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French cuisine finds its way to the West End
From the cobble roads of southern France to the streets of the West End.
In mid-November, pastry chef Cam Tran plans to open Café Ce Soir, his first restaurant and one of the only specialty French pastry cafes in the West End, at 937 Portage Ave.
"There is nothing else like it here," said Tran, who lives in St. James.
Tran, 34, trained at Gastronomicom, a culinary school in Agde in southern France, where he specialized in French pastries and desserts.
A staple of Tran’s menu will be his favourite dessert – crème brûlée, a traditional French custard topped with hardened caramelized sugar.
Tran says he experiments with different flavors, noting customers are likely to see lavender and honey-infused versions of the dessert on the menu.
Alongside desserts and pastries, Café Ce Soir will offer soup, salads, sandwiches, and entrees, he said.
"We are not just a French pastry cafe," Tran said. "I want variety on the menu."
Prices for desserts will range from $6 to $8, while entrees will sell for $7 to $15.
Tran also plans to offer gluten-free dessert options on his menu.
The cafe will be open Tuesday to Thursday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and weekends from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Tran said he decided to keep the café open late on the weekend so patrons can enjoy a glass of wine in a relaxed setting.
"I want my café to be a relaxing place where people can hang out, kind of like a lounge atmosphere," he said.
Jon McPhail, who owns Jonnies Sticky Buns bakeshop two doors down from the cafe, said he thinks Tran’s venture will be a great addition to the community.
"From talking with my customers, the community is excited to give it a try and see how it fits into the neighbourhood," McPhail said.
Café Se Soir is the kind of restaurant the community needs because it gives people in the neighbourhood a new option when deciding where to dine out at night, McPhail added.
"It’s a little bit different from what this neighbourhood has had, but I think it might just be the thing people need," he said.
For more, visit www.cafecesoir.ca.
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