MADEMOISELLE COLETTE (Menlo Park, CA) – Santa Cruz Avenue is a really cute part of Menlo Park, filled with eateries, boutiques, and other shops. So I shouldn’t have been surprised as I was to find out that Mademoiselle Colette was located in this area. In search of good bakeries, I found it through Yelp, and after scouring through pictures on Instagram, it became a place I needed to visit. Needing to find a place to meet up with friends, I picked Colette for us to enjoy an afternoon coffee date. My friends like to take pictures in aesthetically pleasing pictures (and obviously like food), so this is what we picked!
When you walk into Colette, you’re greeted with a multitude of pastries. This is the spot to get quality French pastries, including Kouign Ammans! Both the owner and pastry chef are French trained chefs and have worked in Paris, so you know you know it’s about to be legit. Though the sweets kept teasing me, I bravely walked past them and didn’t order them.
There are several tables towards the back of the restaurant near the kitchen window. It’s a really cute, calming area with the bright aesthetic that opens up the spot as well as the light fixtures and the bench seating with pillows. There’s also more seating in the back patio, in addition to several tables and benches out in front. The outdoor space is adorable, but we decided to sit inside since it was a very hot day.
I ordered a latte, and my friends ordered iced lattes. The coffee was pretty good, and I didn’t feel the need to add sugar to it. I’m not sure if they have a special blend or what brand of coffee they use, but they sell packaged beans and teas at the cafe. It kept me going for a late night of work, so I was satisfied with my drink!
Everyone was pretty hungry by the time we got there, so we ordered pretty quickly. My friends ordered the same thing lol, and they ordered the Smoked Salmon Tartine, which had smoked salmon, light lemon cream cheese, avocado, and red onion on top of homemade focaccia bread.
Though they had a Burrata Tartine (my love for burrata is well-documented thanks to this blog), it had prosciutto on it, so I decided to splurge and order the Spring Tartine. The Spring Tartine had lemon crème fraîche, slow cooked breast chicken, honey corn, apricots, and lemon confit on homemade cumin bread, served with roasted herbed potatoes. Though this was pricey, it was delicious! The crème fraîche and confit were the perfect complement to the chicken since it provided tartiness and tang, and the honey corn provided some sweetness. The apricots were another surprising touch since they’re also sweet, a little sour, and provided texture. This was such an interesting and surprisingly complex dish that harmonized really well.
Fun Fact: I was wondering why this cafe was named Mademoiselle Colette, especially after seeing a stack of books with the name “Colette” on them. Though I’m not entirely sure if the restaurant was named after this individual, I have a good feeling it may be. Colette was a French novelist that was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Her novella, Gigi (1944), became a film and stage production, and if that wasn’t enough she was also a mime, an actress, and a journalist. She’s been given a bunch of honors in France and you can even visit her tomb. You’re welcome for that awesome history lesson (and you can also thank Wikipedia).
Anyway, we had a fun time trying out their dishes and taking in the chill atmosphere of the shop. I want to come back another day and try some of their pastries, though it will definitely be a treat. This cafe is on the pricey side, so I would only want to come here for a #treatyoself type of day, or if I was bringing my mom in, for example. I’ve also read Yelp reviews saying that the service wasn’t great, but I had a great experience. Everyone was friendly and helpful (and why I also take Yelp reviews with a grain of salt). I would highly recommend coming here if you want a little bit of France in the Bay!