When in France, order the escargots. Do this when you're at L'Olivier downtown as well. Snails for starters ($13.50) mark a path to a memorable meal at this bistro that's the first one chef Xavier Grenet has owned. The chef is a native of Paris who's been in more than a few successful kitchens, and this tiny restaurant with a spacious patio has a smooth ambiance. The escargots is served as it should be—with slivered almonds, sauteed spinach and cherry tomatoes, combining for a pleasing salty, acidic and savory flavor. Beautiful fish and steak cuts are of course on the classic menu, but for a night that's plant-based, you won't even miss the meat in the wild rice, its chewy grains topped with juicy mushrooms and colored with cranberries and roasted beets ($20). Splurge on meaty wines like Bordeaux from Château Grivier ($18 per glass) and crystal-clear Picpoul de Pinet ($13 per glass) from the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. There's even French-born Badoit sparkling water ($6.50) to complete the temporary trip.

L'Olivier
229 Galisteo St., 989-1919
Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday
Instagram: @lolivierrestaurant