Best Place to Pretend You're in Paris - 2003
The Butler & the Chef
Ah, Paris. Lazy afternoons sipping wine in a small cafe, eating crepes and frites, making fun of all the tiny dogs. We'd like to go back, but in the absence of lottery winnings we'll take the Butler & the Chef, a wholesaler of French antique bar and kitchen furniture that has brought us a wonderful little slice of France at the west end of South Park. Needless to say, the interior is authentic, from the bistro tables to the black-and-white photographs on the wall. Big windows in the kitchen open out onto a cute alley, and the front affords a view of South Park, all of which only adds to the magical transformation. The buckwheat crepes are delicious, as is the "Croque Mademoiselle" (a fried turkey and cheese sandwich -- what's not to like?). If you prefer unfried foods, the cafe also offers a selection of baguette sandwiches, including the Niçois and the Normandie, as well as entrees like an inexpensive pâté plate. For a special treat on a chilly day, order a big bowl of hot chocolate. The place gets a bit loud and crowded at lunchtime -- but hey, so does Paris. Bon appétit!