If the thought of pommes frites, snails and onion soup sets your mouth watering, stroll over to Bistrot Zinc where a traditional bistro menu and bold, yet laid-back style reflect a flare for everything French. Impossible to miss, the neighborhood cafe's fire-engine red exterior is like a beacon to hungry State Street travelers. Shoppers and light lunchers saunter into the moderate space to eat their fill of salade nicoise
and spinach and brie crepes, while couples fill the small tables for a bottle of wine, mussels marinieres
and romantic, candlelit dinners. Appetizers average between $5-$16 and entrees $9-$25.
Named after the restaurant's prominently located zinc bar (a French bar tradition), the bistro is dressed like a traditional French cafe: warmly-hued walls, bright tile floors, wicker chairs and framed art. Its large windows can be found open wide during warm days, but opened or closed, you'll have ample views of the constant flow of shoppers.
Jazz music plays in the background, and the wait staff calmly takes orders, fills water glasses and brings fresh bread and butter. Meals eaten here are meant to be leisurely, and the laid-back attitude is infectious. You don't often find Bisto Zinc's crowd rushing through their roasted chicken and Parisian potatoes in order to dash back to work or make their next appointment. So turn the cell phone on silent, order a glass of wine and a cheese plate and sit back and enjoy life like a Parisian. After all, if you're in a hurry, the cafeteria-style lines at Corner Bakery are located only a short scurry away.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Albrey Nuss