The flowers on the table reminded me of Provence, France but the coffee was all American. Magnolias: Sous Le Pont is located under the bridge of 2727 in the district of Harwood, Dallas, Texas, hence the French name that translates to “under the bridge.”
The exterior and the insets behind the bar are painted tiffany blue and the large cool seating space is dimly lit, emphasizing the line of French doors that are open on temperate days. I asked for their house drink, the Magnolia Latte. On first sip, I thought the drink would be too sweet for my taste but I enjoyed every sip I took right down to the bottom of the mug.
Cafés in France are small. Right off whatever rue you’ve been walking on, most French cafés are small enough to reach the counter in one step. Patrons order a shot of espresso and a pastry and then drink standing at the bar or pay a little bit more to sit at a table and people-watch for hours. It’s a French past-time.
This cultural ritual doesn’t translate over the ocean to America. Magnolias: Sous Le Pont is charming but not French. The greatest contender for French influence is the flowers on the table, tiny arrangements of cut wildflowers that are like the flowers you find in the fields of Provence.
I turned my attention from the flowers to my latte. Magnolia’s house drink is a mix of lavender, rose, and elderflower with a little vanilla. The result is surprisingly fresh. I opted for the hot version so that it would be in a cute cup but you can get the drink iced.
Behind the coffee bar are pastries, muffins and macarons. All the goodies are made at Magnolia’s sister restaurant, Mercat. Baristas Anna Cutchen and Michael Wynn helped me pick out my coffee and I should have let them pick out my pastry too. Cutchen recommended the blueberry muffin. I went with a mango macaron. It was well made but didn’t taste like mango. I peered back at the case on the counter after eating my macaron, thinking about blueberry muffins.
Sometimes things aren’t French but at Magnolias: Sous Le Pont non-Frenchness turns out to be Instagram ready decorations and delicious (or so I’m told) blueberry muffins.