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French 250250 Steele St., 303-331-0250
Even without knowing chef Jeremy Thomas' impressive background—Evergreen's Tivoli Deer Restaurant, the Game Creek Club in the Vail Valley, and the Brown Palace's Ship Tavern—you can taste the pedigree in his dishes. Witness his skills in French 250's pulled lamb shank sandwich with perfect mirepoix, the silky flanks of sea bass with skin crisped just right, and a flawless example of salade niçoise. In too many kitchens salads are an afterthought, but under Thomas' watch the niçoise is bright with briney olives melding with hardboiled eggs, seared ahi, crisp Bibb lettuce and haricots verts, sweet tomatoes, and fingerling potatoes baked and sliced like chips. In many ways, this salad is a metaphor for Thomas' cooking: His dishes—heavenly split pea soup with shrimp and crème fraîche and a knockout scallop entrée with artichokes, bacon, and pea coulis—are usually simple and classic but meticulously executed and deeply flavorful. End lunch or dinner with an order of the Amour 250, an assortment of three locally made chocolates. Enjoy the rich goodies right there, or have them boxed to go and prolong the French 250 experience.
Opened August 2007
Best Bites Loup de mer (Mediterranean sea bass) with haricots verts, beurre noisette, and pine nuts
Hot Seat Table 12 is dubbed the "love table" for its cozy location along the front of the room.
Don't Miss French 250's restored 1975 Cadillac limo, which will pick you up for dinner and drop you off after the feast. The ride is complimentary—all you have to do is tip. (There is a 10-mile limit.)