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.
Some years ago, Muriel Loubiere was building an enviable career around New York City as the creator of a menu that had received the New York Times's coveted "Excellent" rating. And though she uprooted everything to relocate to California, one can't really blame her—she was in search of warmer climes, and Aptos's location beside Soquel Cove was a welcome reminder of her upbringing on the French Riviera. It was there that she opened her own restaurant, Au Midi, where she prepares dishes that elegantly fuse French and Californian flavors.
Parts of Au Midi's menu are steadfastly French, including a cassoulet made from Toulouse sausage and duck confit. But other dishes balance Pacific and Mediterranean elements, such as Californian mussels cooked with fresh tomatoes, brandy, cream, and garlic. Many of the dishes are made with organic produce from local farmers. Naturally, the wine list is split between French and Californian varietals.
Even after swapping coasts, Muriel's hardly lost any steam. She's currently listed in the Best Chefs America directory, a list that's compiled from interviews with other chefs and nominations by various culinary professionals and the raccoons that eat from the restaurants' dumpsters.
A neon-pink sign beckons diners into the Sweet Spot shop, where a counter stocked with colorful treats and toppings awaits. The staffers behind the counter adorn ice cream and frozen yogurt with fruit and candy as they keep an eye on the sweet and savory crepes that sizzle on grills. They also top off cups with boba tea and smoothies. Tabletops are scattered across the shop’s interior, where cheerful, checkered decor and an absence of wild boars squealing and knocking over chairs create a warm, comfortable atmosphere.
An elegantly unpretentious dining destination, Le Bistro treats a range of gracious guests to the work of executive chef Lance Hatcher, a well-seasoned chef with an eye for eclectic ingredients. Lance's varied menu combines French delicacies, such as escargot Bourgogne ($12) and creamy French brie ($12), with down-to-earth comfort food, such as deep-fried green beans ($10). The Thai chili glaze on the Tomahawk rib eye ($33) gives the axe to standard steak dinners, and the untamed wild Alaskan salmon swims obligingly through the current of cold citrus tabouli, lemon sauce, and Victoria Island asparagus ($27). For an unconventional poultry party, grab hold of the Southwest chicken and waffles, topped with maple and molasses spinach and polenta ($26), a pairing that is sure to please any breakfast or wedding dance enthusiast.
Forget the days of using crêpes as tea cozies and pogs. Today's Groupon finds a new use for them—food. For $7, you get $15 worth of quality crêpes and treats at Bonjour Crepe Company in Cupertino. These francophone foodstuffs are served inside an accurate simulacrum of a French café, making it a great place to wear your beret, introduce your wife to your various mistresses, and ruefully observe how le mort adds a deliciously bittersweet edge to even the most sugary crêpe.