Those of us that indulge in bread know all too well the simple joys of a crusty slice of sourdough dipped in fine olive oil, or a fresh French baguette with lashings of jam, or a flaky, buttery croissant for breakfast.
Happily, restaurant mini-chain Le Pain Quotiden have turned their focus on resurrecting the glory days of bread - before it fell out of favour thanks to our gluten and carb conscious leanings. Le Pain prides itself on harking back to the era when baker’s ground the flour with stone, kneaded and shaped the dough by hand and baked it in a stone hearth - shunning mass-manufactured loaves lining supermarket shelves in favour of organic ingredients, and meaningful partnerships with the farmers that grow the produce.
The clean, green, sustainable philosophy even extends the materials they use in the beautifully fitted-out restaurants - complete with energy efficient lamps, and the large, communal table as a centerpiece.
With all this in mind, we decide to put our low-carb tendencies aside for a night to take full advantage of their famed produce. After all, indulging in the forbidden is one of life’s simple pleasures, and if you’re going to eat it, you may as well eat the best.
Slices of walnut sourdough, rye sourdough, and hazelnut and raisin flutes are served up with creamy, yellow butter (organic, of course) followed by a Tuscan platter of simple and delicious dips of ricotta, pesto, accompanied by prosciutto and baby tomatoes.
That all aside, a hungry visitor would do well than to just sample their baked goods.
Washed down with some wine, we were getting close to full, but had foresight enough to leave room for a small entrée – a delicate and tasty Crab Cake with Hummus and Pesto Salad for me, and for my vegetarian companion, who was spoilt for choice, a side of perfectly baked potatoes.
With our new year’s resolution to eat healthy ringing clearly in our ears, we decided to forgo dessert, but it would take a very strong woman to refuse the Chocolate Espresso Tart that materialised in front of us. It was creamy, rich and delicious and worth every wicked bite.
With produce that is refreshingly wholesome, nourishing and delicious, and service with true heart, the Le Pain’s experience is environmentally-aware chic at its finest, and tastiest.
For more information and locations, visit www.lepainquotidien.com.au