On a sunny, midsummer day, diners would be hard-pressed to find a prettier patio than this one decorated with red furniture, slate underfoot, a gazebo and even a few relaxed-looking, pipe-smoking gnomes. A kitchen garden sits nearby, where the star ingredient for a simple tomato salad grows along with the green beans and kale served with trout amandine. The prix fixe menus are the way to go, since they offer many extras for the price of an entree. Everything that should be buttery and decadent is just that, making this the ultimate splurge spot. Just don’t be in a hurry—this is dining, not eating.
For a more casual, a la carte experience, head to the separate entrance marking Jacques’ Brasserie, the chef-owner’s restaurant-within-a-restaurant below the formal dining room. Whether upstairs or downstairs, save room for such crave-worthy classics as the Grand Marnier souffle.
Is it cutting-edge and new? Hardly. This family-owned bastion has been around since 1954. Are there pickled ramps, savory powders or desserts featuring pieces of torn cake? Not a chance. But there’s absolutely no denying that despite its old-school vibe, this place continues to feel—and taste—special.
L’Auberge Chez François + Jacques’ Brasserie
French | $$$$* / $$$
332 Springvale Road, Great Falls