This downtown bistro is (somewhat sneakily) holding an absolutely fantastic wine list a bit close to its chest. Co-owner Andrew Fidelman has assembled a French wine lover's treasure map that is deeply focused on Gascony, the home region of fellow owner Laurent Manrique. Bonus: The drinking list does double-duty as a shopping list (at retail prices), so the next time you need to grab a bottle after work, here's your spot. The menu boasts some rocking deviled eggs with duck bacon, and the roasted duck dish is also magnifique — although I could do without its campfire-like presentation: It's too smoky when it comes to the table. The riz au lait for dessert is a must, you won't find anything like it in SF. Aquitaine's a popular spot for lunch, although you may very well need to make it a long, drinking lunch. The décor feels a bit like someone's grand-mère put it together. (So. Many. Sunflowers.) But it does have an authentic Frenchy-coziness to it. You'll leave well-fed and tipsy.
175 Sutter, SF. www.aquitainesf.com
Marcia Gagliardi is the founder of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe for more at www.tablehopper.com. Get her app: Tablehopper's Top Late-Night Eats. On Twitter: @tablehopper.