This little bistro brings a piece of France to the growing downtown district
Hailing from the city of Marseille, France, Chef Gerard Jamgotchian took a chance on downtown when he opened Au Rendezvous Restaurant & Bakery more than five years ago. A rare multicultural gem in the downtown district for its time, Au Rendezvous was just a start-up restaurant for Jamgotchian, who soon opened the corner bistro L’eden, a modest Parisian bistro that boasts international dishes he has handcrafted over the years.
During lunchtime, L’eden is packed with downtown residents and business professionals alike, each trying to find a place to dine within the intimate atmosphere of Jamgotchian’s restaurant. The lunch menu is full of wonderful sandwiches, savory crepes and sandwiches. But when the sun goes down, L’eden unravels and Jamgotchian serves some of the best dinner items available in South Tampa and downtown. Yet most residents don’t even know that he’s open that late.
“People are just starting to realize there are good places downtown,” he says.
Though he says the location is perfect for his French bistro concept, Jamgotchian is considering an expansion sometime soon. The plans are in his head, he says, but here’s the gist: a hip South Tampa restaurant and bar that with full liquor service and a global menu that can go toe-to-toe with any popular late-night hotspot. But for those L’eden lovers, his worldly French bistro will still stay in downtown for many more years to come.
A French Tradition
The dinner menu at L’eden has recognizable dishes from around the world, each with a traditional background and Jamgotchian’s unique twist. The list is highlighted by a duck and brie cheese crepe, a roasted pear and bacon salad and the house favorite: foie gras with a berry sauce and a nice loupiac.
But don’t let the French fare scare you off, L’eden’s steak Diane is very popular and the cheese plate is a light yet filling option for those seeking something safer.
Another insider tip: Jamgotchian is a certified executive pastry chef and each morning he has baskets of croissants, brioches and palmiers lined up along on his bar. Whether you’re stopping in for an espresso and a croissant or you’re looking for a new twist on the office pastry, L’eden has some of the tastiest sweet treats in town.
L’eden is located at 500 N. Tampa St., Tampa, Florida 33602 // (813) 221-4795// www.dineatleden.com