Anthony Roche pulls freshly baked croissants from the ovens at Le Parisien Cafe. He fills these daily baked goods with lunch fixings, pairs them with omelets, or lets customers enjoy their buttery goodness on their own. Anthony's croissants embody just some of the authentic French tastes one can find at Le Parisien Cafe. Delicate crepes, rich eclairs, and light macarons as well as salads, sandwiches, and a host of coffee favorites complete the menu.
Since 1999, when Pete A. Cisneros Sr. opened Pappy's Coffee Shop, the rustic, homestyle eatery has attracted locals with generous portions of classic American diner food. From 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day, chefs sizzle eggs alongside chicken-fried steak, jumbo cuts of ham, or fried bologna, and pile plates with seven-grain pancakes and waffles. Their 8-ounce burgers can arrive with Freedom fries or fried okra, and charming, 1-quart mason jars of cold soft drinks. The walls boast American and oil-rig-inspired memorabilia, creating an ambiance more down-home and eclectic than the vintage furniture-juggling contest at the state fair.
Locals linger at the counters of Cope’s Knotty Pine Cafe, chatting over steaming cups of coffee. Antiques and knickknacks speckle the wheat-hued wooden walls above booths and tables. Behind the counter, servers bustle, warmed by a griddle, and balance plates of omelets, burgers, and fried seafood. The dishes are all forged from recipes that might have been passed down through generations or discovered in extremely rough drafts of the Constitution.
To craft their signature dish?The New York Sizzle? the chefs of Steak & Grape Restaurant hand carve a choice cut of Angus steak. They sizzle up the meat in a special broiler until it's juicy and tender, and then serve it on a 600-degree plate with a decadent garlic butter. Servers bear the premium cuts out into the airy, rustic dining room, along with plates of handmade specialty burgers, fine pastas, and fresh seafood. Bartenders bustle about behind the sleek wood bar, uncorking bottles of fine wines beneath the glow of flat-screen TVs.
Like the Belgian consulate inconveniently built in Fenway Park?s center field, Monet's acts a cozy enclave of Europe on American soil. Its French chef works diligently to mirror that inimitable vibe with dish after dish of grilled salmon with portobello ravioli, croque monsieur sandwiches, sweet and savory crepes, and ciabatta pizzas topped with tapenade, pestos, capers, and roasted garlic. Sidewalk seating adds a drizzle of fresh air to desserts of creme brul?e and French apple tart, but Monet?s interior keeps the atmosphere intimate with tin ceilings, chocolate-colored wooden tables, soft candlelight, and an extensive list of wines.
With baskets full of hand-plucked, wild blueberries, Vincent Colombet and his cousins happily crammed into their Alsatian grandmother's tiny kitchen. In that quaint room, equipped with only a wood-burning cast-iron stove, Vincent learned over the years how to tuck berries into pies, prepare meats sourced from neighboring farms, and eventually produce elaborate meals for his entire family.
Driven by his passion for French family-style cuisine, he traveled to Paris before a longing for experiences abroad tugged him across the pond and into the arms of the Windy City in 2004. The following year he opened Cook Au Vin, where he leads three-hour BYOB cooking classes centered around classic techniques and organic ingredients. Patrons may also enlist the Cook Au Vin team to cater special events, or swing by Colombet's Logan Square bakery, La Boulangerie, for butter-infused inhalations, freshly made crepes, and crusty baguettes.