Have you ever walked into a place and instantly felt, "Oh yea. This is a good place"? I bet you can definitely remember walking into certain places and feeling skeeved out, dirty, or uncomfortable. I can. Those experiences open our eyes to what excellent really is. And let me tell you, Confleur is indeed excellent.
Confleur is a sweet treats + brunch restaurant in downtown Paducah, Kentucky. I recently visited the eatery on a quiet Wednesday morning. Armed with my notebook, sketch pencils (because, let's be honest, I never leave the house without them), and an appetite, I wandered into the restaurant. Walking through the gorgeous 10-foot glass doors that remind you of an early 1900's parlor, I found myself in an airy common space. Quaint tables with marble tops lined the floor, and everything from the fresh color scheme to the gold accents made this place an instant favorite. A blush pink wall, fabulous lighting fixtures, and tons of natural light hit me all at once. You may be thinking that it sounds a little too delicate, but the brick walls and deep wood of the church pews they use for seating really bring everything together and make this place unique. This is definitely the modern place Paducah has been needing.
Anyone else a brunch lover? PICK ME! PICK ME! Confleur has brunch down pat, for only being open since August of 2018. I sat down, and before I could blink, my pleasant waiter, Josh, handed me a menu and asked for my drink order. As he headed to fulfill my wishes, my eyes took in the menu.
And guys. The menu. First thing I see is a biscuit, which I find to be the foundation for the main dishes. It seemed an appropriate choice for a food joint based in Western Kentucky. But I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to find a sophisticated selection of toppings. If you're looking for a plain biscuit and gravy breakfast, you will not find it here. Instead of the usual spread you see in many restaurants in the area, at Confleur, you will find things like tomato jam, bechamel sauce, pink pepper gravy, avocado toast, and chive pesto. This is not the brunch you are used to, but the brunch we have all been desperately needing. Eggs are available to add to any meal, but my taste buds were drawn to the crepe of the day: a raspberry curd crepe with powdered sugar and homemade whipped cream.
The first bite was absolute heaven. Of course, I bit into the part of the crepe that had no filling. Way to go, Mary Kate. But I'm so glad I did. It gave me the chance to appreciate the crepe as it was. Perfectly thin, just a hint of crisp around the edges, a slight sweetness (but not overpowering) and a heavenly golden color made this crepe to die for. As I made my way to the pleasantly pink center, my taste buds were sent into a tailspin. The raspberry curd was delightfully tart and fresh, and it paired nicely with the sweetness of the crepe. With every bite, I could taste every flavor coming at me, and nothing overpowered the other. Everything came together for a lovely morning treat.
Not long into my crepe, the owner, Pete Barnett, came by my table for a chat. As I peppered him with questions about the origins of the building and his reasons for opening the joint, I learned that he is a very prominent businessman, owning many venues in the area including the increasingly popular Piper's Tea & Coffee (no wonder they are both found on the menu). As Peter, a pleasant British chap, and I talked, I learned that he has a marvelous passion for the American beverage industry. He spent most of our time together explaining his process for choosing the alcohols that go into making their specially-crafted cocktails, and his passion for finding the perfect ingredients. I was sitting there thinking that it's great that he opened a beverage-based business with all of his knowledge on the subject. He is just the sort of fellow you would want in our community: business-minded, creative, and determined.
I also learned that his wife, a lovely French woman, has spent years studying macaroons, and she is the one who makes the very confections they sell. Peter explained that they have an entire room dedicated to making the sweet treats, complete with a dehumidifier to get that sumptuous texture. I particularly love that they draw inspiration for new flavor combinations and names for the treats from their children. As a lover of macaroons, I was pleased to know that you could order them in bulk for parties and functions (cough, cough- my next birthday, please-cough, cough).
Any part of the menu at Confleur can be paired with a pot of Piper's tea, Midtown Market OJ (love businesses supporting other local businesses), or a crafted cocktail. Don't forget to check out their pastry counter for delectable morsels on your way out the door. If brunch isn't your bag (you might be crazy), specially reserve a time for afternoon tea-- which I am thrilled about and totally looking forward to. I am already excited for my next visit to Confleur, and I'm itching to drag my friends along with me. It's the sort of place that leaves you feeling happily elegant and perfectly prideful to have a place like this in our own backyard. The only question left to ask is: what are you ordering at brunch tomorrow?
Thanks for joining me in my first piece of my Local Flavor series! Anytime you see Local Flavor, know that I'm reviewing something local. I hope these help everyone in the area to find wonderful things to do in our community!
Leave a comment, let me know what you think!
Thank you to everyone at Confleur who served me, helped me, made my food, and put up with my art supplies.