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Tom Schmidt thought he'd open a diner. After a reasonably priced meal at a trendy Manhattan restaurant, he realized what St. Louis really needed: hearty, affordable French bistro fare smack in the middle of Soulard. You'll find favorites like braised lamb, cassoulet and pommes frites, as well as escargot, frog legs and sweetbreads. A classy, utterly unpretentious restaurant in a beautiful space, Franco also sports an elegant bar fashioned from reclaimed barn wood. The mixologists here almost look too young to be this freaking good at making immaculate, heart-stopping cocktails. Franco's signature drink, the Silver and Sand, features Lillet Rouge, lemon juice, a Danish liqueur Cherry Heering, lemon ginger scotch, lemon bitters and an egg white.