Simply FrenchPosted by Erin Mussolum on Monday, February 1st, 2010
Tags for this Article: croissants, french, pain au chocolat, pastry
The marquee at 3742 West 10th Avenue says it all – “Simply French”. The classic yet down-to-earth feel of Vancouver’s newest European inspired café offers quite simply one of the best pain au chocolat I have ever had – and there is good reason for that.
After an almost 14-year-run, the former Truffles Bistro owner Isobel Drummond sold the business, packed up her family, and embarked on a six month sabbatical to France, renting a small house in Paris. It was here, among the celebrated city littered with cafes, that Drummond reignited her passion and embarked on learning the French art of perfecting authentic Parisian pastry. After living and working around this café culture she returned to Vancouver inspired to open up her own café like the ones she had experienced in France, and thus Simply French was born.
“People take time in France. They don’t just go in and grab a coffee and leave, they tend to sit down and enjoy themselves. It’s a very different culture,” Drummond says.
Today the restaurateur has more than just a vision on her hands. Open just shy of two months, Simply French is buzzing with families, young people, and those looking for a retreat from the coffee chains quickly invading Vancouver. The café, with its small but well planned menu and spacious yet approachable French inspired interior, does in fact create an atmosphere made for sipping and staying. But the real reason for returning guests, I suspect, is Drummond’s claim to French fame – her croissants and macaroons.
These two in my mind are the foundation of Simply French – and they should be. When in France, Drummond studied the two pastries, taking lessons and learning from the French how to master her technique. The café boasts of four different kinds of croissants (plain, pain au chocolat, almond, and spinach and feta), and I truly believe, after engulfing it, the pain au chocolat is the best in the city. It is butter rich with a flaky exterior yet is unbelievably moist throughout, and of course contains just the right amount of chocolaty goodness. The macaroons too are little sandwich cookie saints that profile the cookie’s star, the coconut, in the most delicate of ways. Fantastique!
Simply French also offers a selection of French inspired panini, soups, salads, baked goods, and a full espresso bar. Open
Tuesday through Sunday, and with free internet, Simply French is simply worth stopping in at.
Photos by www.michaelrathjen.com