La Vie En Rose - Franco Latino 

Euro Bakery and Bistro Moves in at 10th and Main

Die-hard 007 fans anticipating the November release of Casino Royale already know that "La Vie En Rose" is the title the 13th chapter in Ian Fleming's first Bond novel (hey, I said "die-hard fans"). Among Edith Piaf's most well known songs is "La Vie En Rose," and in Canada, the French phrase is the name of the Canuck version of Victoria's Secret.

Here in Boise, however, La Vie En Rose ain't about silky undergarments, it's about sexy pastries. It's about seductive brioches blowing kisses through the clear glass of the deli case. It's about croissants, eclairs, tarts and creme puffs flirting and flaunting their voluptuous fillings. And if the sight of a salacious selection of pretty, sweet little nibbles doesn't get your blood flowing in the morning, get a hot bean injection courtesy of Illy coffee, the Italian beanery promising coffee that provides a "short but intense experience of the senses and the spirit."

The European bakery held its first day of business last Friday, after owners Patrick Brewer and Jason Bailey wiped clean any evidence of the former inhabitants, decked out the space in classic chic and whipped up a batch of baked goods showing off Brewer's Le Cordon Bleu baking and patisserie skills. Expect news of a grand opening in the coming weeks, but breakfast and lunch (with homemade soups, salads and sandwiches) are currently available in the first floor of the Idanha Building.

La Vie En Rose, 928 W. Main St., 899-7383, www.lavieenrosebakery.com. Open Mon.-Sat.: 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

Boise Chef Takes on Eagle

Following suit behind other restaurants like Bardenay, Zen Bento and Mai Thai, Jon Mortimer is expanding his Boise business into the bird burb. On September 12, Mortimer opened Franco Latino on the banks of the Boise River, just off Eagle Road.

Featuring cuisine described as an exercise in "culinary fusion of European techniques with Latin flavors," the menu reflects what results when one of the valley's top chefs dabbles in fusion. So what do you get when you cross French cassoulet with a cascabel hot pepper? Appetizers like corn cakes with mango salsa and avocado cream, lobster risella with corn and tomato, and trout fritters, fresh Idaho trout with chipolte tartar and Latin spiced potato chips. Entrees include hybrids like lobster rellenos and chicken frenchilada, a green onion crepe with chicken, three salsas and cheddar cheese. (And because it's Eagle, and being kid friendly is essential in the family-oriented community, Franco Latino also offers a kids' menu for foodies with little people in tow.)

In keeping with Mortimer's loyalty to local producers at his eponymous cafe in Boise, Franco Latino also depends largely on Idaho growers for its supplies. Both Purple Sage Farms in Middleton and Ballard Family Cheese from Gooding are favorites of Chef Mortimer that make appearances on Franco Latino's menu.

Franco Latino, 775 S. Rivershore Lane, Eagle, 938-2851, www.francolatino.com

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