Best French Restaurant - 2011
Salty, sweet, buttery, briny, chewy, gooey, soft—there are many ways to describe a good oyster, but few places in town to get one. That was until Meritage, downtown St. Paul's French brasserie, expanded to include a Parisian-style zinc bar complete with absinthe fountain. With seating for nearly 40, the new bar serves chic cocktails and oysters on the half shell to Ordway patrons and Wild fans alike. Follow in the footsteps of famous French devotee Ernest Hemingway and order the "Jack Rose" (applejack, grenadine, and lemon or lime juice), the signature drink of his narrator in The Sun Also Rises. Tee up the daily catch of oysters for a mere $2 to $4, or, if you're squeamish, try the smoked confit chicken wings for $8. You'll need more scratch for the brasserie, but it's worth it for the moules frites (Mediterranean mussels steamed with smoked pancetta, garlic, tomatoes, and white wine) or the cassoulet with white beans, garlic sausage, and pork and duck confit. Whether you live like a peasant or the bourgeoisie, it's worth the trip.