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.
At Tenth Street Basque Cafe, diners always receive the full attention of chef Dallas Holt. The Spanish-Basque-style café does not maintain a regular menu and only seats guests at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays for a prix fixe dinner prepared by the chef. Chef Dallas typically winds palates up with tapas such as stuffed mushrooms or albacore fish cakes before regaling senses with a main course such as stone-oven-cooked whole salmon or his specialty, the chicken and sausage paella.
Committed to providing fresh pours, the winetenders of Gather Wine Bar uncork only 25 to 35 of their carefully curated central-coast wines each week. Knowledgeable staff can recommend a bottle for customers to pair with charcuterie plates, flatbread pizzas, and gourmet pub snacks such as bacon-wrapped dates. Alternatively, themed wine flights can provide a cross section of a single varietal or eclectic tastes from an array of vines. Live music acts and singles events create an upbeat atmosphere on many nights, and catered parties can gather small groups around a fire pit or feed 100 or more people with unlimited appetizers from the bar.
In the heart of Solvang, Cafe Provence sits tucked away inside the towering and statuesque Peterson Village Inn. In the relaxed, bistro-style dining room, the menu beckons visitors to savor a variety of European dishes such as the Danish pan-fried pork schnitzel, French onion soup, and creme brûlée crowned with tart raspberries. To complement each dish's flavors, guests can sip on glasses of wine from one of the valley's many vineyards.
Vibrant South American, North American, and Middle Eastern flavors come together between slices of bread at Mundos 2. According to a profile in the Monterey County Weekly, brothers Eli and Fernando Mundo, who also own Mundo's Cafe, not only use creative ingredients in their sandwiches—including paprika-flecked chicken breast and Argentinian tri-tip—but also slather them in secret housemade sauces.
Cream cheese and cranberry sauce join turkey breast, mustard aioli coats the pastrami sandwich, and housemade falafel sandwiches may be slathered in hummus. Burgers get flame-broiled before hitting buns, as do eggplant cutlets, red bell peppers, and other veggies.
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.