Restaurant of the Week: Le Bistro

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Le Bistro, 121 W. Foothill Blvd. (at Euclid), Upland

You can find Italian food anywhere and no one thinks anything of it, but French food remains rare despite decades of work by Julia Child.

Le Bistro, which opened in late 2011, is one of only two French restaurants in the Inland Valley (the other is La Creperie in Chino), but in a way, it’s not all that new. The same family had Cafe Provencal, The Blackboard and La Cheminee, all in Upland, Montclair or Ontario. Now a new generation has launched Le Bistro in the Vons center.

As the bistro name suggests, this is a nice but relatively casual spot. Formerly a budget Italian place where you ordered at the counter, the interior has been classed up with black tablecloths, better furniture, dimmed lighting and servers, but there are flat screen TVs in the corners and the kitchen is still open, with the former occupant’s pizza oven still in service.

The dinner menu has pizzas, pastas, steaks and salads, with sandwiches and crepes at lunch and daily specials at either mealtime.

I ate dinner there recently, opting for the French staple coq au vin ($23), which is two pieces of chicken in wine sauce with sauteed vegetables and croquettes. I liked it. I also ordered a side salad ($6.50), which was fine but hardly worth the money. Overall, though, a very good meal, although the dinner was a splurge for me. (I’m more of a $5-$15 fella.)

I returned for lunch, ordering another staple, the croque monsieur ($9), essentially a hot ham and cheese sandwich, pressed, which comes with either fries or virtually the same salad I ordered at dinner. A satisfying lunch. Entrees at lunch range from $9 to $13, which is more in my price range.

It’s early yet, but Le Bistro is already one of the Inland Valley’s finer restaurants and is well worth a try. The restaurant doesn’t seem to have a website, but the menu is posted in the window. And if you don’t want a crepe or chocolate fondant cake for dessert, there’s a Cold Stone Creamery next door.

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