Elodie French restaurant is exactly what owners Elodie and Bertrand Flocard envisioned when they decided to move from Aix-en-Provence, France, in June 2014.
At first, the Flocards owned and operated a French restaurant on Anna Maria Island. But Elodie Flocard, 40, said she wanted to step out of the tourist-traffic craze to have a small, neighborly restaurant in Northwest Bradenton.
“Here we want something different,” she said. “For people to come and stay two hours and have a good time and it’s an experience; not just to have food.”
The Elodie restaurant, 7232 Manatee Ave. W., is run solely by Elodie and Bertrand Flocard with no other employees. Bertrand is the chef and Elodie takes care of the up to 50 customers the restaurant can handle each night.
Running a smaller establishment, with eight tables inside and six outside, helps Bertrand Flocard, 40, focus on the food and keep quality high, she said.
The Flocards first visited Bradenton on vacation. The family started traveling in the United States in 1998 and the Flocards were always searching for a suitable location to move to and start a business. To see people follow the vacationer-to resident-to business owner tract is what Manatee County tourism officials hope to see with international visitors.
The family chose to buy a house in Northwest Bradenton because of the good schools for Amber, 12, and Hugo, 16, as well as its proximity to Anna Maria Island.
We love the U.S. We would like for our children to know something different than France.
Elodie Flocard, Elodie French restaurant owner
Though they enjoyed traveling elsewhere in the country, most of the cities and towns they visited were too large for the Flocards’ liking. Even Bradenton is a big place compared to Aix-en-Provence, Elodie Flocard said.
“We visited at first Sarasota and it was nice but it was too big, so when we came here I said, ‘Yes, I can live here,’” she said.
Since the Elodie restaurant opened in January, response from the Northwest Bradenton area has been good, she said.
The cuisine at Elodie is Provencal, which is different from food found elsewhere in France. Aix-en-Provence is only two hours from Italy, compared to a roughly seven-hour drive to Paris. As such, Provencal food reflects a Mediterranean flavor profile, with a focus on olive oil, fish and fresh vegetables.
Elodie Flocard’s favorite dish on the menu is the scallops entree, which is a specialty from Aix-en-Provence, she said. The sauteed sea scallops are set atop a creamy risotto with fresh asparagus and mushrooms.
Other entree options include salmon, tuna, mussel, snapper, duck, pork, beef, chicken and vegetarian dishes. The Elodie menu also has a selection of appetizers and desserts accompanied by a wine list.
If you go: Elodie French restaurant
Address: 7232 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
Phone number: 941-567-7760
Prices: Between $9 and $13 for most appetizers, $19.50 and $26 for most entrees
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 5-9 p.m.