On Bastille Day last week, I celebrated my love of French culture at the grand opening of Maman Toronto, an enchanting French bakery and café. After hearing wonderful things about their first location in Soho New York, I was excited to see what this place would bring. And I was not disappointed. The French word for 'mom', Maman emits a unique Southern France charm -- a certain je ne sais quoi that left me smitten.
I was salivating at every turn, not only for the mouth-watering food, but also for the gorgeous décor and delightful ambiance. It was picture perfect; evident by the million photos I snapped all night. The interior of the café radiates a warm and rustic feel, with a long wooden communal table, wisps of flowers, and beautiful displays of baked goods and treats. Stepping onto their patio is equally as lovely, with the prettiest blue tiled tabletops that simply begs to be photographed.
We sampled a variety of their family-inspired cuisine, all of which were fresh, delectable and bursting with flavourful goodness. Melt-in-your-mouth red pepper and goat cheese quiche was velvety soft, the cleverly named croque ‘maman’ with ham, cheese and béchamel sauce was sinfully delicious, and a cross between a tuna and egg salad sandwich with sundried tomatoes, olives and pesto were just a few of their savory bites. And then the desserts arrived. Despite my impending food coma, I couldn’t resist the mini tropézienne (a cream-filled brioche) and the cutest lemon meringue cookies, all of which sent me on a satisfactory sugar high.
But what I can’t stop dreaming about are their chocolate chunk cookies, a renowned treat that was undoubtedly my favourite of the night. Crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, my taste buds were ooh la la-ing with creamy chocolate, macadamia nuts, almonds and walnuts. Served with a shot of milk of course, it was worth every insatiable bite.
I have yet to visit the beauty of the South of France, but until then, I’ll let Maman whisk me away to a cozy, idyllic sanctuary, with a cocktail and cookie in hand.