Eh Voila! Z Breakfast Club Is Open

It was always about the bigger picture for Pascal Berthoumieux.

Owner of the beloved French bakery Patissierie Coralie and previous owner of mainstays Bistro Bordeaux and Creperie St. Germain – all in Evanston, the serial restaurateur has just launched his latest endeavor, Z Breakfast Club, at the spot where he closed Creperie.

"I always try to look at what is needed as opposed to what people think they should be doing," said Berthoumieux insisting that Creperie had run its course as a restaurant concept. "I was looking to do something different."

Working in partnership with the city of Evanston to affect these changes, Berthoumieux is well known to its custodians.

"It's not an easy business," said Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty. "Consumers are picky. They are looking for new and different, and I think Evanston restaurateurs are offering that."

Z Breakfast Club, a moniker to make any Pink Panther fan grin, is only about 1,000 square feet and seats 35. The dining room boasts a map of the Parisian subway on its north wall, bottom-half window curtains that invite street-level people-watching – a favorite French café pastime, and a menu that takes the best of Berthoumieux's previous incarnations and repurposes them for breakfast.

"I love all of Pascal's restaurants," said Rosemary Nielsen of Evanston. "Bistro Bordeaux was one of our favorite places and this crepe place was one of our favorite places, too, so all the best things are on the menu. What a treat!"

Berthoumieux likes to call it elevated breakfast and lunch fare with a French twist. That means a boeuf Bourguignon Benedict is de rigueur. The generous portion offers the traditional soft-poached eggs atop English muffins but then adds braised beef in red wine and caramelized onions before being smothered in perfectly-rich Hollandaise sauce.

There are also variations on French classics such as the Lorraine omelette rather than quiche, made with Nueske bacon, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions and fine herbs. And all the viennoiserie (baked goods) come directly from the kitchen of Patissierie Coralie, but of course.

"I've played with those classic dishes for quite some time in different concepts. There is a lot of application that you can do," said Berthoumieux, who concedes to having come to prize life balance over being a workaholic these days.

"I'm open in the morning and by 2pm I'm done," he said, noting that having a restaurant means being constantly on-call. "There are always things that happen, you might get an emergency call so just the simple fact that when I'm home, I can just relax, that's just like day and night (compared) to what it was."

Plus all that free time allows him to think of new stuff like building out a larger bakery for a second Patissierie Coralie, currently on track to open in December in Evanston's reinvigorated 8th Ward. Oh, and creating his own signature coffee for his restaurants and retail.

"The fact that I have the bakeries…I think it ties in well with my brand," said Berthoumieux.

Z Breakfast Club, 1512 Sherman Ave, Evanston.

Hours: 7am – 2pm Monday – Friday; 8am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.

Phone: (847) 859-2647 or see:



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