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The laid-back vibe in the Quad Cities is carried into the restaurant scene, too. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picked the best places to eat in and around the Quad Cities:
1. The Red Crow Grille. Located in Bettendorf, Iowa, this long-standing eatery is popular with locals. The cozy dining room has black and red walls with brushed nickel and pewter accents. Only the freshest ingredients are used in the dishes — all from the chef’s network of more than 30 vendors and growers. Nosh on items like steak tostada with chorizo oil and Fuji apple jalapeno slaw, or Colorado rack of lamb with tomato coconut jus, tarragon potato puree and pickled vegetables.
2. Duck City Bistro. This cute bistro’s menu changes weekly, but you can expect a variety of meat, poultry and fish. Seasonal dishes include horseradish-crusted salmon, duck confit, and Iowa smoked stuffed pork chop. If you’d rather stop in for a drink or want to arrange a private party, the restaurant’s living room — open on Friday and Saturday evenings — features club chairs, leather couches and cherry paneling that make the space ideal for groups.
3. Bix Bistro. The cozy restaurant located inside Hotel Blackhawk is bathed in cream, black and purple hues, and serves up contemporary American cuisine like butternut squash ravioli, honey citrus glazed salmon and beef tenderloin. Come in for wine night on Wednesdays for half price bottles, and on the weekends, stop by for Sunday brunch and live jazz.
4. Le Figaro Restaurant. Chef Rachid Bouchareb whips up classic French dishes like escargot, chateaubriand, duck a l’orange, frog legs and rack of lamb, all served in a romantic setting with exposed brick walls and sparkling chandeliers. Choose from more than 90 wines and champagnes from around the globe. The adjacent Star Bar is great for small plates and a round of cocktails.