Metro Brasserie

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7114 E. Stetson Drive, Suite 105, Scottsdale

This cute Southbridge cafe -- which sports a long bar, community table and misted patio -- is the closest thing we have to a French brasserie. It's a comfortable, casual place to hang out over Champagne cocktails, a leisurely weekend brunch or romantic (but affordable) dinner for two. Chef Matt Taylor, who has worked under Daniel Boulud in NYC and John Besh in The Big Easy, seamlessly blends French bistro classics with ingredients and preparations common to New Orleans and other parts of the Deep South. So expect everything from country pâté, pork rillades, Croque Monsieur (with fabulous french fries) and choucroute garnis to outrageous Bananas Foster French toast and fabulous beignets. Taylor switches up the menu constantly, adding specialties that suit the season. Right now, that means cool cucumber soup, corn pudding (think flan, with tasso ham!), crispy soft shell crab and juicy heirloom tomato salad with ricotta salata, sauce vert and mint. For dessert, sticky toffee pudding, blueberry lavender galette and peach cobbler -- all amazing. For reasons I've yet to figure out, this little gem flies completely under the radar. Don't forget to ask about the bargain-priced dinners for two, which include two entrees, a half carafe of wine and beignets for $40. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Weekend brunch. $-$$$