Apr 13, 2012
01:53 PM
Café Connecticut

Very, Very French

 

It is safe to say that there's no other gathering spot in Connecticut quite like the attic space above John's Café in Woodbury, where W Soirees is hosting what it calls "a Music Lounge-Atelier" every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

It's hard to classify the decor of the space except to call it 20th-Century Parisian-Bohemian. The tables, chairs and setees are eclectic, to say the least. There are lit candles everywhere, curtained alcoves where couples can seek and find privacy, a central communal table that's perfect for impassioned conversations about Camus or Truffaut. At one end of the table sits a large decorative birdcage in the shape of the Eiffel Tower.

Food can be ordered off a chalkboard menu that includes soups, salads, quiche, charcuterie, truffle french fries, cheese plates and other simple fare. Diners can also order from the more extensive menu from John's Café downstairs. Six wines and Champagne are offered by the glass, while martinis and other cocktails are also available. The background music, jazz standards mostly, is suitable to the space.

The guiding force of the place is Caroline Bossetti, a Frenchwoman now transplanted to Woodbury who presides with a light, knowing touch and is hoping for a place where conversation flows, new friends are made and old friends are revisited, and where, on occasion, spontaneous singing or dancing breaks out as the evening deepens into night. She even keeps a guitar on hand for when a talented customer shows up.

As our quick drop-by for a glass of wine hit the two-hour mark, my wife was speaking French with Caroline and getting a list of good Vietnamese restaurants in Paris while I was nibbling Camembert cheese with a glass of Malbec and watching a projected image of Fred Astaire dancing silently on a far wall, wondering what movie it could be from. Not your typical Thursday night in Connecticut.

Very, Very French

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