Wandering Outside the Bubble
Megan O’Brien, Contributing Writer
C’est magnifique! Within this cream-bricked building lies a comfortable and welcoming dining experience. Though parking can be a struggle, it’s worth it for the charming French waiter (surprising, right?) who greets you as you walk in.
You can choose to sit on the patio (covered and heated in cold weather) or inside. The brimming patio replicates those of popular European bistros, with small tables pouring out onto the streets, while the inside is decorated with an art deco theme. Warm reds and yellows throughout the café complement the art.
Toulouse Café and Bar draws influences from southwestern France, and takes pride in constantly adapting the menu with fresh ingredients.
First, I recommend wine (if you’re over 21, of course). Wine will complement anything that you order. Expect to splurge at Toulouse.
We tried the basket of petite gourgére, classic French cheese pastry puffs drizzled with truffle oil. Once you take a bite, these crusty puffs will ooze with cheese. Eat when warm!
Then, we ordered les soupes & salades. The Toulouse Salad combines Bibb lettuce with poached pear, toasted walnuts, Roquefort Cheese and raspberry-walnut vinaigrette. The pear and raspberry add a sweet flavor to the dish and are carefully balanced out by salty walnuts.
Next, we moved on to the plats principaux, mostly focusing on seafood dishes. The Roasted Scottish Salmon is served with caramelized Brussels sprouts, carrots and potatoes, and drizzled with lemon-chive beurre blanc. Particularly if you’ve never liked Brussels sprouts, I dare you to try these!
The Bouillabaisse is the classic seafood dish, mixed with mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops and white wine-saffron broth. This slightly cluttered dish resembles a soup and is, I would claim, not worth the monies.
If you like mussels, I would recommend ordering an entrée of mussels instead of the Bouillabaisse. You can choose from a variety of flavors.
You can’t go to Toulouse and skip dessert. Save room. For dessert, we ordered the Parisian Beignets with Espresso Pot de Crème. As I bit into the savory puff, a cloud of powdered sugar rose in the air. Mind you, these are denser than the Café Du Monde beignets in New Orleans.
Although we went the three-course route, you could easily have a magnificent dining experience ordering an entree salad, sandwiches, mussels, or a combination of hors d’oeuvres. Toulouse’s main dishes range between $13 and $28.
Also, Toulouse’s lunch dishes would be worth tasting and, of course, slightly cheaper.