While waiting in line outside Republique, a gentleman walked by and asked whether it was worth the wait. I had been in line for about half an hour, and my feet were starting to ache a little. But my reply was immediate–yes!!
As a I wrote in my last post, Republique embodies the values championed by this blog–simplicity and excellence. The atmosphere is elegant without being stuffy, the prices are moderate and the food is straightforward but refined.
And did I mention what a warm, inviting place it is? It’s housed in a building that has a slightly medieval feel to it, but there’s nothing old, cold or drafty about it. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a pastry counter filled with decadent delicacies–croissants, homemade pop tarts, chocolate chip cookies. Finally, a smiling young person takes your order and hands you a cup with a number on it. Then you find a seat. No hostess, no reservation needed or accepted. Miraculously, there’s somehow always ample seating available. Natural light floods the room, and it is bright, bustling and energetic without being loud or frantic. So, even before you begin eating, you’re already having a great time.
And then the food arrives. I had been told that the French toast was excellent. I was misinformed. It was divine. Marshmallow-soft, every bite was perfectly buttery and rich. Eggs and bread have never worked together so harmoniously. The accompanying maple syrup was almost superfluous. The brioche toast was so delectable that only a touch of brightening sweetness was required.
I also ordered the adobo fried rice, where soft, savory chunks of pork belly are hidden beneath crispy rice like undiscovered gems. The only problem was a good one–too much food. This is a place where life’s bounty–food, sunlight, conversation–is meant to be shared.
In my tireless quest to bring you the best of simple elegance, I may have to return to Republique one more time. You’re welcome.