A Wild Bite
By Talia Ralph
Boston is constantly growing with diverse people moving from all regions of the world. New individuals bring a rich culture, including cuisine. One such couple was Antoine and Anaïs Lambert.
The couple moved from France to Boston back in 2017. Working with fellow chefs at Frenchie Wine Bistro, they built relationships in the community. The pair returned to France but came back upon the opening of Colette French Restaurant, run by the same management as Frenchie. The experience of working closely with fellow chefs and owners inspired their investment into Café Sauvage, the couple’s French café. These connections were what made Boston the ideal spot for Antoine, as he said during our interview.
“I knew people in Boston, so that’s why it would be easier for me. I knew the chef already; I knew the people who are working here from before. It was just easier than, you know, New York, and I don’t know anybody over there. I knew the city.”
Opening day for the restaurant came Wednesday, October 20th, running smoothly, say for a few minor difficulties.
“You always try to think of everything you need for this day. We just had an issue with the POS [point of sale] system at ten a.m. when we had to open, but just trying to figure it out and make it work at some point. But, it went well; I mean, I had chairs, tables, a coffee machine, cups, plates, a chef in the kitchen, so that’s the basics.”
Despite minor inconveniences, the opening day was a success, which carried over to my visit to the café. Hungry after my early classes, I walked down to 25 Massachusetts Avenue to try the unique menu offered. Traditional Parisian cuisine sprinkled with influence from Ethiopia, Portugal, and Vietnam was featured on the opening week menu. My meal consisted of the açaí bowl, avocado toast, and a chocolate croissant for dessert, washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice. The fruits chosen for my bowl were all fresh and spread over the house yogurt, which had a rich vanilla flavor, better than anything found near Boston University. The avocado toast may seem like an everyday item but was elevated to a new level. The bread was covered with fresh avocado. On top of which was a medium-boiled egg, fresh greens, and a delectable pickled-mustard-seed-chili-crisp, adding spice and elevating the flavor to such an extent it should be illegal. I also opted for the toast to be topped with bacon, which was perfectly between crunchy and tender; however, those in the mood for a lighter option can choose smoked salmon. The dish looked as impressive as it tasted, prompting a fellow diner to ask what I had ordered for a future visit. The dish was portioned enough to fill my stomach but left some wiggle room for dessert.
Speaking of which—the chocolate croissant. Croissants are one Parisian staple that I find myself seeking out constantly. Café Sauvage met my high expectations yet again. The chocolate was not overbearing, especially paired with the freshly squeezed orange juice. The croissant itself crunched and flaked with every bite. The pastry was perfectly baked to have a golden brown exterior and a pillowy soft inside with layers that would make any pastry chef in France cry tears of joy. Food aside, the atmosphere completed the entire visit.
The interior decor resembled a bohemian island aesthetic. In the age of social media, having a restaurant that looks straight off a Pinterest dream board gives diners a chance to boost their Instagram feed. I could not ignore the opportunity as I snapped a few photos of my food with a beautiful background. On top of the outstanding style choices, the music playing built upon the free-spirit vibe. The atmosphere was perfect for catching up with friends or simply studying after a day filled with class. While the opening-week menu is impressive and fulfilling, stay tuned for expansions happening to the café. When I asked Antoine what goals were set for the near future, he responded with laughter and simply said,
“A liquor license. We are trying to get the liquor license and be able to do cocktails and sell wine. That is going to be the most exciting part.”
Café Sauvage is a must-go restaurant. As a new addition to Boston, the café increases the richness of food found throughout the city. So whether you are grabbing a bite to go or staying for a quick study group, everyone will leave with a new favorite restaurant.