Francophiles, rejoice. Poulet Bleu, the latest outpost from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, has opened, and with it is bringing a little bit of France to Lawrenceville.  Though self-described as an American bistro, the Butler Street spot channels more of Paris than it does Pittsburgh — and that’s just fine with us. We’ll happily eat all the tartare, steak frites and frisee salads that they send our way (or you can find something else with a little je ne sais quoi on the menu here).


Formerly home to Tamari, the entire space has been re-envisioned as a country bistro with plenty of white marble, floral wallpaper, and modern takes on wicker.  The open kitchen anchors the back of the restaurant with seats right in the middle of the action on either side of the expo station.  There is also a fun corner table that looks like the perfect spot for drinking too much rosé with friends this winter. Up front, the bar features Robin’s egg blue doors that open up to the patio, which is bound to be one of the harder tables to score this summer.


Upstairs is still under construction, but those that remember the days of Tamari will recall there is a second outdoor space with some killer city views.  Those views will be joined by a second bar with a design that is a departure from the classic bistro style of downstairs and takes inspiration from post-war French Polynesia (think more tropical, not tiki).


For those that usually ‘like to wait’ for restaurants to find their footing, no need here.  On day one, the kitchen was already firing on all cylinders, with our burger dripping in raclette cheese and cooked to a perfect pink temperature and a bowl of mussels & fennel that’s a contender for some of the best in city.  Our suggestion, go now, and go often — Poulet Bleu will only continue to impress in warmer weather once the upstairs opens.