Restaurant Review: Cafe de Paris

Daisy Fuchs, Web Editor in Chief

For students looking for a quiet spot to get homework done and grab a cup of coffee, Cafe de Paris fits the bill. There is a low noise level with relaxing music playing. Multiple tables would offer space to work or one could chose to curl up with a novel on one of the couches. Quotes written on the walls give a positive atmosphere along with the eclectic French theme.

When you approach the old Cafe de Paris, do not fear when you see the “For Lease” sign on the window, they have simply relocated to a bigger space. The new site is 917 Front Street (where LocoYo used to be) and they have been open there since September 18th. Due to the recent relocation there are a few decorative factors that could be improved upon such as lighting.

Cafe de Paris has a wide selection of drinks, ranging from chai to coffee to tea. One could even elect to drink at their coffee bar. There are the classic options of lattes or espresso along with local brands of chai. There is also the option of cold drinks, such as lemonade or smoothies.

Our server was engaging, cheerful and enthusiastic about answering any questions or concerns that we had. There was only one barista to make all of the food and manage everything while we there. However, this did not seem to be any sort of problem. We received very good service; including having the kitchen kept open later than usual.

Cafe de Paris also proved to be a good place for a casual dinner. There is a variety of foods offered along the coffee. They serve a variety of bagels, salads, paninis, and have both sweet and savory crepes. Among these there are many gluten free options for an added fee.

We started with the Mediterranean platter: pita chips encircling a selection of artichoke dip tomato bruschetta and hummus. The true standout of this dish was the tomato bruschetta; it tasted fresh and sweet with a bit of tang, there was just the right hint of basil and the perfect mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The warm artichoke dip was also a favorite among my brothers. The pita chips were nothing spectacular in of themselves; they were just the classic pita chip, allowing the dips to shine for themselves.

For my main dish I chose the Venice panini  which had fresh spinach, red pepper, portobello mushrooms and a pesto spread. All of the paninis offer a personal choice of cheese and I selected fresh mozzarella for this particular sandwich. The sandwich was cooked just the right amount of time, allowing the mozzarella to melt but not long enough for the spinach to wilt, resulting in an excellent texture. All of the flavors were distinctive but blended well enough that no one flavor overpowered.

My father selected to have the Rome panini that comes with roast beef, tomato and red onions; with his pick of cheddar cheese and addition of avocado ($1 extra). There was an all round good texture to this sandwich and  was slightly more hearty than other options.

One of my brothers picked the grilled brie sandwich with red pepper and pesto. The brie melted onto the sandwich and was definitely the most prominent flavor there. The fact that brie is such a soft cheese and was melted, along with the other components of this sandwich, caused it to be slightly thinner with the same amount of food.

My youngest brother, with a slightly less adventurous palate, decided on grilled cheese. This is a great and simple option for younger siblings or someone who is looking for a simple option.

The aspect that made all of the sandwiches truly outstanding was the bread. Every sandwich was on the same thin whole wheat rosemary bread. The bread brought the texture of the sandwiches together with a slightly crispy outside and soft center. The rosemary added just the right seasoning to such a simple and well made bread.

Finally, we could not got to a place called Cafe de Paris and not try a crepe. The consensus led us to deciding on the Nice crepe, containing blueberry coulis and whipped cream. The barista was kind enough to keep the kitchen open late to make the crepe, which turned out to be simple and yet refreshing. The whipped cream was nothing unusual but the blueberry coulis (a blueberry puree) tasted sweet with a very true blueberry flavor and it was obvious from the texture that it was made from fresh blueberries.

The prices at Cafe de Paris are fair. It was $8.49 for the paninis and $7.49 for the other sandwiches (with the exception of the grilled cheese only being $3.79). Crepes are around the $6 price range. There is nothing on the menu that costs over $9.

For a place that is mainly a coffee shop, Cafe de Paris offers outstanding food worth coming back to.