The French bistro recently opened on U.S. 41 in Naples. Tim Aten
From the mouth-watering display of breads and pastries to the gourmet-style dish presentation, La Colmar Bakery & Bistro doesn't need a view of the Eiffel Tower to feel authentic.
The modern French eatery serves up sweet and savory creations for breakfast, lunch and dinner that look as good as they taste.
The vintage chic decor transports diners to France's charming rural towns, one of which inspired the name of the restaurant.
Rustic chandeliers hang over wooden tables and chairs. The walls appear distressed to give off the appearance of an old building. Decorative windows with blue shutters hang above the kitchen.
The adjoining Timeless restaurant is semi-visible through large openings of one of the bistro's walls. La Colmar, which opened in August, is run by a third-generation baker and pastry chef from France, Yannick Brendel, and his wife, Ana.
On a recent Monday, my brunch party and I were greeted at the door with the scent of freshly baked bread.
We were nicely surprised to see the bakers and pastry chefs hard at work in the open preparation areas before we chose from their edible masterpieces lined up in long glass display cases.
From baguettes and ciabatta bread to eclairs and napoleons, La Colmar doesn’t need a written menu. The food speaks for itself.
Bite-sized samples of pretzel bread and chocolate brioche filled one help-yourself counter.
After grabbing a couple, we moved down to a case displaying all the entrees, including quiches, omelettes, salads, and hot or cold sandwiches.
For drinks, diners can opt for wine, coffee (latte, cappuccino, machiatto) or freshly squeezed orange juice.
We put in our orders at the register and grabbed our number to place at our chosen table. Diners can opt to sit inside the open-concept dining area or outside.
Our meals arrived almost as soon as we sat down.
We started off with dessert, of course. The classic chocolate eclair ($6.95) did not disappoint. The melt-in-your-mouth flaky crust complemented the rich cream filling and chocolate icing.
The napoleon ($6.95), a crispy puff pastry filled with custard, was another great choice. Each dessert was presented in a large dish with a caramel drizzle and whipped cream.
We paired off our meals with a hot macchiato ($3) and freshly squeezed orange juice ($4).
For our entrees, we sampled the quiche Lorraine ($8) served up with a side salad. The quiche's flaky crust and fluffy egg interior with ham and bacon was light, but hearty. It was definitely a favorite at our table.
The omelette Lorraine ($10) was a strong contender, served up with french bread and potatoes. The omelette had plenty of cheese and meat that made us want to ask for seconds.
The croque-monsieur ($10) lived up to its name. The sandwich held together a perfect balance of rich French ham, Gruyere cheese and béchamel sauce. It also came with a side salad that added a lightness to the meal.
My party and I left La Colmar feeling full and satisfied with plans of returning soon.
La Colmar Bakery & Bistro
- Where: 80 Tamiami Trail N, Naples
- Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Closed Sunday
- More information: 239-315-4303; www.lacolmar.com/
- Forks: 5 out of 5