New North Beach Hot SpotApr 07, 2014 07:44PM ● By Don Kindred
Ellie’s table is located at the western end of Avenida Pico, across from the Ole Hanson Beach Club and connected to historic Casino San Clemente.
by Nicole Corwin, photos by Tyler Kindred
Any neighborhood would be lucky to have a bakery as great as this new North Beach hot spot. Ellie’s Table opened at the Casino and features hand-crafted coffees, traditional French pastries, a grab-and-go section and la fresca seating.
For the past 40 years, Jay and Eleanor Mastroianni have been bringing friends and family to the table for great food and conversation while operating one of Southern California’s premiere catering companies; Jay’s Catering Company, which makes traditional family recipes from scratch using only the finest ingredients. Today, they realized their dream of opening a flatiron restaurant, introducing Ellie’s Table to North Beach offering their amazing cultural cuisine.
No Lengthy Plane Ride Necessary
When it comes to France, we have a lot to be jealous of: from Camembert to Champagne, Ellie’s Table has us blushing with envy.
The North San Clemente outpost of this French bakery and café is warm and welcoming. Third generation pastry chef Jean Christophe creates a dazzling array of treats, including traditional macaroons and butter-flakey croissants. The colorful macaroons have superbly crackling shells. The croissant’s tawny exterior is all flake, and its interior airy with the right amount of chew. This croissant will quickly become your favorite in town. You’ll want to try the version with pockets of cheese in Ellie’s savory bacon, egg, and cheddar turnover, emphasized with tenderness at the center of the crumbly pastry. There are five delicious breakfast fillings including spinach and bacon, caramelized onion, and a San Clemente favorite, Chorizo and cheddar.
For those of you that believe, like I do, that lunch is the hallmark meal, you can enjoy Jay’s famous palm sandwiches, featuring heavenly house-made cheese rolls layered with smoky meats or rustic vegetarian selections. Pair these with an impressive retro salad selection, such as tarragon chicken or Panini pasta, and you’ll have every reason to be excited.
An all-star lineup of colorful desserts lines the display case every morning, including pistachio mousse cake with passion fruit gelee and gluten-free chocolate decadence with fresh raspberries…the best gluten-free desert I’ve ever tasted.
Take Your Show on the Road
The café’s grab-and-go section satisfies with a takeout menu designed for beach-goers. The display case offers picnic snacks and traditional deli classics. While you may enter the shop with a sweet tooth, you’ll probably head out with a bag of fresh baguettes tucked under one arm. The baguettes are honey-combed and tender, with subtle aromas and a fine golden crust. Bread this rich is bread with lots of character and soul. Ellie’s pastry chef remains a tireless defender of good bread calling for French bakeries to be added to the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Good bread doesn’t lie. It says everything about the quality of its ingredients and the know-how of its creator. Being a good baker means making a little miracle every day; transforming simple foods, water, leaven, salt and flour into complex and varying flavors.
Ellie’s Table is a neighborhood hangout that delivers; serving exceptional food with community dedication. It’s a place long on charm and steeped in craftsmanship. How very French!
Ellie’s Table 120 West Avenida Pico. San Clemente, CA 92672 (949)361-1042
Ellie's [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
The friendly baristas at Ellie’s Table; (right to left) Lucinda Glynn, Monica Six, Kelly Gould, Geare Allen, Della Beckman and Keila Baca.