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David Hawksworth’s homage to an authentic boulangerie is practically perfectÑfrom pain au chocolat and macaron to crusty sandwiches and serious coffee. A spicy Viennese espresso lives up to its name, a dollop of whipped cream added to temper the flavourful and angry darkness below. The swell roomÑall dark wood playing off French tiles accented with Gallic blueÑhas more to offer than meringue discs. In all, Bel Café is that rare bird: a place that perfectly channels France without the confines of being French.

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