Photography by C. Whitney-Ward
CHEZ MAMOU - a French bakery and cafe opened a month ago at 217 E. Palace, and what a delight! Owner, Noëlla is French, the pastry Chef Paul Perrier is French and the menu is - you guessed it - French. It's quite charming and when you step inside, you feel as if you've been transported to a a cafe on the Left Bank. Sun pours through the large front window and delightful seating vignettes beg you to sit and enjoy breakfast, lunch or a late afternoon coffee and pastry.
Glass cases in the back display Chef Perrier's wonderful pastries and a glass wall let's you peek into the kitchen where he whips up his masterpieces.
Butterfly Palmiers. Light, airy and perfect for dunking into a cup of Chez Manou's amazing hot chocolate or Illy Italian coffee.
An apricot tart...
A white meringue filled with chocolate ganache. My personal favorite!
A raisin-filled delight. I'm devouring it now as I write this post.
The star of Chez Manou's kitchen is Pastry Chef Paul Perrier who was enticed out of retirement to work his fine pastry magic. For 17 years he held sway in the kitchen at the legendary Cafe Paris on Santa Fe's Burro Alley, but after the restaurant closed and he tried taking a well-deserved hiatus, he jumped at the chance to get back into the fray, creating memorable fine pastry, chocolate, ice cream and other French delights.
Born in Lyon, France, he learned to cook in his Father's restaurant and apprenticed at a legendary boulangerie in Paris where he perfected his pastry skills. He moved to the United States in the 1980's, and he and his wife opened Cafe Paris. "I've been making fine pastries for 55-years," says Perrier, who still has a twinkle in his eye when he talks about creating memorable desserts.
But the Chez Mamou menu goes beyond wonderful pastries...
The EGGS BENEDICT that I ordered was perfect. The poached eggs had just the right 'shimmey'; the Hollandaise was fresh, light and lovely; the ham wonderful; and the lightly-dressed salad and broiled tomatoes made a very-French meal.
The CROQUE MADAME at a neighbor's table looked equally inviting.Yes, I'm incorrigible. I walk up to perfect strangers and ask if I can photograph their food!
French Bakery - Cafe
217 E. Palace - Santa Fe
(Next to Noëlla Jewelry)
(Sign coming soon)
Tell them CHASING sent you!