France seems to revel in its reputation as tradition-oriented, even a bit stuffy, and nowhere is this attitude more evident than in the typical French restaurant. Happily, Le Platane breaks this monotonous mold.
Yes, upstairs, the fine-dining outlet is decidedly old world, with over-the-top elegance and a prohibitively-priced menu. In contrast, though, the downstairs dining room is an inviting fusion of sensibilities. Its contemporary decor-creamy yellow walls, multi-colored candles behind the bar and new age electronica music in the background-is surprisingly well-suited to the classical French menu. While the roasted chicken (RMB 138) was excellent, the duck breast a l'orange (RMB 148) was more Peking than Paris and too tough for our tastes.
That cavil aside, Le Platane puts a refreshing spin on tradition-and thus fits perfectly into the what's-old-is-new world of Xintiandi.
Locaton: 373 Huangpi Nan Lu
Open: 12pm-2:30pm, Sun-Thu 5:30-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-11:30pm.
Cost for two (excluding drinks): RMB 325. All cards.