Cozy French bistro a real hidden gem

Hidden in a no-frills shopping center called Emporium Shoppes, on the northwest corner of Military Trail and Okeechobee Boulevard, is the French Corner Bistro and Rotisserie, an authentic and delicious French bistro-style restaurant. To describe the place as intimate is an understatement. The dining room has seven tables and seats a total of 25 people. Outside dining is also available, offering a bit more room. The bistro is not about the size, space or decor – it is about wonderful French country food in a true mom-and-pop setting.

Most likely you will be greeted with an accented “bon jour” by co-owner Silvia Augier. She runs the front end of the restaurant, from greeting guests and waiting on tables to packaging to-go orders. Her partner and husband, Guy Augier, can be found in the kitchen. The couple relocated to Florida from the French Riviera 22 years ago. Before opening the French Corner Bistro, the Augiers owned La Petite Maison in Boca Raton for 12 years.

The bistro’s menu features classics such as pate, escargot, quiche, crepes, beef bourguignon, fresh fish specials and rotisserie duck, chicken and turkey. The side dishes are a real treat and usually include fresh haricot vert (green beans), couscous with sautéed onions and chick peas, ratatouille Provencal and potato gratin, just to name a few. Many of the eatery’s dishes are displayed in the glass refrigerator, providing an opportunity to preview your options.

I highly recommend the beef bourguignon, sole meuniere and roasted salmon dishes. The roasted chicken is so wonderful that I regularly purchase a whole one to go (the bistro also has a takeout menu) with a side of its scrumptious creamy mushroom sauce.

Lest I forget, check out the fresh baguette bread sandwiches, along with one of the homemade soups such as lentil, mushroom barley, split pea and chicken noodle – tre delicieux. The bistro offers a modestly priced wine and beer selection and a choice of homemade desserts such as crème brulee and crepes.

Takeout is a terrific and reasonably priced option and includes choices such as a whole roasted chicken ($7.30), duck ($24.40) and turkey ($39.50). Sides like those described above range from $4 to $5 per pound. The bistro requests that you call ahead and place your order before 5:30 p.m.

The bistro is open off-season Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner. Starting in December, it will also be open for lunch on Mondays.

Since it’s one of the area’s best-kept secrets, please keep this one under your hat. Bon appétit!

French Corner Bistro & Rotisserie
4595 Okeechobee Blvd, D-129
West Palm Beach
Tel: 561-698-1700

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