On Saturday afternoon, we walked over to the Little Next Door, a busy French café which tends to be overlooked by the herd of trendsters who graze at Toast across the way. Little Next Door has a large attractive patio where it serves an array of omelets, savory tarts, charcuterie plates, salads and French sandwiches such as a croque madame and ham on a buttered baguette. But since the café saw it fit to turn on the hot lamps despite weather supporting wildfires, we sat inside in the colorful room with the its high, cobalt blue ceiling and plentiful copper accessories, including a stunning Elektra espresso machine which lords over the entire room. The staff spoke French to one another, and in the quest to preserve some Gallic authenticity, the waiters carried around circular trays like an extra appendage, just as they do in
We enjoyed a leek and gruyere tart which was rich and balanced and had a tasty, buttery crust. The tart was small enough to fit on a salad plate, though quite filling, and the accompanying salad was fresh and not over dressed, a rarity. The croque madame, if not quite on the level of Campanile’s Thursday night version, was very good. A large bottle of Badoit washed it all down nicely. In keeping with the season, we also enjoyed a spicy pumpkin tart though such was the quantity of pumpkin filling that management could have sold it as a cookie. The crust had that subdued buttery flavor that I really love.
The barista drew a solid shot from the Elektra, and we were then on our way.