Food & Drink

This Quaint Café Brings Paris To Aiken

If enjoying a Nutella crepe under a vine-covered pergola while sipping a warm latte sounds good, you're in luck. You can find Paris right here in Aiken at La Parisienne French Restaurant.

For friends David Meunier and Myriam and Jean Dandonneau, mixing Aiken’s equestrian history and French food is their recipe for success.

My husband’s family is Canadian. We know a thing or two about maple syrup. But after tasting the maple pecan pastry at La Parisienne, I have to admit that maybe the French do too. It was buttery, crisp, and flaky without being too crumbly and the pecans pay tribute to the restaurant’s southern ties. It’s not often I let out an audible “mmm” at the taste of something sweet. Since it was our first trip, we had to sample the menu’s best offerings. Our table ordered the croissant au jambon (ham and cheese croissant + an egg on top) with French fries and the Quiche La Parisienne (spinach and smoked salmon quiche) with a salad. For an indulgent mid-morning dessert, we shared le French Nutella crepes and a few coffee drinks. Everything we ordered was pure perfection.

After receiving our food, I had the chance to talk to the chef. He spoke about the crepes and mentioned using duck eggs, which caught my ear. I have personally never heard of duck eggs being used in crepes, or in most dishes for that matter. Hearing this intrigued me, so I did some research. According to various websites, duck egg yolk is high in fat, and the egg whites are high in protein, making baked goods and pastries richer and fluffier compared to the chicken egg. For this reason, the duck egg has won the spot as one of the greatest pastry chef secrets. La Parisienne sources their duck eggs from a local farm in Windsor, South Carolina called Jog’lin Board Farm. All eggs come from happy, hardworking ducks that are cage-free and sustainably raised.

La Parisienne touts more than just good food. There are plenty of seating options for every preference. We sat outside underneath the vine-covered pergola but there’s bar seating on the porch and tons of tables inside the roomy polo-inspired interior.

La Parisienne has me wanting to take a note from Emily in Paris and sit outside and people-watch with my girlfriends for hours. The authentic French atmosphere paired with a touch of Aiken’s equestrian history makes for the perfect spot to find your own joie de vivre.

Panini Le Complet @csra.love

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