Gables Bites: Le Petit Cafe


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By: Riki Altman

Le Petit Cafe may seem small but it packs a lot of punch. Open just over a year ago, this French restaurant and bakery has a loyal following for breakfast and lunch. Owner Christine Zenou, who moved from Aix-en-Provence straight to Coral Gables, opened up her bistro right on Miracle Mile.

Looking around, diners are greeted with a cozy atmosphere with French flair, along with a nice selection of wines, coffees and cheeses. The pastry case displays a beautiful array of macarons and other baked goods, while the chalkboards offer a variety of options, ranging from salads like the Lyonnaise with bacon, Swiss cheese and poached eggs on top and the Nicoise with green beans, anchovies and potatoes, to gourmet sandwiches. Rumor has it the croque madame is killer, but the Le Sudiste—eggplant, goat cheese and tapenade—is another crowd favorite.

Now she’s got a new specialty, too—crepes! Available in sweet and savory options, these delectable dishes range in price from $6 to $12 and most even come with a small salad. Choose from Nordic (salmon, cream cheese and lemon), Mexican (chicken, onion, red pepper and corn), Italian (tomatoes, mozzarella and basil) or other varieties with a variety of proteins and veggies. Finish any meal with a dessert crepes made with a choice of Nutella, banana, honey, nuts or jam.

Want to know what Zenou recommends? She says her specialties are the beef bourguignon (“I marinate the meat for 24 hours,” Zenou claims.) and her tartes aux pommes (apple tarts), while her favorite quiche is the one made with spinach and cheese. Then there are the croissants… “My pan au chocolat (chocolate croissants) taste the same as the ones in France,” she promises.

You know, there’s only one way to find out…

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