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A legit hit of Paris in the Central District, L’Oursin glows with pendant lights and Parisian signs, in an unfussy room whose populated bar and open kitchen crook an alluring finger from the street. Chef and co-owner J. J. Proville grew up mostly in France and knows its subtleties, in dishes like a fathomless bouillabaisse with Northwest shellfish under a pastry crust or a tartine of house-smoked bacon with greens on charred brioche. Northwest seafood is his thing; natural wines a close second. And if it all seems rather more about pleasing their own sensibilities rather than their diners’ (this is not a steak-frites kind of bistro)…it’s art! Cocktails are not to be missed.

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