C’est Si Bon – It’s So Good
Perhaps this has happened to you. You’re walking or driving along somewhere in our beautiful Lancaster County, when suddenly something new catches your eye in the landscape. A new store front or structure beckons you to come for a closer look and at the conclusion of your enchanted meeting of this new establishment, a hometown crush is born! My latest such encounter happened when I first caught sight of the deliciously stunning and inviting storefront of Bistro Barberet & Bakery at 26 East King Street, Downtown. The way the light from the sun-drenched summer day bounced off the jewel-colored pastries in the bakery window left me no choice but to venture in with curiosity and saunter out with a bag full of sweets. If you follow me on twitter, you know this first meeting was the beginning of an enduring love affair that fulfills my girlish whims of decadence, beauty, indulgence, luxury and carbohydrates. Since that first encounter I have walked many others through the hot pink bakery doors and stood with them beneath glittering chandeliers as they tried to decide on which patisserie to try first. I was so excited to have an opportunity to sit down with the man behind the Bakery/Bistro, Cedric Barberet, and share his vision for merging the food and philosophy of France with the charm and community of Lancaster!
Comme il faut – As it should be
Cedric and his wife Estelle have made their mark on the industry from working for Donald Trump in Florida to Le Bec Fin & Buddakan in Philadelphia. They visited Lancaster several years ago, but on a recent visit back to the little city, they felt something different was happening here and they wanted to be a part of it. As plans to open the bakery fell into place, they added to that idea, an attached wine and tapas bar. However, as excitement for the venture built, Cedric says the plan kept getting bigger and bigger until they arrived at the Bakery & Bistro developing full meals and menus. Barberet beamed, “[In our excitement] we kept saying, ‘Oh we should have this, and people might want to try this’ ” until the menu expanded to include unique and French inspired items for lunch, dinner, brunch and happy hour.
Haute cuisine -‘High cooking’ a compliment to the food and the chef
Cedric and his executive chef Tyler Boell plan to delight your palette with the perfect combination of local, fresh goods and international flavor. They get the majority of their ingredients from Lancaster Central Market and some local organic vendors, but some ingredients they insist on bringing in from elsewhere to make sure they are providing their customers with what they feel is the Crème de la crème . Barberet suggests if you want to find a french baguette in Lancaster, his bakery is the place to come. The dough is imported from a revered baker in France and then baked fresh at the King Street Bakery when it arrives. The coffee they serve is his personal favorite and he makes sure his Baristas and staff are all trained in how to procure you the perfect cup. He’s working though, to perfect the fine balance between his French influence and his new community. Cedric has been trying some local favorites since his move to Lancaster, from chicken and waffles (which left Barberet missing “the sauce”) to scrapple, which is actually being featured in a crepe on the brunch menu at the bistro! The Je ne sais quoi can be found in the blend, the merge, the harmony between an elevated dining experience and a place you are welcomed, embraced and comfortable to pop by for a drink after work, or linger over three courses with your friends, family, love.
Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup – Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly
Barberet Bakery and Bistro wants to be a part of every Lancastrians everyday life.
“It looks like a fancy place, but we are very affordable for what we are doing here.” says Barberet, who wants to be a daily part of our community and not reserved for just your special occasions. His vision is to bring the more luxurious “French” way of dining, socializing, and savoring to his new community here in Lancaster. He says they work hard to be prompt and cognizant of your busy schedule but when time permits, he hopes you’ll stay awhile to savor the food and the company. Of course, you must save room for dessert, or at least plan to take some home for later. With Cedric standing by on our interview day, I had the distinct and delectable privilege of tasting some more of his artfully decadent yet surprisingly light desserts. Each one was more delicious than the next. The perfect combinations of textures give some of his layered desserts a complexity that makes them even more enjoyable. The eclairs were by far the best I’ve tasted…anywhere.
Food is art, it’s celebration and comfort and sustenance. If you aren’t sure where to begin on your first visit to the Bistro, take a cue from the Master; Here is what Cedric Barberet described as his favorite meal of the moment:
A glass of red wine with some cured meats and fresh cheese to start. Then the Steak Frittes from the Bistro menu, followed by a pear or strawberry tart for dessert.
No matter what YOU are in the mood for, from a drink after work, dinner with your family or some bakery items to go, make sure to come soon and see what makes this new addition to Lancaster to special.
“We are so grateful to be here,” says Barberet, “Estelle was just telling me that of all the places she has worked from France to Philadelphia, the people here are the most genuine, and happy and nice”.
Photographs by Matthew Tennison