Bistro CloClo, the charming French cafe in the Dr. Phillips Marketplace on Restaurant Row, has added a Sunday brunch to its repertoire (see how I cleverly worked in a French word there?). And I had a delightful time there recently, nibbling on delicious croissants and pains au chocolat and listening to a live combo playing the sort of jazzy tunes you'd expect to find at a brunch in the French Quarter.
In case you missed it, you can read my review of Bistro CloClo here. (I also explain what a CloClo is.) I like pretty much everything about it: the atmosphere, the friendly service and the food. Especially the food.
For brunch I had a ham and cheese omelet, the thin and folded variety, with a bit of melted cheddar on top and a sprinkling of parsley confetti. The omelet was accompanied by cottage fried potatoes that had a perfectly crisped crust.
My brunchmate chose a croque madame, the familiar sandwich of French bistros throughout Paris, a sort of inside-out ham and cheese sandwich with a bechamel au gratin crust. The one item that distinguishes the madame version of the croque from the monsieur is that the madame is topped with a sunnyside-up fried egg (a free-range egg at CloClo). Even without the egg, this is a knife and fork sandwich. And no, a croque madame is not available only to ladies — in fact I prefer it over the monsieur. This sandwich was served with a very nice salad, a mesclun mix dressed with a light vinaigrette.
The bread basket, with goodies from Douce France Bakery, was accompanied by an ample portion of fluffy butter plus a couple of jams. I could have filled up just with the pastries.
Music was provided by the Tommy Bridges Jazz Quartet. They were set up at the front of the dining room where the wall had been opened to make the inside and outside dining areas one. At first I was concerned that the music would be too overbearing and that conversation would be impossible, but the level was just right, and the music added just the right, um, note to the brunch.
Bistro CloClo is at 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Orlando. Brunch is served Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-745-5045.