Authentic techniques are the key to French recipes. Understanding this, Chef Emmanuel Langlade honed his cooking skills in Marseille, France, before opening Aixois Bistro with his wife more than a decade ago.
Amid suspended orb lights and rustic, wrought-iron chandeliers, French flavors prepared by chef Miguel Sanchez delight palates at all hours. As morning light spills through enormous windows, the staff brews fresh coffee to pair with piping-hot croissants for early-bird visitors. Lunchtime guests sample favorite French sandwiches, from the classic croque-monsieurs to the egg-crowned croque madames. For dinner diners, the kitchen dishes up an elegant menu that includes two varieties of moules frites (mussels with pommes frites), as well as seafood, steak, and oven-roasted chicken. Afterward, traditional desserts such as crème brûlée topped with fresh berries cap off meals and keep sweet teeth from rebelliously biting tongues.
Tea Drops soothes the body and enlivens the mind with a wide array of herbalicious loose-leaf and refreshing bubble teas. Inspect the menu’s lineup of ambrosial beverages, such as the Tibetan Eye of the Tiger, a rooibos-blended black tea with hints of caramel and menace ($2.25/cup). Green-spirited sippers can sample Japan’s Gyokuro tea, made with leaves picked from the finest shaded gardens ($4.25/cup). Guzzle down one of Tea Drops’ invigorating bubble teas, adding fruity flavors such as peach, lichee, or ginger ($3.25/cup). Chess masters can enhance their minds before cage-fighting a wrestler named Señor Chessmaster with the Mind Over Muddle concoction, a raspberry-and-herbs beverage ($3.25) that’s one of several featured tonics. The shop also offers coffee drinks, as well as savory baked goods to satiate the hunger of tea-soaked bellies.
Behind its Parisian-style storefront, Westport Café & Bar serves an eclectic menu of elegantly prepared French and American dishes alongside an extensive collection of flavorful libations. Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres such as baked ricotta with goat cheese and truffled honey ($9) prep palates for further culinary exploration. For the main course, Westport’s grilled chicken sandwich comes on a croissant and garnished with gruyere cheese, bacon, and roasted tomatoes ($11), much like an already soft quilt adorned with a bacon-patterned cross-stitch. Noodle purveyors can shovel in the creamy pasta champignons with a smattering of a spring peas ($12). Wash it all down with potent potables such as an Old Tom Collins ($7) or the house’s specialty Westside cocktail, an amalgamation of vodka, lemon, simple syrup, soda, and mint ($8). Barley pop buffs can guzzle down a Boulevard Tank 7 Ale ($5) from Westport’s tap, and drowsy diners can perk up with French-pressed coffee ($4).
The Filling Station independently serves locally roasted espresso and coffee and a scrumptious selection of breakfast and lunch bites in a garage-themed café. Browse the Union Hill menu for the Filling Station's caffeinated concoctions, with espresso roasted from Broadway Café and Roastery and coffee from Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters. For breakfast, the Filling Station offers a plethora of baked goods, from blackberry peach muffins ($1.80) to freshly baked cinnamon rolls ($2.25). Lunchtime brings the killer veggie wrap ($7.50), packed with spinach, tomato, onion, carrots, and more. The Westport menu is more compact, but you can still pick up an apple walnut Danish ($2.50) or almond marzipan croissant ($2.50) in the drive-thru before heading out to hunt the evasive galloping fig tree.
The Teahouse & Coffeepot's homey front porch harkens back to simple small-town pleasures, inviting guests to shoo away stress with each sip of tea from a huge loose-leaf selection chosen by tea master Keith Buchanan. The aroma of made-from-scratch scones, muffins, and vegan-friendly blueberry cobbler wafts from the kitchen and through the shop's sunny rooms, signaling backup for cups of the day's featured teas or glasses of mint ice tea flavored with sweet vanilla. Though reservations are required for English Afternoon Tea—a popular weekend event and guaranteed right within the Magna Carta—the shop dishes up an internationally inspired round of sandwiches, salads, and quiches every day of the week. The shop also brews pots of french-pressed coffees, echoing Buchanan’s confession to The Pitch that you can't "convert a coffee drinker if you can't get them into the door."