By Yankee Editors
Apr 25 2022
For “New England Style” (season 6, episode 4), Weekends with Yankee co-host Amy Traverso ventured into the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, where a young couple from Paris have their first restaurant, Café Sauvage. Antoine and Anaïs Lambert offer a taste of modern Paris infused with Anaïs’s West African roots, and share the beauty and flavors created by mixing cultures. Find more of Amy’s favorite New England French bistro experiences below.
New England has an abundance of great French restaurants. Truly beaucoup, if you will. But when I’m wishing I could teleport to Paris and sit at a little neighborhood bistro—nothing too fancy, but with some authentic flavor—there are a few places I like to go to approximate the experience without the pricey plane ticket.
We begin with the Boston café/bistro featured on Episode 4 of Weekends with Yankee. Modeled after Maison Sauvage in Paris, which is Anaïs and Antoine Lambert’s favorite restaurant in their home city, Café Sauvage is the kind of place where you can linger all day, and into the night on weekends (there’s weekend brunch, too). Soak up the international vibe (on a recent visit, half the conversations were in French) and eat your way through chef Kendall DaCosta’s menu, which reflects the modern, multicultural city that Paris truly is. The excellent roast chicken served with jollof rice, crispy plantains, and sauce verte, reflects Anaïs’s West African heritage, while the croque madame is a nostalgic pleasure. cafesauvage.com
The name alone might sell you, as would the location in Boston’s South End, which might not look like Paris (too many brownstones) but sets an undeniably European mood. Frenchie is a great spot to enjoy a charcuterie board or steak frites and, on weekends, a Nutella crepe or lobster eggs benedict for brunch. There’s a lovely garden in the back with outdoor seating, as well as a patio dining out front. Don’t miss the beautifully curated wine list, organized by flavor and body to make it easy to navigate, with a special emphasis on lovely pours from Burgundy. frenchieboston.com
The bouchée is a subset of bistro, originating in Lyon and known for serving comfort food in a cozy setting. Bar Bouchée, a favorite of beloved celebrity chef Jacques Pepin, hits all those notes, right down to the woven café chairs and zinc-topped bar. Chef/owner Jean Pierre Vuillermet and chef de cuisine Christophe Santos stock their menu the classics we love: escargots, duck confit, mussels in white wine and shallot sauce, profiterolles, chocolate pot de crème. Sit on the patio, close your eyes, and imagine that the passing cars aren’t Toyotas but citroëns. barbouchee.com
A French 75 cocktail, a plate of moules frites, and a table on a cobbled side street in Portland’s Old Port neighborhood: heaven. This sweet bistro is named for owner Michelle Corry’s grandmother, who shared her culinary savoir faire and love of simple, seasonal flavors with her family and whose legacy lives on in dishes like ratatouille, steak tartare, roast chicken, and crème brulée. bistropj.com