Colette Wine Bistro
What happens when you combine two enthusiastic French owners and one classically trained French Chef?
“It was truly magic to meet each other.”
And a Parisien style menu served at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“I like to play with the classics.”
If you’re looking for a taste of France, you can skip the transatlantic flight, and keep things stateside at Colette.
Nestled inside of the Porter Square Hotel in Cambridge, Colette is the latest Parisien wine bar from Sandrine Rossi and Loic Le Garret – the team who brought us French favorites like Le Petit Robert Bistro and Frenchie.
“We opened Colette because we wanted people to feel that they were just a block away from traveling to Paris. We wanted to highlight our lifestyle and give people the best experience they can have.”
So they created a space that has all of the charm of France, without some of the pretense you’d typically find in fine dining.
“Not only in the food is incredible but the atmosphere and the decor is a big hit for us. We have the high ceilings. A lot of windows. We’re trying to bring in some color with the banquettes. A lot of flowers everywhere. The front of the room is our lounge area which is very comfortable. And then the rest of the room is a bit more formal but still very very simple. It’s a beautiful space.”
And when it came to the menu, they enlisted Chef Cyrille Couet.
“Chef Cyrille has been classically trained in France so he’s a typical French chef. He masters all of the classics and that’s important to create the authenticity.”
So Phantom put away his passport, and got out his appetite in search of THE PERFECT MEAL.
If you want to kick off your meal traditionally, Colette’s French Onion Soup is a must order, topped with gruyere and a crunchy crouton. And for a modern spin on that french classic, coq au vin, order the Nicoise Cannelloni.
“We’re French. We love coq au vin and we really wanted to have it on the menu. So cannelloni are Italian pasta. And so this coq au vin is actually cooked for 72 hours so the meat is very tender. We stuff the cannelloni with the coq au vin stew and it’s delicious. You can’t find canneloni coq au vin anywhere so that’s a must try at Colette.”
For something handheld, Colette offers a range of options like their traditional Croque Monsieur.
“So Croque Monsieur is a french grilled cheese. It’s two slice of bread with bechamel guyere cheese and ham. Here chef is making it on a baguette so it’s pure French tradition. You can’t be more French than that.”
And for a French take on an American classic, get yourself a burger.
“I think Cerille tried to French it up a little bit by adding the wine sauce and the tomato compote and the spinach so it sounds healthy.”
“I decided to put as many French things as possible into a burger. So first I did a brioche and then we did a tomato compote so we have the maximum flavor of tomato. And for the greens we sautee the spinach. For the sauce component, we did a red wine reduction that we pour into an aioli.”
“When you bite into the burger you can really feel the softness of the tomato compote and the freshness of the spinach but most importantly its the quality of meat that is going to make a great burger and here we have a 8 ounce sirloin steak and it’s delicious.”
Entrees include a Mustard and Tarragon Brushed Boneless Chicken with garlic roasted potatoes and braised salsify. And that French classic, steak frites, smothered in a traditional green peppercorn sauce. But if your table really wants to go for it, order the Porterhouse Steak. This 32 ounce beauty is a behemoth, served alongside seasonal vegetables and sliced by a staff member tableside.
“People love it. We get the best meat around. Grill it. We change the sauce weekly. We slice the meat in the dining room so people really like it. We just bring it out of the kitchen and we make sure everybody sees it because it’s more fun and slice it up and try to make a show of it. It’s awesome.”
If you happen by Colette on the weekend, brunch is not to be missed. Whether you opt for the open faced veggie sandwich, smothered in roasted mushrooms and onions and topped with fresh avocado. Or the fork tender steak and eggs served alongside roasted breakfast potatoes. And if you want a sweet start to your morning, nothing quite compares to the Grilled Bananatella.
“Bananatella, it’s two slices of brioche with nutella and bananas inside. When you bite into the bananatella it’s really soft because you have the texture of the banana and the nutella has melted. So it’s like this luscious feeling in your mouth. It’s the best way to start the day.”
Of course, the French are known for their pastries…so ending your meal with one of Colette’s desserts is a no brainer. There’s the creamy Nutella Chocolate Mousse spiked with crunchy toffee and chocolate. Or the flaky Banana Tarte presented with ice cream. But if you ask Sandrine, she’ll always suggest the Eclair, featuring a filling which changes depending upon the week.
“Eclair is one of my favorite desserts. Eclair is a pastry choix dough filled with cream.
Here we decided to be a bit playful and we change our flavor every week. This week it is butterscotch. The pastry choix dough is really soft and inside you have the cream that melts in your mouth. It’s delicious.”
The Cannelloni nicoise, A Colette Burger, The Porterhouse Steak, Bananatella and an Eclair make for the PERFECT MEAL at Colette.