Didier & Beatrice Cop aim to offer a welcoming place forall
Didier and Beatrice Cop have brought traditional French cuisine, fused with Californian tastes, to locals and visitors alike since 2003 in downtown with their Panolivo Family Bistro. Two years ago, the family restaurant opened Jaffa Cafe inside its 1344 Park St. location, giving customers the option to enjoy French and Mediterranean fare in one place.
Didier Cop said the mix of food, as well as its extensive gluten-free menu that takes in consideration other allergies and intolerances, allows a great choice for groups of people. The restaurant is set up with Panolivo offering table service and Jaffa Cafe being casual dining with counter service. Cop said that both menus, however, are available in both service styles.
“Both have a lot of flavors, fresh ingredients, very tasty,” Cop said. “I think we are extending the options. Someone might be in the mood for one menu, while the other might be inclined [to order] the other.” Cop said he and his wife want the entire family, from mom and dad to the kids to the dogs, to be happy at the restaurant, so they offer an extensive children’s menu, as well as seating outside for the animals to eat – and have some water – along with their human counterparts.
On the gluten-free side, Cop said the menu was added two years ago after getting requests from customers. Though neither of the owners have any food allergies or sensitivities, they felt it was important to offer what their customers want. While Panolivo makes all of its pastries in-house, Cop did not immediately offer gluten-free pastries because he knew that cross contamination was high. But when someone from Bless Your Heart Specialty Bakery visited the restaurant, Cop found what he was looking for. Bless Your Heart now supplies all the baked gluten-free items.
Thought not everything on the regular menu is offered on the gluten-free menu, all gluten-free items come from a gluten-free facility – again, Cop wants to insure there is as little risk of cross contamination as possible.
French & Mediterranean fare
Panolivo, Cop said, offers a variety of tradition French dishes paired with a selection of sandwiches, pastas and sandwiches that he know people like for dinner, but aren’t traditionally French, “but we pay the same attention to taste and flavors.” All of the ingredients for both restaurants are fresh and carefully selected.
For Jaffa Cafe, the menu is a combination of vegetables, tabbouleh, stuffed vegetables, grilled vegetables, salads, hummus and kabobs with different meats: beef, lamb and chicken.
“I think what we are trying to do is offer an atmosphere that is not pretentious – we try to provide a friendly place you want to come to,” Cop said. “We try to provide you a good value for what we offer.”
Visit Panolivo Family Bistro and Jaffa Café, located at 1344 Park St. in Paso Robles, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. For more information, call (805) 239-3366 or go to www.panolivo.com.
– Heather Young