“Real food made the old-fashioned way”
by Aimee Stoddard
If you’re squeamish about calories, fat, or carbs, Les Madeleines, a European-style bakery and café located at 216 E. 500 South, is likely not the place for you. “We sell extraneous calories; I want to make it count,” says owner and chef Romina Rasmussen.
It might help to think of Les Madeleines as a manifestation of the wisdom contained in that diet book from a few years back called French Women Don’t Get Fat. “I don’t do sugar-free cakes, I don’t do gluten-free – at least not intentionally,” Rasmussen says. The café, however, makes individually sized (read: portion-controlled) desserts and other culinary gems. The experience of “delicious, flavorful, rich” food is what counts.
Les Madeleines’ menu is varied and seasonal. Indulgences include ooo-la-la-sounding desserts like charlotte russe and French macarons as well as the kouing aman. This cake from Brittany, for which the café is most famous, has been featured on the Food Network and in Gourmet and Food & Wine magazine.
Les Madeleines also serves breakfast and lunch. Current menu breakfast staples include a Nutella-and-strawberry panini and comfort-food dishes like mac and cheese made with Gruyère and extra sharp white cheddar and a prime-grade, marbled wagyu beef burger on a brioche bun.
A graduate of the prestigious French Culinary Institute in New York City, Romina demonstrates a culinary wisdom that belies her years. She has traveled the world over and draws on her journeys as inspiration for the café’s gastronomic creations.
Romina sums up the appeal of Les Madeleines by saying the specialty café focuses on “real food made the old-fashioned way.” All offerings are prepared from scratch using the best-of-the-best ingredients, many of which are imported.
Gourmet cuisine connoisseurs will immediately recognize the sophisticated street-side Les Madeleines for what it is: a decadent slice of the Old World in the New. §
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