Somehow, I have a surprising amount of friends from Florida. While I was raised all over the place, I attended high school in the sunshine state. This Christmas, I discovered the sheer number of close friends of mine who spend Christmas in the sun.
We met up with Brittney and her sister for shopping and brunching in Hyde Park, a lovely part of Tampa perfect for weekend strolls and retail therapy.
Our destination for brunch was Piquant, a French restaurant, bakery, and coffee shop, with a thorough brunch menu. There’s an expansive selection of coffee and espresso beverages, including almond, soy, and skim milk for those of us particular about our creamer.
Let’s first discuss the bakery. There are cronuts—the croissant doughnuts concoction made famous by Dominique Ansel’s bakery in New York. Now you don’t have to wait in an insanely long line, you can just head South with the snowbirds to Tampa. The cronuts come in four flavors: vanilla, raspberry, cinnamon sugar, and Nutella. There are also pastries of various assortments, as well as macarons in multiple flavors.
The bakery’s full options are available at breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Megan and I shared the Nutella cronut, as Brittney is gluten-free and Jennifer simply wasn’t interested. (Why not, I struggle to understand) We also ordered several flavors of macarons: lemon, raspberry and Nutella. The macarons were great—but not as good as the ones from Olivia Macaron in Washington.
We began with beverages, a couple of raspberry mimosas, a strawberry mimosa, and a traditional orange. They were light, frothy, and delicious—but, alas, no bottomless.
The brunch menu includes omelets, tartines, sandwiches, signature breakfasts, a couple of Eggs Benedict options, and a children’s menu. The lunch menu is that of a French café, with sandwiches, soups, salads, tarts, tartines, crepes—and American burgers, just in case. The menu is a tome on which Piquant should pride itself.
Ecstatic that the restaurant offered gluten-free bread, Brittney Ann opted for the once forbidden sandwich. She selected a Croque Madame, made with sausage, gluten-free white bread, a fried egg, Gruyere, and arugula.
Megan was the force behind our brunch, being a Tampa native and having recommended Piquant for the day’s most important meal. She selected the veggie tartine, an open-faced sandwich served on multigrain bread and topped with aged Gruyere cheese.
Jennifer opted for a roasted vegetable flatbread, made with butternut squash, zucchini, tomato, eggplant, and topped with arugula, Parmesan, and a port reduction sauce.
I selected the smoked salmon Benedict, after being informed that the dish photographed better than the short ribs benny. (Brunch blogger problems). The salmon Benny was served a top a lemon thyme scone, which really made the entire dish. The scone was moist, buttery, and not at all dry. Atop the scone was fresh smoked salmon, a gremolata of tomato, red onion, capers, lemon zest and dill, poached eggs, and Hollandaise. The eggs were perfectly poached and the Hollandaise was fresh and flavorful—the dish overall was really well executed.
The Bitches say: A. This is a charming French café and bakery does pastries wonderfully but also puts together well-executed, high quality brunch fare.
1633 West Snow Ave.
Piquant serves breakfast every day of the week until 3:30 p.m.