This is Marie, talking about one of my favorite places in Marietta, a little French bistro about a mile south of the town square. The two primary attractions (for me) are the croissants and the eclairs, but that is mainly because we don’t get to eat there very often. They only do breakfast and lunch, and open about a half hour too late for me to even think about having breakfast there before work. Before my work changed locations, I would occasionally decide that the traffic report was promising enough for me to get something (usually one or two plain croissants) on my way, but since we moved that has dwindled to the pair of times I decided it was worth getting to work late to bring in something for the team to eat and picked up a dozen croissants for them and an eclair for me.
Anyone who knows me should be fully aware that the bakery case alone would bring me back to this delightful little place all by itself. We have had some quite satisfactory lunches here as well, however. I am very thankful to our friend David, who directed us to try it out, I think in reference to a conversation I had about the merits and deficiencies of the eclairs recently obtained from less authentic places. I particularly like it that there are European brand items for sale up on the shelves behind the counter, and that the only one who greets you with “bonjour” is the one who has an actual French accent.
A real croissant made properly out of tasty ingredients is a completely different thing from the horn-shaped dough balls that go by the same name from grocery stores. A proper croissant should drop flakes all over your plate when you tear off a piece, and the interior should be full of air holes, moist, and a bit stretchy. You should have difficulty cutting the thing in half for buttering or sandwich toppings unless your knife is very sharp. Also, unfortunately, it will be far less satisfactory the next day, as it should never have preservatives of any kind. The owners are from France, and the pastries definitely show the education that Luc Beaudet, the pastry chef and co-owner (with his wife) has obtained. The rotating case next to the register is quite compelling, and a good way to entertain yourself while waiting for your check to be rung up.
Now this is not the most perfect French-style restaurant in my book – that award was won away by a delightful little place in Knoxville written up in this blog last month – but it is definitely the best place within easy driving distance, and the competition in Tennessee did not provide the eclair that I ate on the day that I got my positive pregnancy test which was, indeed, the best eclair ever obtained from that place or any other. The meals I have had there, although not frequent enough, have been exceedingly satisfactory.
On our most recent visit, our son declared the chicken salad the best he’d ever had. Even granting that any meal he enjoys is the best he’d ever had while he’s eating it, the taste I had seemed more than satisfactory. On this last visit I had the tourte au poulet, in part because I was actually in a mood for cream of mushroom soup which was sadly not on the soup rotation that day, and this item has a mushroom cream sauce. It was beautifully flaky outside and nicely flavorful inside, and very filling although not terribly large. I personally am quite pleased with the portion sizes here, though it’s quite likely that larger appetites will want to order extra sides to fill up.
We would eat there far more often if they had Sunday hours. As it is, however, my business is assured just based on my two favorites.