10 great places to master the art of French eating

CitronelleWashington "For the past 20 years, chef Michel Richard has wowed the world with his playful reinvention of French cuisine at this perennial haute Beltway destination," Oseland says. "The space is modern and urbane, and Richard's food manages to be both tantalizing and comforting." Don't skip the "virtual eggs" of mozzarella and yellow tomato or the tender beef short ribs that are braised for 72 hours, Oseland suggests. 202-625-2150, citronelledc.com

Joel RobuchonLas Vegas When Joel Robuchon came out of retirement to start opening outposts of his casual L'Atelier eateries, the staff of Saveur cheered. But it was the opening of his namesake restaurant in Las Vegas that most excited these foodies. "Robuchon exhibits a command of the rule book of classic French cuisine — not to mention an incredible flair for presentation and craftsmanship — that is unsurpassed anywhere in the country," Oseland says. "Don't miss the chef's famous whipped potatoes, enriched with an insane quantity of butter and cream." 702-891-7925, joel-robuchon.com

Le Bec-FinPhiladelphia "They don't make restaurants like Le Bec-Fin anymore, with its ornate chandeliers, high-backed chairs and perfectly executed haute cuisine," Oseland says. "Chef Georges Perrier, originally of Lyon, prepares a seasonal menu that recently included crisp veal sweetbreads with coddled egg, and escargots cassoulette with a Champagne-hazelnut garlic butter sauce. This is no place for weak appetites: The main courses find their equal in the restaurant's justly famous dessert cart, laden with sweets like opera gilded cake with 24-karat gold leaf." 215-567-1000, lebecfin.com

Le Veau D'OrNew York For a trip through culinary time, try out this tiny bistro, which has been serving French fare in Midtown Manhattan since 1937. "The menu, straight out of Escoffier — house-made pork terrines, monkfish in lobster sauce, pot-au-feu — has outlived such one-time regulars as Orson Welles, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Jackie Onassis," Oseland says. Don't dare miss out on the restaurant's signature dish, Oseland suggests: escalopines de veau in a lemon-butter sauce. 212-838-8133

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