Friday, March 2, 2012

my new favorite

I am head over heels in love with what might just be the sweetest little lunch spot in Paris:  Mamie Gateaux.

For weeks, we hurried past on our way to ballet and each time I made a mental note to come back when they were open.  Finally, I decided to make it a mother-daughter date and take Annabelle during her one of her absurdly long lunch breaks.  We typically walk home for lunch or eat ham and butter baguettes, so this was a real treat.

my adorable lunch companion

Mamie, the French term of endearment for grandma, aptly describes the vintage vibe of this cozy spot (known as a Salon de Thé).  Gateaux is French for cakes, of which they have no shortage.  In addition to an irresistible array of rustic desserts, daily specials are written on an antique school slate, including several quiche-like tarts, salads, soup and my personal favorite, the savory cake of the day.  In other words, you can have your cake and eat it twice.

DSC_7139 hallelujah.  french carrot cake has no nuts or pesky bits of pineapple.

The owners, who also dabble in antiques at their nearby brocante (vintage shop), put their wares to work in every detail of the cafe.  Perched atop high shelving, an array of brightly colored cafe au lait bowls border the room, several complete sets of vintage canisters are prominently on display and a pristine old wood-burning oven is wedged between the tables.   Eating here is lot like dining in an old-fashioned, French country kitchen. 


Best of all, the food was delicious and the prices, reasonable.  Annabelle and I could have shared an entree had we known how generous the portions were.  Instead, I ordered savory cake with ham, dill and fresh tomato sauce and Annabelle opted for a spinach roquefort tart which she didn’t love.  I liked it but we both felt the savory cake was something to write home about.  A side of lightly dressed greens and grated carrot made for a lovely presentation and a well-balanced lunch.

DSC_7133 watch out mamie, i’m moving in.

With just enough room left for dessert, we surveyed the mouth-watering selection of cakes, pies and tarts displayed on a long counter at the rear of the cafe.  Annabelle chose a raspberry strawberry crumble presented in a dainty ceramic dish and I couldn’t believe my luck when our server vowed that the carrot cake was nut-free.  We were in heaven.

We returned with Naud the following week to be certain that our dreamy lunch date hadn’t been too good to be true.  Nope.  Not mistaken. 

We have ourselves a keeper.


  1. oh my gosh - how adorable is this PLACE!?
    do they sell the vintage kitchen wares? If so, I may need an extra suitcase!

  2. hi mari,

    it is seriously adorable. annabelle and i were there, again, today- i asked our server about the vingtage shop and she said it is closed at the moment. they are in the process of transitioning to a space adjacent to the cafe. i told her you were coming but she didn't have a specific date, just 'in a little while'.