Lighthouse Point’s Le Bistro is a French charmer in a strip center

With a mostly classical French menu and a willingness to accommodate its guests, Le Bistro serves up tasty food in a charming atmosphere.


Christmas Eve dinner has become a family tradition for us since we first arrived in South Florida seven years ago. We like to do it a bit upscale, but close to home.

This year, however, has been quite different. We were unable to find a suitable nearby restaurant that offered socially distanced outside dining. Hence, we chose to go a bit far afield, traveling some 30 minutes south to Lighthouse Point, home to Le Bistro, a small charmer that’s been around since 2001 and that has enjoyed mostly good reviews in social media. We were glad we did.

Le Bistro is located in a strip center north of Sample Road where most of the action seems to be at Papa Hughie’s Seafood World, which is about 50 feet south of Le Bistro.

As we pulled up, a sequin-masked Elin Trousdale, who co-owns Le Bistro with her husband, chef Andy Trousdale, was busily hustling take-out orders to diners waiting in their cars.  Our reservation was for a table outside. We weren’t quite sure if that was truly doable. A couple of forlorn tables stood in front on the sidewalk but lacked chairs.  “No problem,” we were told by our server, a woman who spoke with a French accent.

That proved to be the theme for our evening. No problem.

After being seated and served water, my daughter complained about the din from the traffic on U.S. 1. After the three in our party debated the notion of dining inside, we succumbed to my daughter’s wishes. Our server said we could certainly move inside and we should not be concerned because tables were well spaced.

The oak-floored dining room was dimly lit as the day’s last light shone through the gauzy white curtains. Could it be turned down. Yes, we were told. Oversized oil paintings on the white stucco walls and dark-wood tables of mis-matched height added to the charm of Le Bistro. (Past photos show the tables decked with tablecloths.  Now, they are topped with white plastic placemats.)

Le Bistro’s interior.

Inside, there was seating for about 40. Alas, only one other table was occupied as we entered and during the time that we were dining only six more guests had arrived.  Our concerns dissipated as we dined.

We were presented with the ala carte menus. Hadn’t I seen online that there was a three-course, prix-fixe menu? Yes, we were asked, “Do you want to see it?” We did since it represented a bit more value.

I only took a perfunctory look at the two-column, one-page wine list, largely French, knowing that my companions preferred German Riesling. We ordered Fresh Slate, a $9 retail bottle on the list for $32 and $9 for a glass. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize until after the wine was poured that it was not the bottle we selected and instead was a similarly priced Australian option. No problem. It was replaced by Elin without question. I later realized Le Bistro carried the wonderful chardonnay and semi-dry Riesling from Paumanok Vineyards on Long Island, owned by my long-time acquaintance Charles Massoud. Next time.

We asked if the music blaring from the loudspeakers could be lower. No problem, we were told. We asked if a salad could be prepared without nuts or onion? No problem was the response. Could broccoli be substituted as a side instead of the vegetable hash? No problem. Could strawberries not be used to garnish a dessert due to an allergy? Again, we were told, no problem.

As we waited for our appetizers we quieted our appetites with slices of warm, crusty French bread, served with a ramekin of extra virgin olive oil.

For starters, the ladies opted for the Christmas Salad, a mélange of mixed organic greens, sun-dried cranberries, apples and toasted almonds tossed with a Dijon vinaigrette. There wasn’t a morsel left. I, on the other hand, went for prosciutto and sliced pear with aged balsamic and blueberries, which looked a bit skimpy. I realized after a few quick sweet bites that I should have ordered shrimp cocktail or cream of mushroom soup. Next time.

Prociutto and wear appetizer.

Granite intermezzo.

No sooner had our first-course plates been swept away, we were presented with an intermezzo, lemon granite (shaved ice), something I hadn’t seen done in restaurants in ages.

I had hoped to try Le Bistro’s signature Beef Wellington, but it is only available as an order for two and my companions opted for the breast of duck ($45), cooked medium as they liked, but the sauce, made with blue berries and cassis, a French black current liquor, proved overly intense and a bit too bitter for their palates.

Pan roared branzini.

Duck brest in cassis and blueberry sauce.

For my main I chose the pan roasted Branzini ($39). The fish was firm and pleasantly sauced with a sweet yazu dressing, but the boring crowns of broccoli and cauliflower and cuts of asparagus beneath the fish, a skin-crusted filet of about 5 inches by 3 inches, failed to inspire.

Chocolate mousse.

Creme Brûlé.

Desserts impressed. The Belgian chocolate mousse was the perfect density with a rich flavor. The classic vanilla creme Brûlé was exactly as described with a crackly torched hard sugar glaze.

We left mostly happy 90 minutes after our arrival knowing there was so much more to try at Le Bistro, especially the Beef Wellington. Perhaps, next time, when we can shed our masks.

Le Bistro Restaurant       

4626 N. Federal Hwy., Lighthouse Point, FL  33064

(954) 946-9240

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