Comfort Food, French Style

Café Felix brings a bistro ‘A’ game to A2


Published:

Sometimes when it’s a chilly, rainy night on the cold streets of Ann Arbor, you need the comfort of a nice French bistro: the gleam of brass, warm conversations, laughter, a perfect bar, the pop of champagne, and the aroma of real-deal French bistro food. You shake off your umbrella and sigh: You are at Café Felix.

Café Felix has been a fixture on Main Street since 1997. In other cities that might mean a tired joint with unchanged décor and stained menus. Not in Ann Arbor, where rents are high and restaurants need to bring their “A” game to keep the kitchen humming.

Even on a wet Wednesday night the crowd at Café Felix was lively. Our party nosed through to be seated at a table under a painting of a portly gent nursing a cigarette and glass of red wine. He seemed to say, “Just relax, monsieur, you’re home now. Oh! And no flat-screen TVs, so you can converse like the true French.”

We started with classic French aperitifs and intelligently mixed cocktails with names like “Brotherhood.” This went down with an order of light, lemony calamari. On cold nights soup is a must; the superb tomato bisque brought some peppery heat, while a Bistro Salade came with candied pecans and generous amounts of creamy blue cheese.

One main course was gnocchi with Asiago cheese; a close-your-eyes bit of comfort-food perfection — feathery light gnocchi with a mix of fragrant cheese, wild mushrooms, and veggies.

Café Felix offers four pizzas, including a Marguerite pizza that was crisp and warm with oozy mozzarella. Of course, the quintessential French bistro dish — beef steak avec frites — had to be ordered. With a French flourish, an effortlessly seared hanger steak arrived surrounded by french fries so good we had to keep the neighboring table from reaching for samples.

Desserts followed with a traditional chocolate mousse and an untraditional espresso crème brûleé with freshly made doughnuts and caramel and raspberry sauce — a Café Felix riff on “coffee and doughnuts” but without exaggeration, a million times better.

The gentleman in the painting above our table nodded, “Oui, monsieur, that’s what I’m talking about.”

204 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-8650. L & D daily, Br. Sun.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

New Japanese-Inspired Restaurant Comes to Birmingham

Adachi opens this week in Birmingham

This Vegan Catering Company Celebrates the ‘Natural Beauty of Food’

Plus, tips on how to create your own photo-worthy grazing board

Exploring Metro Detroit’s Tiki Trend

Mutiny Bar and Lost River serve up island vacations with every drink

Meet the Detroit Startup Churning Out ‘Adult’ Cotton Candy

Spun Sugar puts spiked and sophisticated spins on the childhood favorite

Fountain Detroit Opens a Summer Barbecue Hotspot

The Campus Martius Park destination offers a beachside experience
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Review: Testa Barra Wows with Contemporary Dishes
    The Macomb Township restaurant serves Italian fare that is on par with the surging Detroit food...
  2. Michigan-Made, Mother Nature-Approved Tools for Your Kitchen
    Ditch disposables and opt for reusable products
  3. Exploring Metro Detroit’s Tiki Trend
    Mutiny Bar and Lost River serve up island vacations with every drink
  4. A Deeper Look into the Racial and Ethnic Tensions Dividing Metro Detroit
    From the city to the suburbs, existing segregation could be hindering the region’s progress
  5. Every Day is Throwback Thursday at This Roseville Steakhouse
    Mr. Paul's Chophouse has remained consistently delicious for more than 50 years
  6. A Look at the Inexplicable Exclusion of Detroit Tigers’ Lou Whitaker from the Baseball Hall of Fame
    Writer Michael Betzhold investigates the Major League slip-up
  7. 3 Eateries that Focus on People, Profit, and the Planet
    These triple bottom line businesses are part of Detroit’s FoodLab organization
  8. Q&A: Nancy Barr, Curator of Photography at the Detroit Institute of Arts
    Plus, information about the DIA’s upcoming exhibit, Lost & Found
  9. This Vegan Catering Company Celebrates the ‘Natural Beauty of Food’
    Plus, tips on how to create your own photo-worthy grazing board
  10. Meet the Makers: Salt Textile Studios
    This textile maker wants her creations to be unique to ‘here’