French bistro in Menlo Park

Ali Elsafy with macaroons are Bistro Vida

Restauranteur Ali Elsafy, owner of Bistro Vida in Menlo Park, saw a void and jumped in. Noticing that there wasn’t an authentic macaroon to be found locally, he enrolled at Ecole Lenotre in Paris to learn how to make them just as the French do.

“A macaroon made right has an interior texture that’s soft and a crunchy meringue exterior,” he said.

The cookies are baked at Vida and come in a variety of flavors — pistachio, coconut, coffee, passion fruit and chocolate hazelnut. “We don’t have all the flavors every day, but mix them up,” he said. “They’ve really become a signature dish here. Sometimes customers come in and buy them for dessert and then take another dozen home with them.”

Macaroons at Bistro Vida

Photos by Irene Searles

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