It’s right there on the bottom of just about every receipt you’ve ever stuffed in your pocket or stashed in a purse; “Thank You.” Two words that all too often are a throwaway, an afterthought in consumer culture. But two words that mean a lot at Café C’est La Vie.
Owners Penelope and Tony Perez are gearing up for their seventh summer at the helm of the charming crêperie, and could not be more thankful for the tremendous support they have received since day one — from staff, suppliers and customers alike.
Located at the entrance to the popular vacation neighborhood of Bella Beach, Café C’est La Vie serves up gourmet crêpes, pastries and coffees with the style one might expect to find on a Parisian boulevard.
The couple strive to use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, like smoked salmon from
Robba Gump Smoke N Fish in Depoe Bay, which serves as the key ingredient in the café’s Crêpe Fumé, combined with cream cheese, fresh chives and lemon juice.
The couple also favor Newport suppliers Panini Bakery for breads, and Oceana Co-op for produce that ranges from pears and apples in winter to succulent Oregon berries come June.
And for the inspiration that keeps it all fresh, the couple are dedicated to the art of travel, finding new experiences and broadening the palate along the way.
“It’s part of what makes this place exist,” Penelope said. “Every time we return it’s an exciting thing to share with the people that come to the café, because they come and share their stories with me. We have dozens of people that travel all over the world and live on the coast.”
This winter saw the couple take a trip to Ireland, where Penelope found café culture still very much alive.
“I would safely say that their café translates into pub very often,” she said, “and Guinness is their espresso.”
Wherever they go, the couple are keen observers of food habits, and were intrigued by the Irish habit of having mid-morning soup to chase away the winter chill.
For Penelope, it reinforced the desire for Café C’est La Vie to be a harbor from the outside world, offering eat-them-anytime meals with a twist.
“That’s what we strive to do,” she said, “open a window to trying new things, a little outside the box.”
One such option, imported after a trip to France in 2014, is the Baked Eggs, served with prosciutto, cream, aged cheddar and baguette.
“It’s warm and hearty, something good all hours of the day,” Tony said. “Good comfort food.”
And if guests need something a little stronger to steel themselves against the coastal weather, the café also serves a select range of wine and beer. So, feel free to start that brunch off with a mimosa and an Oregon fruit and cheese plate.
The café is also available to rent for private function of up to 25 guests.
“We love to be that special place for important get-togethers,” Penelope said.
Alongside food and travel, the third passion at Café C’est La Vie is art. Artwork adorns the range of lovingly crafted souvenir items available to buy, including t-shirts, aprons, artisan jams and more.
Meanwhile, the café walls play host to an ever-changing array of work from artists who draw their inspiration from the Oregon Coast.
The newest exhibit, opening on Friday, March 8, showcases oil paintings and mosaic collage by Portland artist Julia Armstrong Peltz.
Originally from the Midwest, Peltz studied Fashion Illustration and Fine Art at Iowa State University and North Dakota State University. She discovered her passion for oils in recent years, while training in oil painting with her mother, Verna Carey Armstrong.
“I love how the arts in their many forms can uplift, inspire and bring moments of joy to our lives,” Peltz said. “I believe that these moments are a gift from God and can be a reprieve from, or an enhancement to life on this planet.”
Penelope said the idea of the show emerged slowly after Peltz visited the café with some friends last year and shared some pictures on her ipad.
“I love still lifes and it just grew from there,” Penelope said. “She felt she could talk about her art here. We felt we would enhance her work by having it here and that her work would enhance the café.”
The opening reception will run from 5 to 7 pm, offering wine, appetizers and a chance to chat with the artist.
Café C’est La Vie is located at 8 Bella Beach Drive off Highway 101 in Lincoln Beach and is open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm from Wednesday through Sunday. For details, call 541-764-2828 or email email@example.com.