There are at least two places where a man should attempt French: the table and the bedroom.
In service of both: Café Claude Marina, the newest Francophile eatery from the Claude Lane folks, now open.
Despite its sweatpanted-and-ballcapped Marina hood, the new Claude offers a sophisticated, date-night canoodler’s dream of velvet wallpaper, gilded mirrors and vintage lighting.
It doesn't hurt that the design was inspired by nineteenth-century Parisian bedrooms.
Chef Doug DeGeeter (formerly of Half Moon Bay's Michelin-approved Cetrella) makes the most of the new Claude's larger kitchen, whipping up duck confit and seared salmon that are as seductive on the fork as they are on the tongue (Confit de Canard, anyone?). But the small plates are the stars of the show: the Brandade de Morue (baked cod) and escargot take center plate.
A bottle of 2012 Domaine des Gandines Chardonnay will play perfectly with both.
Nota bene: At capacity, Claude seats fifty. You'll want a reservation. The best seat in the house is the secluded, curtained Chef's Table at the back, and yes, you can ask for it by name.
Photo by Aubrie Pick Photography.