What happens when two Frenchmen and a Canadian open a cafe in Soho? In the case of the stylish and cozy newcomer Maman, only good things. This well-stocked bakery is loaded up with croissants and other classic pastries, rounded out by a daily menu of seasonal, light French fare created and executed by a Michelin-starred chef. There's a homey, rustic-inspired front cafe area and a surprisingly spacious back dining room with communal tables, vintage place settings, and, well, lots of rabbits (more on those later).
"Some place you can sit, be comfortable and enjoy the company of friends and family over a good meal and a cup of coffee," explains Maman's co-owner Elisa Marshall. In partnership with boyfriend Benjamin Sormonte, who co-owns La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels just a few doors down, and French chef Armand Arnal, best-known for his Michelin-starred restaurant in the south of France, La Chassagnette, Marshall sought to create a place that honored both Sormonte's and Arnal's French roots, but familar-feeling for all. In essence: home.
Taking inspiration, and quite literally, objects from hers and Sormonte's own childhood homes, as well as pieces from France, Spain and local flea markets, Marshall created an environment that transports you out of the city and into the shelter of an imaginary French relative's cottage, an especially difficult task in a city like New York. For images and more, check out the slideshow below.