Cafe by day, French restau­rant by night

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE -

There’s no bull about Cafe Brie ‘‘steak­ing’’ its claim.

It’s a thriv­ing cafe dur­ing the day but a French-in­spired restau­rant at night where beef is one of the spe­cial­ties of the house.

Michelle and Robert Huzziff have owned Cafe Brie at 218 Broad­way Av­enue for nearly eight years and, dur­ing that time, have trans­formed it into a dis­tinc­tive day and night time brasserie.

With a back­ground in hos­pi­tal­ity for 21 years, Michelle was keen to pur­chase her own busi­ness in a thriv­ing part of the city. When Cafe Brie be­came avail­able, she bought it and set out to in­tro­duce her own tastes and stan­dards.

By of­fer­ing a break­fast and lunch menu of cooked and cab­i­net food, pre­pared on site, she re­tained the cafe reg­u­lars and at­tracted new clients. Well po­si­tioned in Broad­way and close to real estate of­fices and the re­cently re­lo­cated Cooper Rap­ley Lawyers, Cafe Brie is the lo­cal for those work­ing in the vicin­ity, peo­ple do­ing busi­ness and oth­ers who find the park­ing easy and the cafe invit­ing.

In the last 12 months Michelle has in­tro­duced healthy op­tions such as a lemon and herb chicken quinoa salad and Thai beef salad as well as of­fer­ing gluten free food and en­tic­ing black­board spe­cials. Her new win­ter menu, full of en­tic­ing and healthy dishes, was launched this week.

Michelle’s pur­suit of qual­ity food and ser­vice led to Cafe Brie be­ing a 2015 win­ner of the Cer­tifi­cate of Ex­cel­lence, awarded by TripAd­vi­sor, fol­low­ing pos­i­tive re­views by cus­tomers.

‘‘It re­flects the qual­ity of our food and the hos­pi­tal­ity pro­vided by trained and skilled staff,’’ Michelle says. ‘‘Over eight years we’ve em­pha­sised cus­tomer ser­vice, fresh and tasty dishes and a wel­come for all our clien­tele.’’

She’s de­lighted with her sup­port team which in­cludes front of house, Becky King, day­time chefs Anna Kirk­land, Brooke Clark and Jus­tine Heyman from Toulon, who adds a touch of French artistry to her dishes.

Dur­ing the evening Cafe Brie is hosted by Su­san­nah Thomp­son and An­nemarie Olsen with dis­tinc­tive dishes pre­pared by chef Shane Wilkin­son.

The idea to ex­tend Cafe Brie into an evening restau­rant came about four years ago. They wanted to pro­vide their reg­u­lars with a restau­rant to go to if they wished to eat out, Michelle says.

Michelle points out there are no hid­den costs with her meals. The price of a main course in­cludes the veg­eta­bles or sal­ads and her cafe’s French trim­mings.

She also wants to em­pha­sise her de­lec­ta­ble break­fasts.

‘‘We’re open at 7am and, be­cause of our lo­ca­tion, we cater for busi­ness break­fasts as well as pam­per­ing in­di­vid­u­als who en­joy choos­ing from our full break­fast menu,’’ Michelle says.

Cafe Brie is a BYO and li­cenced restau­rant and its wine list in­cludes cham­pagne for that spe­cial oc­ca­sion plus a range of French reds and whites.

Michelle and Robert are proud of what they’ve achieved both at Cafe Brie and their other cafe, The Cof­fee Fixx, at Bun­nings Ware­house.

Cafe Brie’s two evening hostesses, Su­san­nah Thomp­son (left) and An­nemarie Olsen.

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