was outstanding. A little out of the way but worth the effort to get there.
The Charcuterie board features homemade pates that are delicious. I also enjoyed the fried Brussels sprouts as a side vegetable. A mussel appetizer featured nice small tender - a nice change from the large rubbery ones one often encounters.
Darling french restaurant in a very unlikely spot. Great attention to detail by waiter. Food was fresh and delicious. Didn't order dessert, but wished I did!
They were so amazing! Such sweet staff. They made a special message on our dessert at no extra cost - so sweet! Highly recommend the specials... amazing!
Wonderful french restaurant, excellent food and service. Love to dine in the back outside room that is well heated.
Cute place for date night and small group. Vet knowledgeable staff of wine pairing with food. Overall great experience.
Wonderful traditional French cuisine with lovely ambiance
Loved it when it was Le Charm, and loving it now -- only drawback was that it seemed like our waiter didn't really want to be there.
Good food, server with French accent and the same chairs from that outdoor bistro in Aix en Provence. Why not some Edith Piaf and up the ante a bit on the food to nail it?
Authentic French restaurant in SOMA! Ambience feels more like its Noe Valley sister restaurant, L'Ardoise. A quiet oasis in the business of downtown. Highly recommended. Great food and a beautiful outdoor patio (and indoor space). Quiet, cozy and delicious.
I like this place, the interior looks nice. The food is good and enough, which make it better than average. However, everything is just too ordinary. nothing is wrong, but nothing is too exciting. Also, the apple tart is too sweety.
Great food, diminished by some patron/thief who decided to take my Burberry umbrella.
Hostess had me put it in umbrella stand by door, then told me, when I raised the issue of the theft, that I should have told her of its value when we walked in.
$300 meal will cost me another $350 to replace an umbrella I’ve had for 6+ years.
Enjoy the food, just keep your property with you.
This was our first time - Saint Patrick's Day, so we avoided the crowds. Friendly, attentive service. Excellent onion soup, duck confit with crisp potatoes to die for, and arugula beet salad. Scallops were tasty, and so was the tomato confit-olive sauce, but the latter was a little salty for my taste. Dessert was phenomenal: chocolate-banana bread pudding, with the perfect moist but not wet texture and terrific flavor. Save room for that!
Always great food and service. Love this hidden gem!
Classic bistro food well prepared; excellent live music
Food was authentic and service was impeccable. I’d go back and dine here again. Highly recommended!
Excellent menu, service and wine selection. It's like being in Paris.
Food was excellent, as it has been every time we have dined here. Our waiter was attentive in a very subtle way and gave us an amazing wine recommendation.
Food was delicious and well-prepared with excellent pacing. I loved the service, attentive and knowledgable. We were not rushed and it was a lovely dining experience! I will definitely return.
Food was delicious, the service was excellent, the setting was very nice. The only problem was that the noise level was too high, much too high. Too many young people passing around cell phones (probably with pictures) and talking loudly, in high pitched voices, (probably about the pictures). They showed no consideration for the comfort of other diners. I know it's exceedingly difficult for management to tell its customers to be considerate of other customers, so I don't have a solution for this problem. (There was background music, and perhaps if it's at a lower volume, diners won't have to speak louder, to be heard over the music. This may lower the baseline.
Delicious meal. My dinner companion was an Italian chef, from Italy, who totally enjoyed the meal, service, and atmosphere.
We dined at the sister restaurant last month and have been here remotely a few times when it was Le Charm. The hostess is a partner with the restaurant namesake as well as the current chef, her spouse. We found the hostess not smiling nor welcoming when we arrived but she gradually warmed to other customers as the evening wore on. Hope it was just a bad day.
The interiors appeared to be the same from what we remembered years ago. We started with the beet salad which Hubby liked. They offer this dish at the other restaurant as well.
I liked the French onion soup a lot. Huge amounts of hot, melted cheese. The soup was so hot it took me a very long time to consume. Just enough onions, a large piece of bread but not enough soup. I tried the special boneless trout in sauce, topped with sliced almonds. They only had 5 servings of the fish and it sold out. The green salad with it was OK but the fried mashed potato balls were wonderful.
Hubby really liked his flank steak which also came with a small salad and great skinny French fries in a paper cone. We shared a choc banana pudding. It was like a moist cake topped with a dollop of good coconut ice cream
And decorated with little red hearts. Hubby’s glass of French red wine and our meals came to nearly $100 before tip.
Very good small French bistrot. Great casual service, food is excellent, wine list also, moderate in price with great choices.
Food taste and presentation were impressive. Loved the lamb shank.
Lena and team were fabulous! Great food, great recommendations and fun time.
We came for the prix-fixe SF Restaurant Week and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality and french-ness of the food. It really didn't matter that there were only a few choices -- we explored as many as we could, and they were all excellent, and quite reminiscent of bistro dining in Paris. Combined with attentive but unintrusive service, it makes for a lovely evening out (in an unlikely location).
Fantastic service and great ambiance for a delicious meal.
My review is a little skewed as I went for SF Restaurant week but the main overall experience was great. The food was made quite timely with none of the staff rushing or overly overbearing. My small group all had the prosciutto wrapped radicchio for our appetizer. It was a unique dish that was slightly too bitter but the sauces paired with the prosciutto helped alleviate the bitterness.
For our entrees, I had the seafood risotto and it was great. My friend who wasn't a fan of seafood due to the "seafood" taste liked it because it brought out the sweetness of seafood without having too much of the salty grittiness that you might have in some other dishes. Within this dish there was a baby fist sized cut of salmon that was cooked just perfectly. the outside was seared to create that nice crisp without drying the inside. Overall really liked this dish and would highly recommend.
My friends though all had the lamb shank(?) and had great things to say here as well. When I tried a bite the meat was well cooked. It didn't break apart completely but still had the texture of a stewed dish without the overly heavy liquid you might have from a stew. The lamb itself had a nice bite that was seasoned to perfection although I would have liked a bit of heat maybe to the sauce or the lamb itself to give a kick.
Ultimately, this meal was a great experience with the food and great staff that was attentive. I personally enjoy staff that knows when to back-off and come ask if any assistance or questions are needed.
Really nice evening. Service was excellent. Even though restaurant was full, the noise level was good for conversation.
Great food quality!
But quite noisy and not enough floor staff to cope with the number of guests.
Restaurant week is supposed to get you excited about a new place and come back - this was not my experience here. I ordered a crab puff croquette that was not exciting flavor wise and kind of reminded me of a bad dimsum crab ball. But the worst was my entree which was a parisian gnocchi, it was literally a soup with gnocchi floating over it. Uninspired and a waste of money. This is of my list.
We had the crab salad, duck, seafood risotto, and floating island for dessert. Everything on the plates was DELICIOUS and perfect French cuisine. We will go back there with or without the SF restaurant week special. I highly recommend this place if you have a good meal.
The lamb shank was superb! The floating island was also delicious. The tarte tatin was also wonderful.
Food was delicious, the service was great and the place is really cute. We’ll happily go back
Went for sf restaurant week. Food was good. Service was great.