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  1. Bizou Brasserie at Le Meridien

    Downtown Tampa : 601 N Florida Ave., Tampa, 33602

  2. Piquant

    MacDill Area : 1633 W Snow Ave., Tampa, 33611

    French pastries and French-inspired salads and sandwiches dominate the chalkboard menu behind the counter. At breakfast, this may mean egg, ham and Gruyere on a croissant or eggs, cheddar and bacon on a baguette, and lunch may be energized by a "power salad" that corrals brown rice and …

  3. Cafe Largo

    Editor's pick

    Largo : 12551 Indian Rocks Road, Largo, 33774

    Cafe Largo, a fixture since 1986, is aging beautifully. And while menu choices aren't vast, each one gets the same careful treatment: An included house salad is napped with a model Dijon vinaigrette, with a handful of house-roasted sweet peppers, a cube of roasted beet in a sweet-tangy Bagnol v …

  4. Cuvee 103 Restaurant and Wine Bar

    Clearwater : 2454 McMullen-Booth Road, #103, Clearwater, 33759

    Hours: 3-10 p.m. Mon., 3-11 p.m. Tues.-Tues.-Wed., 3-midnight Thurs., 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 2-8 p.m. Sun.Read a review here.

  5. Cafe Soleil French Bakery & Deli

    St. Pete Beach : Dolphin Village, 4695 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 33706

    French breads, pastries, quiches, toasted ham and cheese croissants, salads, sandwiches, Kahwa coffee, espresso, tea.Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily.

  6. Cafe Ponte

    Editor's pick

    Clearwater : 13505 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, 33760

    Cafe Ponte is still a yardstick against which the area's other fine dining restaurants may be measured. The dining room looks positively spruce, its red, sage and black color scheme crisp and stylish; linens and table appointments are top-notch. Servers are courteous and professional even when s …

  7. Parts of Paris

    Editor's pick

    Safety Harbor : 146 Fourth Ave. N, Safety Harbor, 34695

    Scandinavian cuisines were super trendy in recently (in a recent S. Pellegrino's annual World's Top 50 Restaurants awards, 10 percent of them were Scandinavian, with Denmark's Noma at the top of the heap). Not much of that fervor made its way to our area, but one of the most exciting recent open …

  8. Restaurant BT

    Editor's pick

    South Tampa : 2507 S MacDill Ave., Tampa, 33606

  9. Alesia Restaurant

    St. Petersburg : 7204 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 33707

    Alésia is utterly charming, with a menu of casual French and Vietnamese cafe classics at super-reasonable prices, nothing over $8.50. This isn't fancy French-Vietnamese fusion — it's coffee shop fare, a gooey croque monsieur next to a rice noodle bowl; pho next to a flaky chocolate  …

  10. Beaune's Wine Bar

    Ybor City : 2009 N 22nd St., Tampa, 33605

    Beaune's Wine Bar is a classy yet comfy lounge, perfect for a first date or an intimate night with friends. Beaune's (pronounced "bones," after the city in Burgundy) wine shop has been a go-to place for local oenophiles, and the wine bar gives wine lovers a place to linger in the eveni …

  11. L'Eden

    Downtown Tampa : 500 N Tampa St, Tampa, 33602

    A new addition to downtown Tampa's paucity of restaurants is always welcome, and indeed this tiny French bistro has charm. It seems more thronged for weekday lunch, when soups and salads fuel downtown workers. At night, service can be very mixed and the small-plate approach contains some odditie …

  12. 2 Chefs Cafe

    Spring Hill / West Hernando : 3065 Anderson Snow Road, Spring Hill, 34609

  13. Beach Bistro

    Editor's pick

    Manatee beaches : 6600 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, 34217

    It has won nearly every award it is possible to win in Florida. Foodies and critics go on about the intimate dining room draped, tent-like, with silk; the wine list's exceptional breadth; and the playful French/Floribbean cuisine with sly Pacific Rim accents. One can put on the dog and dine in t …

  14. Salt and Pepper Bistro

    Editor's pick

    Largo : 1757 Clearwater-Largo Road, Largo, 33770

    Crepes go sweet (heavy on the Nutella) or savory, largely under $15, with croissants, quiches, baguette sandwiches and salads rounding out the mostly French menu. It's a sweet little family-owned restaurant, its exterior lovingly stenciled with curlicued grape vines.Hours: Lunch from 11 a.m.-2:3 …

  15. Crepes & More

    Parrish : 8324 US Highway 301 N, Parrish, 34219

    Crepes & More is the kind of coffeehouse/dessert spot where it's easy to linger. A quick hazelnut latte ($3.25-$4.25) can lengthen into a perusal of the menu and a long loiter over a garden veggie crepe ($7.95) given a big wallop of velvety alfredo sauce (a sauce that moistens a number of th …

  16. Michael's Grill

    Editor's pick

    Carrollwood : 11720 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 33618

    The suburban restaurant's warmly modern decor features sconce wall lamps, hardwood furniture, soft yellows and terra cotta tile. Or sit outside where a few tables under an awning can transform the strip mall eatery into a breezy Euro-style cafe. With the warmth and connectedness of a neighborh …

  17. Gulf Bistro

    North Pinellas beaches : 15225 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, 33708

    For years this cozy refuge was called Cafe de France. It was a reliable outpost of superb yet simple French fare. It served classic French fare (coq au vin, duck confit, lobster bisque, escargot)at a steady but unhurried pace. Don't worry: it has a new name but not much has changed. This cafe tu …

  18. La Creperia Cafe

    Ybor City : 1729 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, 33605

    Specializing in sweet, savory or breakfast crepes, this French cafe seems slightly out of place in Ybor, but the espresso is a welcome change of pace from cafe con leche.

  19. Cafe de France

    Winter Park : 526 S Park Ave., Winter Park, 32789

  20. La Petite Brasserie

    Clearwater : 2245 Nursery Road, Clearwater, 33764

    A petite version of St. Pete Brasserie, the restaurant features organic, grass-fed beef, French specialties.Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Dinner 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Tues.-Fri.; Fri. and Sat. Dinner till 11 p.m.

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