French cafe feels ‘Like Home’


Word spread around until I finally made it to Like Home/Comme Á La Maison, but I wish I had heard about it earlier. The newest French Bakery opened up back in February, run by the passionate baker Clèmence, a Parisian native, and her mother. The charming little space was covered with a splash of soft pastel green and gray on the walls and French signs and paintings. “It reminds me of home,” Clèmence said, when I spoke to her. “It looks just like this in my room as well. I tried to make it colorful but not too bright, but just enough to make it seem like home.”

The menu is equally authentic as well. “My goal when moving to America was to start a small pastry shop.” Clèmence mentioned that a lot of the other cafés she had been to were too large and didn’t have many people taking care of the customers because it was too large. “I want people to feel good when they come here, so we made it a small café.” The menu is very selective with savory dishes like the few Tartines (salmon, ham and vegetarian), bacon and vegetarian quiches, roast beef, tuna and veggie sandwiches, onion soup and a variety of salads. It also features tasty treats like the lemon meringue, cake and a variety of puff pastries, but the best part is their list of macaroons. Since they make everything from scratch, there are only five macaroons out per day from their list of twelve. “Out of all of them, my favorite dish right now is the watermelon salad,” Clèmence stated. “We just changed our menu for the spring, so it was the smoked salmon tartine, but now it’s the watermelon salad. We put in ingredients like watermelon, feta cheese, tomato and onions, and when you take a bite it’s just the freshest tastes that pervade you.”

I was able to try out the lemon meringue and dark chocolate mocha. The meringue provided the perfect combination of texture, from the soft meringue topping down to a grainy crumble on the bottom with various textured lemon and lime pastry cream.

Having the most authentic menu, I asked her what made her come to St. Louis. “Well first,” she said, “I didn’t know where St. Louis was. I had initially prepared to go to New York and work in a famous bakery there, but my father didn’t let me go. But, one day I was looking through a pastry book,” she pointed to a bookshelf in the corner, “and found a list of job offers in the back and found that a place in St. Louis was hiring, so I tried it out and I love it here. I love the fact that this location is by Saint Louis University because there are a lot of open-minded international students who would like to try out a place like this.” Clèmence has experienced a lot of St. Louis after she got here as well. “I love walking my dog in Forest Park, and found interest in going to Blues games,” she said with a smile. “I like the fact that there is bit of fighting in it.”

She takes pride in the décor of her space as well. She mentioned that she envisioned a very homey space with soft pastel-like colors and furniture to complement it. That was very obvious when I looked at the set of green and cream furniture with standing lamps. I couldn’t help but notice the small red table set with chairs that have pencil-like legs, perfect for children. With plenty of flower-like embellishments and signs with coffee shop fonts, Like Home creates the perfect Paris-like space in St. Louis.

“I hope to eventually expand this pastry shop to a different location, but I will work here because this one is my baby!” Clèmence exclaimed. Like Home is a memorable pastry shop, open only Wednesday through Sunday, and is a must-visit.

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