Where Locals Go

Main Street Bistro
and Bakery

Article by Frank Geslani | Photos by Lorraine Haan-Stewart

Has the Sugarplum Fairy made an unscheduled stop on Main Street, sporting a nifty French accent to boot?Nope, it’s just Pierre, whose superpower is spinning sugar into gold.

Pierre Thilliez, Main Street Bistro and Bakery’s pastry chef takes a break from the kitchen to dole out samples of Buche de Noel (yule log) amid the festive decor and twinkling tree lights insideGood Things for All Seasons. Just a few doors down from the bakery, Good Things functions as Base Camp 2 for the bakery’s holiday offerings. Casual browsers, lured by lights and tinsel, get an unexpected treat—an extra dose of holiday magic in the formof elaborate gingerbread cookies, chocolate mousse cake and the aforementioned yule logs. The dilated pupils, breathless gesturing and involuntary drooling say it all. Mmmâ€Â¦sugar.

Since opening in 2000 as Main Street Bread Baking Company, this neighborhood gem has expanded to three locations in the Metroplex and has earned a sterling reputation for its delectable pastries with a French pedigree. Unlike other  Franco-themed chain eateries, Main Street Bistro and Bakery doesn’t wear its French roots on its sleeve. Owners Fabien Goury and Yasmine Bohsali are both French. Thilliez is a recent transplant from Nice, but the bakery/bistro is thoroughly American. Their “customers first” approach delivers expertly crafted crowd favorites, along with a few surprises. The result is an American dream realized. Born of flour, sugar and butter—Main Street Bistro and Bakery is now a beloved fixture in historic Grapevine.

Its Frenchness resonates loudest in proper technique and in the primacy of quality ingredients. Yes, you can taste the difference. Even the humble croissant is masterfully executed—unapologetically buttery, almost fragile and lofty on the inside. Their chocolate and almond varieties are the best examples you’ll find in theMetroplex. Eating one is a flaky mess in the best possible sense.

Their desserts are mindblowing. Take, for example, “the Bomb” (and it really is). Its sleek, domed exterior could hold its own in a modernist architecture studio, but magic happens when you crack into the chocolate glaze. Savoring its layers of flourless almond sponge cake, creme brulee and chocolatemousse provokes a bodytingling, almost carnal reaction. And yet, it is surprisingly light. Thilliez retains the impression of lightness, a hallmark of classic French pastry, while pleasing Americans’ heightened tolerance for sweets. “It tastes like a cloud,” my wife swoons. “A chocolate cloud.”

It’s back to the kitchen now, and en route Thilliez stops by Into the Glass wine bar to share samples of chocolate mousse and pecan caramel yule log with al fresco diners. The reaction from one of the ladies makes us blush. “It’s better thanâ€Â¦Ă˘€ť (You fill in the blank.)

It’s not the first reaction of its kind that day. Maybe the French know something about food and romance that the rest of us don’t. Then again, really good chocolate cake around the holidays can do extraordinary things to ordinary Texans. Joyeuses Fetes, y’all.

Main Street Bistro and Bakery | 316 S. Main Street | Grapevine | (817) 424-4333 | www.themainbakery.com