Le Moulin a Cafe
Zut alors! Le Moulin a Café is one of the most adorable spots in the city to say nothing of the UES. The shelves are stocked with French crackers, coffees and sweets while the pastries, available to take out or eat seated at one of the wooden tables that bear traces of old paint, are divine. Table service is usually offered but, when the kitchen closes, (sometimes at four PM ) you order and pay up front, then cart your bounty to your table.
Kids from the nearby Lycée Français hang out here, younger ones enjoying their gouter (afternoon snack) while their mama's drink top-class coffee, chat with friends or consult their phones on which Suri speaks French. Even the tots have that indefinable air of French chic.
This is a wonderful spot for breakfast where you can down a croissant stuffed with egg, bacon and cheese; les omelets with various fillings ,(cheese, spinach, bacon, onion, mushroom), or a yogurt parfait. The pain au chocolat is the real deal with meltingly flaky pastry; other baked goods are equally delicious, lovingly made from quality ingredients. The raspberry macaroon with raspberry and lychee filling has its own fan club.
Merguez sausage that arrives with frites makes a great lunch as do the tiny ravioli filled with conte cheese and chives. You can eat one of many salads as in Nicoise, beet with goat cheese and string beans, Caesar with or without added chicken, etc. The burger is generous, topped with a choice of cheese and bacon. Moulin is a place unto itself, no mass-produced anything and not a spot for weight watchers or the gluten intolerant.
The Sandwich Vietnamien, big on my hit parade, brings chicken with a toss of cilantro, julienned carrots and celery root bound with spicy mayonnaise and comes with fries. A quiche offering changes daily, arriving with a fresh green salad or order the Croque Monsieur or Madame or the paté plate, another genuine article. Crepes are popular, flat and thin with numerous filling possibilities.
Of course there is alcohol --this is a French spot--so diners can indulge in a Kir Royale, Mimosa or Bellini with peach juice that tastes fresh (although I'm not sure of its pedigree.) Wines by the glass, a variety of herbal and regular teas as well as excellent, strong coffee in all the usual guises complete the menu. No hard stuff but beer happens.
At off-peak hours, some of the staff is less than highly professional meaning they exude charm but bumble a little. Walls are brick, the ceiling is pressed tin painted white, there is a skylight to evoke Paris (and let light in) and even the restrooms are sparkling clean and adorbs. All the way east may not fill everyone's needs but it's worth a mini-detour for a meal, snack or meeting in a setting that's restful and sweet where you won't be hassled or rushed. Credit cards accepted.
Review By: Mari Gold