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BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2000 - un deux trois

Readers' Choice: New French Café

Minnesota loves Italy with a fire and a passion that knows no bounds--but France we regard with chilly suspicion. Why? No one knows, but at this point we've got the restaurants we deserve: Often excellent but sometimes heartless café un deux trois (why the overpriced wine list and tasteless frites?), promising Yvette's, unreliable Tulips, unambitious Pierre's Bistro, uninspired Chez Colette. All the more credit belongs to New French chef Thom Lowe, who keeps the flavors strong and pure yet is not afraid to throw in a few Gallic tricks to show what's spectacular about the cuisine--who can forget a festive nest of a potato basket filled with pearl onions to accompany perfectly cooked pork? Lowe deserves extra kudos for doing his part to raise a new generation of Francophiles--you can see them almost any night in the semi-attached bar, sipping from the friendly wine list, ordering from the newly expanded inexpensive menu (most entrées are priced between $8 and $13), and quaffing fine French brews. Allons enfants!

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