Sunday, July 3, 2011

Le Pain Quotidien - Bakery, Cafe & Communal Table

Exterior of 53rd Street location.
Dining room wit the signature communal table.
The ground level bakery.
(all photos except where noted: TheHopefulTraveler)
Patrons to Le Pain Quotidien (French for “the daily bread”) will be immediately taken by the warm inviting atmosphere, the sight of freshly-baked organic hand-made breads, gleaming pastries and the signature communal table. Since its first U.S. opening in Manhattan in 1997, there are over two dozen branches in the city today.

This branch located off 5th Avenue is split into two levels with a dining room upstairs and bakery/cafe at ground level. The feel is that of an airy country inn with walls of tan plaster and worn red bricks, gentle lighting and generous use of light-colored reclaimed woods for the furnishings especially for the long communal table that serves as the centerpiece of the dining room. This table is meant to suggest fellowship among dining guests. For those wishing for a private dining experience, standard tables line the walls. The atmosphere is a stark contrast to the concrete and steel and bustling traffic outside.

The bakery/café was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1990. Le Pain Quotidien today operates over 150 branches worldwide in 26 cities and 18 countries as far flung as Australia, Kuwait, Turkey, Russia and Mexico.

A bowl of cafe au lait
Zucchini frittata
More than a bakery, some popular menu items in the dining room include their Belgian waffles, tartines (open-face sandwiches), quiches and soups. The bakery counter offers an array of goods including parfaits, muffins and coffee. The pantry shelves are lined with the company's own brand of jams and chocolate spreads which are also served in the dining room.

For breakfast today, a café au lait ($4.25) served in a bowl and zucchini frittata ($10.95) with slices of freshly baked bread and a salad moderately drizzled in an olive oil dressing combined with the atmosphere made for one of the most comforting and relaxing breakfast experiences I can ever remember at any restaurant. The food was delicious to the last bite of bread and sip of coffee. Chunks of veggies in the frittata made for a hearty breakfast entrée. The service was charming and unhurried.

This branch of Le Pain Quotidien is located at 7 East 53rd Street (between Madison and 5th Avenue). Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30am-7:30pm; Sat-Sun 8am-6:30pm. Visit for more information. Click HERE for to view selections from their core menu.

Wood furnishings in the dining room.
Pantry of jams and chocolate spreads.
Le Pain Quotidien on 53rd Street 
The bakery sells Le Pain Quotidien's own brand of chocolate spreads and jams.
(photo above and below:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...