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French flavors in Naples, Florida at French American Bistro

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The French American Bistro is definitely "FAB" as seen in their logo! The diner is transported for a moment in time to Paris, France, minus the air fare. FAB would also qualify for the new designation for restaurants in France, "Fait Maison" or "home made." These restaurants create their menu from scratch, often beginning in the early morning hours in preparation for lunch.

"Our menu items are always fresh and home made," added Luc Martin, owner and chef at FAB, on Piper Boulevard where Airport Road crosses Immokalee in Naples, Florida. The Bistro is noticeable by its bright umbrellas for comfortable outdoor dining if desired. It's also just a minute or two off I75 for travelers seeking a delicious meal instead of a drive through. FAB also prepares orders to go.

A great idea, though, is to spend a leisurely lunch or dinner enjoying the French cuisine, prepared by the owner and his Executive Chef, Dorothee Becard. Martin brought his entire family from France to Naples, Florida in 1998, schooled in the restaurant business by his father and his own restaurant experiences in Paris. The French American Bistro has been open in its current location for four years and has a steady following that includes the French speaking club once a month and regulars who enjoy the menu changes that keep it interesting. French is spoken by Martin, his wife and his youngest daughter who all work in the restaurant, a family business success story.

French onion soup is a great starter. The oven-baked cheese provides a thick and crispy crust over a substantial onion soup, delicious and filling. Other luncheon choices cover the gamut from salads to quiches, sandwiches and mouth-watering crepes with béchamel sauce, served with crisp greens. Dining is casual and modest in cost for the quality of the food, the lovely presentation, and the French atmosphere.

Red and white checkered table cloths and hanging lamps against a wall mural of a Paris Street lined with small cafe's add to the French escape from a tropical paradise. The Tour de France bicycle race is seen on a small television hanging in a corner with subtitles. French music plays quietly in the background. Chalk boards above the bar include common French phrases and their English translations so guests may practice French if they wish. The menu is also posted, including the evening's "Bistronomique menu."

Highly recommended for the full French experience is the one price menu that includes the appetizer, the entree, and a glass of wine. A regular dinner menu is also available. Deserts, of course home made, are delicious endings to a perfect meal whether the choice is a crème brulee or peach melba. Table settings include real candles for atmosphere, day and evening.

Southwest Florida diners may choose from a wide variety of affordable, unique, international restaurants. Luc Martin invites diners to enjoy "a family friendly, casual and fine dining experience" at his authentic French American Bistro. www.frenchamericanbistro.com 239-514-1800

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