by Alana Nardini
At Millsaps, the term interdisciplinary is revered. Our classes are interdisciplinary, our clubs are interdisciplinary, and now we can enjoy interdisciplinary food, too. I’m not talking about eating sushi and pizza at the same time in the Caf,’ I’m talking Fondren’s newest small business, La Brioche. The patisserie (a French term for bakery), has been around for years via the Mississippi Farmers Market, but set down roots in the Fondren Corner building at the beginning of October.
I can vouch for the place. After having the chance this past year to visit Paris, and a few of its patisseries (okay, several, I’m a big fan of carbs), I will attest that not only is La Brioche authentic, but it is as if you’ve transported to France.
At first glance, the posh black walls and gleaming white tile seem to contradict with the intimate row of two-person tables set snugly together under the wall-to-wall windows. Very European, but who cares? The food is what’s really important. And the food is really, really good.
The first time I went I had a small cake-let topped with lemon mousse and dipped in a raspberry jam-like substance—the Natali was its name. I know, it sounds messy, but was artfully prepared and quickly devoured. The French place heavy importance on good jam, hence my favorite French phrase , “La vie est dure sans confiture,” or “Life is hard without jam and jelly.” And topping it all off was a tiny little chocolate doubloon with La Brioche’s logo printed on it. Très chic.
La Brioche serves traditional croissants and baguettes in the mornings (which are phenomenal), and offers a few sandwich specials for lunch daily. It also specializes in authentic gelato and macarons, which I admittedly have not tried, but my sources say (in between mouthfuls) that they are both heavenly. And with espresso-based coffees and gluten-free options (both their macarons and their almond croissants are made with almond flour), La Brioche has something for everyone to love.
What truly makes La Brioche interdisciplinary, though, is its international character. Co-owners Alejandra Sprouts and Cristina Lazzari are from Argentina and Sweden, and trained in classical French pastry making. There are traditional Dutch pastries sitting near the French macarons, with classic Italian gelato nearby. Each dish comes with a small card explaining what it is, where it’s from, and how to pronounce it—a language lesson with your dessert.
La Brioche lives up to its ideal for fine pastries with an international twist. I’d give the restaurant two thumbs up, but I have a croissant in one hand and a cappuccino in the other.