There is something very cathartic about a red and white checkered tablecloth, such as the ones that adorn the tables in Chez Machin’s quaint dining room, a tiny French-inspired oasis in the heart of the SE Hawthorne hustle and bustle. Maybe it evokes fond childhood picnic memories eating Brie and cornichons at the Belle-île-en Mer seashore, maybe it reminds you of your dear grandmother’s gingham apron and the smell of her homemade galettes, maybe it fuels dreams of the darling little Parisian bistros you used to study in during your year abroad in high school.
Maybe it evokes fond childhood picnic memories eating Brie and cornichons at the Belle-île-en Mer seashore…
Personally, they remind me of family camping trips, which makes me start itching invisible mosquito bites of yore, but as soon as my glass of champagne and my La Delice crepe (homemade Nutella custard and raspberry jam) arrive, I’m able to relax and go back to envisioning my dream childhood.
If you are not feeling crepey-la-la, you can also choose from a fine selection of bistro dishes like the Les Moules-mussels sautéed in garlic, shallots, white wine, parsley and tarragon, the classic Soupe a l’Oignon with homemade croutons and melted Emmentaler, Boeuf Bourguignon with braised beef, bacon, vegetables, red wine and herbs in a flaky puff pastry, or one of Chez Machin’s fine salads.
The wine list is reasonable, so order a bottle to savor with your moules, and spend a while scanning the French version of match.com so you can meet Mr. Ooo La La and give your future children the idyllic French childhood you never had.
Atmosphere: Quaint little French creperie with a relaxed vibe
Outdoor seating: In friendlier weather, the staff puts out a couple of tables on the sidewalk outside the restaurant along SE Hawthorne, and there is a covered patio out back behind the restaurant that’s open year round.
Best Seat: A window table
Noise Level: Normal
Dress Code: Casual
Bring the Kids: Yes
Bathrooms: Head to the back of the restaurant, behind the kitchen and just before the door to the patio, bathroom located on the left.
Parking: Yes, free and relatively easy to find on SE Hawthorne and surrounding side streets.
Coffee: Nossa Familia
Ideal Meal: Soupe a l'Oignon (delicious and vegetarian), Salade Regime (greens, sliced Granny Smith apples, toasted almonds, Danish blue cheese, and house vinaigrette), Boeuf Bourguignon, La Maison crepe (local berries with homemade custard)
Vegetarian Friendly: Chez Machin is very vegetarian conscious, even going so far as to offer a vegetarian version of the classic favorites French Onion soup and Croque Monsieur Sandwich. An entire column of the crepe menu is devoted to “de Legumes” or, “Vegetable” crepes, and all are delicious. Also excellent are the ginger-poached pear salad and chevre scramble.
Vegan Friendly: Yes
Group/Private Party Details: The restaurant can accommodate larger parties, call for info/reservations.
Reservations: Yes, for parties of 4 or more