It took Kathy and Stephane Coueffe a few more months than they had planned to realize their dream of a true Breton-style creperie on one of Indy’s most cosmopolitan streets. But in the months since these French musicians hung the cafe curtains at Cropichon et Bidibule, whimsically titled with the nicknames of their sons, Adrien and Valentin, their cheery bistro dedicated to Le Cordon Bleu classics and the rustic buckwheat galettes of Kathy’s native Brittany feels as though it’s been serving soupe a l’oignon to Mass Ave sophisticates for years.
Don’t get too distracted by the Parisian kitsch. A sparkling Eiffel Tower atop a baby grand, quaint street scenes emblazoned on the walls, and Pottery Barn chandeliers fashioned out of wine glasses work a little hard to import Gallic authenticity. And don’t let your high-school French get the best of you as you spot a missing accent mark or listen to the exuberant but generally helpful waitstaff pronounce the highlights of “le menu.” The Coueffes’ cafe strives less for Michelin stars than to offer the couple’s big-hearted take on their homeland’s cuisine.
For the most part, the kitchen delivers. Charcuterie and cheese plates are generous, with an unusual selection of French-style sausages and real Roquefort. Steak frites with shallot sauce hit the mark, though the boeuf Bourguignon is a little stringy, with a slightly runny sauce. Most impressive are lunchtime croques, particularly a croque Madame with two thick, buttery slabs of Rene’s Bakery brioche filled with shaved ham, bechamel, Gruyere, and a perfect egg poking through the bread. 735 Massachusetts Ave., 737-2772