A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.
Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.
“This is GREAT. Let’s come here every Wednesday!”
That was an unsolicited pre-review that one of my lunch companions exclaimed when we visited Tosa’s new Le Reve Patisserie & Café the other day. And that was even before we got our food!
Here’s the deep, dark secret of Tosa’s SAHMs (stay-at-home moms): One of our greatest treats is going out to lunch or breakfast…and we’re not talking McDonald’s. Moms all over Tosa are always looking for somewhere fun, light, close and not overly expensive to grab a bite and share tales of motherhood with friends. With this in mind, thank goodness that Le Reve has arrived in Tosa…and not a moment too soon.
Loosely translated, Le Reve means “The Dream” and for many who “love to lunch,” Le Reve is a dream come true.
Located at 7610 Harwood Ave. (up the hill from Noodles and Bartolotta’s), Le Reve has carved out a charming and surprisingly spacious place in The Village. (Where they found TWO floors of space, I’ll never know, but when you walk in the door, you’ll think it’s been there forever.) The décor features exposed brick accented with dark wood and artsy photos. Overall, the ambience is warm and simple without being overly chic or trendy.
Step up to the counter and you have your first problem: You planned to try a light salad, soup or baguette but the desserts…oh, the desserts, look ridiculously good. (I managed to not give into temptation, so I can’t comment on them. But they just have to be good because they look amazing.)
I chose the Pan Poulet, which is sliced chicken with parmesan, red onion, tomato, romaine and a roasted garlic sauce on a baguette. It was good… really good. The baguettes are worth the trip alone. Crunchy on the outside and light and airy on the inside. One of my dining companions had the tomato, brie and pesto on a baguette which she said was excellent. Both of us opted for pommes frites (fries) with the sandwich. The fries are served in an adorable little paper cone. Here’s one tiny complaint, they look cute, but they’re really nothing remarkable. Just fries, perhaps a little too salty. At any other restaurant, we’d love them. It’s just that Le Reve raised the bar and we expected a little more. My other friend had a crepe and salad and raved about those as well.
Like so many Tosa eating spots, the deal at Le Reve is that you place your order at the counter and they bring your food to you. The service is not fast. We weren’t bothered because we were so busy chatting, but if you’re in a hurry, this probably isn’t the place to go. (Others have told me that their food took a while to be served.)
Another teeny complaint: if you sit on the second floor, grab napkins and to-go boxes before you go up because they aren’t available upstairs.
Oh and here’s an interesting twist that may be a challenge for some: If you go to Le Reve, leave your soda addiction at home. There’s not a Coke or Pepsi product in the place. That’s right. You’ll have to try one of their gourmet bottled sodas, ice tea or lemonade. This threw me for a loop, but on second thought, I kind of like it. I can have a Diet Coke anywhere, but I can’t get one of Le Reve’s baguettes anywhere.
I will definitely go back, perhaps for a breakfast selection – a croissant, a quiche or a brioche? Oh and I must try those desserts…those tempting desserts.
Le Reve is open Monday through Saturday, 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.