When we want to pretend we’re heirs to a French skincare empire, we go to Petit Crenn. It’s fancy but not stuffy farm-to-table French food that’s all simple and well-executed, served in a room that resembles the bright country home we do not yet own. The seven-course prix fixe tasting menu is the only option at dinner, and will set you back $87 (including tip) - but the delicious French meal you get is well worth it, and you need to spend your (real or imagined) inheritance somehow. Lunch and brunch are a la carte and more low key - we’re fans of the mushroom and smoked salmon tartines.
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Brass Tacks is an under-the-radar Hayes Valley bar that’s perfect for pretty much anything
The Linden Room is a Hayes Valley bar that serves cocktails and small bites next to its sister restaurant, Nightbird.
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Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar is a French place in Hayes Valley that’s good for everything from quiet dates to big group dinners.
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La Note is a brunch spot in Berkeley that does fancy French food in a space that will make you feel like you’re eating in the French countryside.
Little Gem in Cow Hollow is a great weeknight stop when you want somewhere healthy to go for dinner.
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