Cafe by day, French restaurant by night
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.