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Livingston Montana Newspape
 

 

 

Order up with Kris King

Order up with kris king

 

Livingston’s latest restaurant, Faye’s Café, offers breezy daytime dining with truly impressive food in the unlikeliest of environments; an old schoolroom and walled patio abutting the police station parking lot. The Shane Center asked Chef Sarah Knecht for three years to have a restaurant there and on July 7th she opened the doors to her breakfast and lunch restaurant, Faye’s Café. The name not only rhymes but is her nickname and both her middle name and her beloved Grandmother’s, who taught her to cook. This bridge to the past infuses the place; customers remember long-ago classes in the airy tall-ceilinged and windowed space, tables are set with vintage linens, real silver, mason jar glasses, locally made mugs, and herbs in pots atop well-thumbed cooking magazines. It feels like walking into the roomy kitchen of a favorite Aunt’s farm house, which is Knecht’s intention, “I want people to be transported to elsewhere but feel at home and comfy,” she says.

A longtime restaurant and private chef, Knecht based the menu on years of experience, her cookbook, feedback from locals, the kitchen space’s limitations, daily specials and her signature “Yum Twist” list – culinary additions and swaps so eaters can put their own twist on orders. “I want to make people feel happy and special,” she explains, “and have the opportunity to be spontaneous and the confidence to go with your own palate.”

Breakfasts (served all day) include a wide range of toast toppings, granola with fresh fruit (ubiquitous on Knecht’s plates), choose-your-own-ingredient omelets, unique egg benedicts, and Brioche Roulade (most dishes available in full and half portions) ranging from $5 - $11. Lunch options include pastas, sandwiches, salads and specials ranging from $5 to $12 for specials like one I recently enjoyed: Crab and Shrimp Cakes (moist chunks of seafood – no bread filler) with a fresh tarragon lemon aioli and summer lentil salad with mango and Swiss chard. I added a slice of Banana Cream from the daily homemade pies by Jewell Redmon, who Knecht knew would be a draw. I also tried the Mac and Cheese; made from scratch to

order with fresh cream and cheeses du jour that tasted of actual sharp, nutty cheese rather than being “cheese-like.” Other diners have recommended the complex chicken sandwich and salads and the meaty French dip with a mysteriously addictive dipping sauce. It might be hard to order anything other than the specials with daily themes running from Margarita Mondays (Mexican and Spanish specials) to Worldly Weekdays (ethnic food) to Foodie Fridays (generous portions and food trends.)

On a recent breakfast visit, Faye’s custom blend of locally roasted coffee was poured freely (coffee lovers don’t have to bring their own coffee or switch to tea here.)

The decadent baked Brioche (a rich bread) has a delicate texture and is topped with fig maple syrup, fruit and a fragrant and fluffy vanilla cream that make the dish lush but not overly sweet or dense. The potato pancakes may be the star of Faye’s breakfast - crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, with a Moroccan spice and asiago cheese kick – they’re less heavy than bread in the benedicts or as a side with omelets. The eggs benedict come with ham, tomato or smoked salmon. The eggs were done perfectly, the salmon lox velvety and the hollandaise sauce bright, not cloying. For our omelet, we chose artichoke pesto, goat cheese, avocado, ham and sautéed mushrooms. The ham was thicker, more succulent and ‘real’ than any I’ve had in years and my date, Edd Enders, said of the dish, “This makes me want to hunt wild mushrooms. And it’s about the best potato pancake I’ve ever had.”

I can easily see Faye’s as the place to come for a leisurely ‘staycation’ weekday breakfast on the patio or special occasion lunch. Knecht serves from 7 am to 2 pm Monday – Friday at 415 East Lewis in the Shane Center, with plenty of parking or easy biking distance from downtown. Faye’s has no phone to preserve the ambiance but you may message requests and reservations the previous day on Facebook where specials are posted (by Knecht’s mother, to keep it real.)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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