Le Conciliabule apparently translates loosely to "the confab" or "confabulation" — an intimate discussion.
From the people behind Jules Cafe Patisserie, the name certainly feels appropriate for the tight and moody but cheery cafe, which primarily serves French food and natural wines.
All cooking is impressively executed in a miniscule open kitchen, the cramped space shared with Redwood Theatre.
Beloved pastries like croissants are brought over fresh regularly from Jules. Other baked goods include bread and macarons.
A pain au chocolat ($3.05) is incredibly puffy, airy and sweet, making for a very French-feeling light brunch offering or an accompaniment to coffee anytime.
A chocolate twist ($3.65) gets upscale plating, pastry folded around chocolate chips and almond cream and presented with a cooling, sweet hibiscus pear slushie mixture, fresh peach, bee pollen, and a berry sugar made out of dehydrated raspberries and strawberries. It's probably the most gourmet take on a twist I've ever seen.
A Croque Monsieur ($9.95) is available all the time but also makes a fabulous brunch. Spongy homemade pain de mie bread is laden with smoked ham, Swiss and bechamel for a crispy, melty, indulgent sandwich.
Seasonal purees of beet, carrot and yellow beet, and zucchini break up the richness of the plate with a surprising earthiness, along with a balsamic reduction. Mashed potatoes inspired by French aligot add a creamy comforting element to anything they're paired with.
A Sunday brunch "combo" is $27 with coffee or tea, $35 with beer or wine, described as a "combo of delicious goods."
Though brioche French toast is specified on the menu, the offering seems to change week to week, today's a French savoury crepe and American pancakes.
A porous, starchy buckwheat crepe is stuffed with oozy bechamel and Sanagan's smoked ham, paired with softly cooked Murray's Farm eggs, more of the French mash, and a balancing salad of arugula, zucchini, grape tomato, pan-fried marinated tofu, pickled onion and red onion.
The pancake is somewhat quizzically cut into gourmet-feeling quarters and paired with peach and, oddly, grape.
Opt for a classy little macchiato ($3.25 on its own) for your coffee beverage from their full range of caffeinated choices. Almond, oat, soy and coconut milk are available for an additional charge.
If you're going with wine, a Wah-Wah red from France with a light hue due to less maceration with skins has a nice character with the food, a little sour but delicate.
If white is more your speed, an Italian white from natural wine pioneer Angiolino Maule is a little less funky.
Le Conciliabule also exclusively serves Stone City beers, and does cheese plate nights and tasting menu nights.