Bon Appetit

Oddly enough, good continues to come out of Sept. 11, 2001. As Skaneateles is the new home for one of lower Manhattans most charming restaurant couples. Alain and Joelle, natives of France, who ironically were both raised in Africa, have moved up to Skaneateles State Street (route 321 just south of Heart and Hand). Next month they will open Joelle's French Bistro.

"We didn't come for the lake or the beautiful homes," Alain said, "we came for the quality of life."

From the sidewalk outside the couple's Manhattan restaurant, The Country Cafe at 69 Thompson Street, one could look up the street and see the Empire State Building and south to the World Trade Center. They had tables on the sidewalk and lived across the street, and unfortunately, witnessed the towers coming down and the aftermath.

The following comment is regarding Alain and Joelle's Country Caf (c) from a TripAdvisor member on the Trip Advisor Travel review page on the web Oct. 6, 2005:

Five of five stars "A little French A little Moroccan A little Great"

Very inexpensive for its type. A french bistro in the heart of Soho. CousCous to die for. The chef Joelle is phenomenal, the owner Alain is suave, the main hostess AnnaLia is the best. Can I say more?

How did they find Skaneateles?

Sept. 11 changed everything Alain said. A regular customer Tom Paronis, who was from Skaneateles came in and said he could see their restaurant in Skaneateles. Alain and Joelle took a road trip the following week and were smitten agreeing with Paronis.

They found a realtor Sherryl Drake and purchased an old farmhouse, Blue Willow B&B on Route 321 next door to Heart and Hand -- the bake shop and country store owned by Jim and Donna Parr. The Parr's live next door to their shop, which makes them neighbors times two.

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