L'Auberge de France
304 Front Street
In her opinion:
We stopped at L'Auberge de France on our way to the "County" for a family weekend of food, wine and fun. My darling husband had found out about this place while doing county research. After a little more research, I discovered that this little piece of France in Ontario is only opened for breakfast on Saturday mornings were they advertise that they pull 240 croissants and pain du chocolat from the oven. So we decided to time it, so that we were passing through Belleville just as this place opened.
We were actually early...we obviously made good time. This gave us an opportunity to check out the Belleville Farmers Market not to far from L'Auberge de France. As we arrived back at the bistro, I noticed that there was groups of people going in. As we walked in the door, an older couple commented about how we were teaching our son about good food. We've been trying...but still haven't really succeeded.
I ordered a coffee and a croissant with jam and butter.
All I can say is delicious...yes, it was delicious beyond belief. It was like I was transported back to Paris. Chef Jean-Marc Salvagno hails from Avignon, France and his croissants are so authentic! Buttery, flaky and delectable. Excellent. The jam was fresh tasting and the butter was sweet. Even the coffee was good.
Overall, a great experience. I was sad to leave this little bistro without trying more but unfortunately, we had a weekend full of eating ahead of us and I didn't want to overdue it. I did buy a baguette to go and it was so authentic tasting. Excellent!
I would love to return and try more of Chef Salvagno's cooking. I know that it would not disappoint!
In his opinion:
I know it makes me so predictable but I usually am in awe of anything French. It is my favourite type of food, it is my favourite country and I'm yet still to try a French dish that I don't like. I recall that when in Paris, I used to marvel and indulge in the amazing "Patisseries" and "Boulangeries" that seem to be in every corner of every street. Another part that struck me was that you can get a "pain au chocolat" pretty much anywhere, not just food spots...literally anywhere, even the ticket booth at the metro sold them.
So any time I come across the chance to have some French pastries, I jump at the opportunity and always like to "test" their "pain au chocolat" (chocolate bread) for measure. L'Auberge de France is a modern French bistro, gourmet grocery shop and specialty cheese store. What a combination...if they showed soccer on the weekend I could literally live there.
We found this place while researching our Prince Edward County food and wine trip and it worked perfect that we were driving by Belleville and decided to stop in 4 min after opening and it was already pretty full. That's usually a sign of a great place, filled with mostly locals and repeat customers.
Unfortunately, we had lunch reservations in the "County" and all we could do is have a preview of this place, but it ended up being a great preview.
When I walked in, the fresh smell of bread and baked goods filled the air and set us up for the goodness to come. As we waited to order, my mouth salivated at the trays of food passing by, sandwiches, stuffed croissants, quiches, brioches and so much more. These delicacies would have to wait for another time as we only had time for a quick breakfast.
I ordered a cafe au lait and of course...a pain au chocolat. The coffee was good but the pain au chocolat was outstanding. Just the right amount of chocolate inside (a mistake that many make by putting too much), the outside was flaky, fresh and had a buttery crust. It was still warm inside, as it should be served and definitely hit the spot.
I left wanting more and wished we had more time and a larger stomach but for the quick breakfast that it was, it was great. Nice to point out that the service was great and the owner as well as his girlfriend are very nice and often mingle with the clients, especially with the regulars.
For now, I will keep my Chocolatine (pain au chocolate in South of France) dreams intact and will have to settle for something a bit closer to home, like the Petite Thuet's in Toronto. Cant wait to go and have lunch or even bistro dinner at L'Auberge de France.