Houdan: La Poularde de Houdan

Civilized, friendly and delightfully old-fashioned--a rare bird indeed.

Bordeaux: Brasserie Bordelaise

Not only is the food delicious, but it has a happy metropolitan tumult, great people watching and the low-key buzz of people eating well.

Dining in Bordeaux

One of the most interesting food towns in France.

A La Biche au Bois

A jolly, sometimes raucous, no-nonsense bistrot not far from the Gare de Lyon train station

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie: Auberge du Sombral

A perfect gastronomic retort to those naysayers who insist that France's best gastronomic days are behind it.

Saint-Julien-du-Sault: Les Bons Enfants

A gastronomic restaurant and a separate bistrot in a set of restored 18th-century houses

Corneil

A delightful little bistrot with great meals, smiling service and well-priced wines

Cucuron: La Petite Maison

With chef Eric Sapet at the helm, La Petite Maison has become one of the best restaurants in the south of France.

Lyon: 126

The vibe is hip but relaxed, and there's some great modern art on the walls.

Bagnoles-de-l’Orne: Le Manoir du Lys

A stylish dining room with big cloud-style light fixtures, quietly hip table service and delicious fare