Amanda and Arthur de Bruc brought more than a little bit of France with them when they landed here in Chestnut Hill to open their charming new restaurant, Matines Café, across the street from …
Amanda and Arthur de Bruc brought more than a little bit of France with them when they landed here in Chestnut Hill to open their charming new restaurant, Matines Café, across the street from the Chestnut Hill East Train Station on Bethlehem Pike. After months of hard work and preparation, they are officially throwing open their doors on Thursday, Nov. 10.
Immediately upon entering you feel you may well be in Paris. Freshly painted white walls are adorned with simple framed soft watercolors. The comfortable and clean long padded bench seating is accented with pillows, and small, softly lit round tables and simple chairs rest on a naturally colored hardwood floor. And then there’s the antique black wrought iron clock outside above the windows – so you won’t have a hard time finding Matines or directing a friend to the restaurant.
The de Brucs are both natives of Paris, and Arthur’s family still resides in the same chateau in France where they've lived since the 11th century. Amanda’s mother, to whom she attributes her recipes for the incredible quiches you will devour, was a transplant to Paris from New York City. Don’t imagine Amanda will ever share the recipe. It is a cherished secret.
Making this love for the business a family affair, Amanda’s sister Lauren owns and operates Cafe Soleil in St. Petersburg, Florida. And her brother, Alexander, owns Petit Paris in Jacksonville, Florida.
During the past seven years prior to embarking on their newest enterprise, Arthur and Amanda owned and operated the wildly popular Cafe M in Savannah, Ga. Accolades from local papers there convince me that we have newcomers who will greatly complement the amazing food scene in Chestnut Hill.
Amanda is more comfortable in the front of the house. She loves people, loves to talk and captivates with her joy and excitement. “We can’t believe how many “francophiles” there are in this area,” she said, adding that she is thinking she may dedicate a night for all who can to come and speak French.
Arthur is an artist. With a delightfully apparent French accent, he gestures over an imaginary plate, “I love to put something red, yellow, purple on a plate then put it into the oven. Something wonderfully different develops, something beautiful!”
Arthur and Amanda are also offering a great selection of food, goods and art work imported from France – so you can shop while dining and take home a gift for someone you love.
There is seating for 22 inside and26 outside. The outside Parisian style patio is cozy and quiet and certainly will be a choice of seating during mild weather, and soft strains of French music will transport you to another world. You can tell that a lot of careful, thoughtful planning went into the décor.
Matine’s beautiful pastry offerings are presented in a glass case from which it will be difficult to make a choice. You will again have a hard choice when it comes to the selection of specialty coffee and tea drinks brewed expertly in their state-of-the-art espresso machine. The pecan praline latte sounds delectable. All the drinks can be ordered steaming hot or ice cold, and the selection of tea rivals the newly popular gourmet tea shops.
Soup and salad is a favorite for so many people and while they may hesitate to order this in a restaurant when dining with a large party, at Matines Café it will be a most popular meal, even if you’re elbow-to-elbow with friends. The soup selections are hearty, delicious, filling, and delectable. You can count on the salads being made from produce not packaged in a plastic bag but marketed fresh and perfectly ripened with wonderful uncommon ingredients.
While Arthur and Amanda are serious about food, they emphasized that their food is simple; no fuss, no frills. They’re creating a place where customers feel they can stop on their way to work to pick up a delicious freshly made sandwich for lunch. Or stop on the way home, for one of the deliciously flavored and filled “Mom’s” bacon, egg, cheese and veggie quiches and heat it quickly for a great dinner. There are also croissants filled with egg and cheese (Swiss or brie), and for a heartier meal customers can add bacon, Black Forest ham, prosciutto ham, smoked salmon or sausage. And Matines’ simply delectable pastries are also a great choice for breakfast the next morning.
While French restaurants have a reputation for being expensive, Matines’ patrons may look at the bottom line of their check for this amazingly good and filling dinner and breakfast and think, “quite reasonable.” A scrumptious smoked salmon croissant, for instance, is $14.
To add to the convenience of a wonderful location, the area where Matines is located has many choices for parking close to the building including on the property itself.
Matines will be a great addition to the neighborhood for breakfast, lunch with friends, early or take-home dinners, intimate, small meetings or take out lunch and dinner for home or the office. This BYOB (for now) gathering place may soon become a favorite.
Matines Café is at 89 Bethlehem Pike, 215-621-6667. For information visit Matinescafe.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.