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New & Notable: With an accent on bistro standards, La Bonne Franquette fills a niche in West Ashley

New & Notable: With an accent on bistro standards, La Bonne Franquette fills a niche in West Ashley
August 2023

Stop in for rustic bistro-leaning entrees from chocolatier Christophe Paume

(Left to right) Pan-seared branzino over ratatouille; the trés French interior; tender sun-dried tomatoes brighten the L.B.F. salad.

With its marble-topped, cast-iron tables, globe pendant lighting, and black-and-white hexagonal tiled floor, the bright interiof of La Bonne Franquette transports you to the sort of tidy and unpretentious restaurants found all over France. Little wonder, as owner Christophe Paume—already beloved for his eponymous chocolaterie-patisserie on Society Street—grew up in Toulouse. Now, after being Charleston’s go-to for chocolate truffles, macarons, and all manner of French sweets for more than a decade, Paume, and his wife, Carly, have added a bistro to the fold. Opened in West Ashley last February, La Bonne Franquette’s name hearkens to an old-fashioned expression that roughly translates to unfussy and homey, the sort of meal a country grandma would put on the table.

Rustic or not, locals are relishing the offer of solid French fare for brunch, lunch, and dinner. On a Tuesday night last spring, for example, nary a table indoors went empty. (Patrons sensitive to noise might consider dining on the patio.) A generous crock of house-made pork rillette with cornichons, paired with a Provencal rosé, from the tightly curated list, was an auspicious starter, followed by a salad of greens, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes in a balsamic vinaigrette, sublime in its simplicity. Entrées lean bistro-classic—there are bowls of mussels, steak frites, and cassoulet for heartier appetites, but the warm evening called out for the branzino fillet, perfectly seared and served over tapenade and a bed of fresh ratatouille. 

(Left to right) Treats from Christophe’s are available to go; Ooh La La - Escargot and Vichyssoise and steak frites in West Ashley? Mais oui! Th e proprietors of downtown’s Christophe Artisan Chocolatier have opened La Bonne Franquette, a tiny slice of la République on St. Andrews Boulevard, where the menu is heavy on French standards and dessert is de rigueur. 

Dessert cannot be missed: if profiteroles or crème brûlée don’t appeal, nab a selection of petit fours or small fruit tarts from the pastry case to go. Liquid dessert more your style? Cap things off with an espresso martini featuring black walnut bitters and Christophe’s drinking chocolate.

652 St. Andrews Blvd.,West Ashley
Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. 
Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
(843) 709-7962