The earthiness of freshly ground espresso mingles with the buttery scent of crepes cooking on the griddle all day at 407 Cafe. Chefs fold the lacelike golden circlets of batter around fillings such as roast beef and sharp cheddar cheese or Nutella and strawberries. With a sizzling drumroll, a panini press shuts on sandwiches until mozzarella cheese melts perfectly around grilled chicken, fresh spinach, and sweet yellow raisins. In the kitchen, cooks craft gelato, a delicate process of folding together eggs, milk, sugar, and loads of fruit. Glass vases on the white dining-room tables brim with coffee beans and bright-green stalks of bamboo like the diorama a biologist makes to get a PhD.
At Green Lemon Cafe, ceramic salt- and peppershakers masquerade as pairs of flamingos, crabs, and dairy cows. The figurines mirror the café's harmonious atmosphere: on any given day, patrons munch Fresh-inspired café fare, chat with owner Amanda Volence, or sprout goatees while browsing original artwork.
In the kitchen, chefs pack Boar's Head meats into savory crepes and paninis such as the black forest ham and swiss panini or the raspberry-chicken crepe with jack cheese and spinach. Alternately, cooks fill the apple-crisp crepe—1 of more than 30 crepe options—with cinnamon, apples, caramel, and graham-cracker crumbs.
Gerard Jamgotchian, a native of Marseilles, France and L'Eden's chef, plates up a menu of homemade esculent experiences with diverse flavors from exotic locales such as India, Panama, and the Mediterranean. Amid the dark wood and exposed brick of the dining room or outside in the covered garden, morning munchers can rev up the day with a savory breakfast croissant, featuring eggs, ham, and swiss cheese, served with fresh fruit ($5.95). Open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, L'Eden slings out French classics such as ratatouille stew ($7.50), a duck-and-brie crépe ($14), or quiche lorraine ($9.50). Sample selections from various worldly regions without the use of red teleportation slippers by sinking teeth into the petit couscous inspired by Tunisian cuisine ($12), the vegetables biryani from India ($12), or the shaslik filet-mignon kebabs hailing from mother Russia ($14). L'Eden also carries a wine roster boasting selections from vineyards of France, Italy, California, and the child-laden hills of Neverland.
A complimentary glass of champagne greets each guest as they find their seats and prepare to embark on a three-hour journey. The two dozen adventurous souls converse, but grow quiet as a figure walks through a red curtain. Chef Richard Bottini introduces himself and describes the special menu of gourmet, seasonal dishes he has planned for the evening. True to its name, the restaurant features just six tables, and every meal at Six Tables is an intimate experience with twinkling lights illuminating antique crystal in a setting Gayot named as one of the top 10 romantic restaurants in the area.
Bottini, an award-winning graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, creates a new six-course prix fixe menu everyday using seasonal ingredients and his expansive knowledge of French cooking. In the kitchen, he personally prepares each course, incorporating such delectables as Cornish hen and poached duck breast to create dishes that helped earn the eatery an extraordinary to perfect rating on Zagat. Bottini breaks down each menu item in English or Klingon to diners and offers wine pairings with dishes, which can be tailored according to taste and diet.
Café Rouge sprinkles worldly charm all over its selection of salads, sandwiches, and house-made entrees. Culinary concoctions, such as a warm poached egg and crispy bacon salad ($9) and olive-oil-baked garlic and chili shrimp ($10), prepare flavor savorers for main dishes, including crispy salmon on sautéed asparagus with lemon and tarragon mayonnaise ($17), and shrimp and scallops over honey Sriracha fettuccine ($17). Just like the young substitute French teacher, Café Rouge is upscale and European, but at the same time, laid-back and soothing.
Offering a tantalizing selection of French, American, and fusion fare, Moulin Rouge provides an authentic dining experience fueled by a talented kitchen staff of French and American trained chefs. A varied menu features palate-stimulating dishes such as surf and turf ($28), chicken bordeaux with sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes ($9.95), New York strip steak ($17.95), and tilapia with ratatouille ($10.95). Patrons will enjoy a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, as well as friendly service provided by an attentive staff. Additionally, a fully stocked bar and an extensive wine list will lubricate conversation without the need to invite a nosy therapist to dinner.