Stepping into La Rêve takes any diner across the Atlantic and straight into a Parisian café with its café-style seating and delicious cuisine.
A packed restaurant was the first sign I was in for a delicious meal. Service was speedy and accommodating, especially considering I asked to change seats so I could sit at the edge of the railing of the second floor and observe the activity below. The interior is a combination of old and new with its aged brick walls and contemporary, industrial-type light fixtures.
The meal began with a delicious French Bellini ($9) — a colorfully delicious sparkling pink and orange alcoholic drink with a hint of peach — paired with the salade niçoise ($15.95), a traditional French salad. Unlike the typical American garden salad, the salade niçoise, a bed of fresh greens mixed with a Dijon vinaigrette, is adorned with green beans, finger potatoes, tomatoes, black and kalamata olives and an egg. To top off the salad, diners can also choose among salmon, prawns or chicken. I chose the salmon, which was tender, moist and seasoned.
The legumes printaniers crêpes ($10.50) is a delectable main course filled with juicy mushrooms, leeks, carmelized onions and parmesan cheese and topped with a basted egg, frisée and vinaigrette. A contrast to the sweet breakfast crêpes I’m used to, the fresh, bold flavor of this main course left me craving more.
The crispy pommes frites (french fries) served with aioli (a traditional sauce from Provence) come as a side dish with sandwiches or an a la carte option. I originally asked for ketchup, but after tasting the garlic-flavored aioli, I immediately forgot about any other condiment.
La Rêve is also known for its dessert case full of heavenly tortes, tarts, crème brulée, chocolate mousse and other goodies. It was difficult to pick just one so I tried four different desserts to satisfy my curiosity. Chocolate mousse is typically a favorite on my dessert list, but one bite of the raspberry fruit tart, and I was in love.
For those looking for an alternative to the typical American meal, take a walk around downtown Wauwatosa and lose yourself in the french delicacies of La Rêve.