It was a sweet little French pastry shop atop Queen Anne run by a Japanese couple, Daisuke and Tomoyo Miura. "Better than Willy Wonka," The Stranger's Megan Selig wrote two years ago. Lion (or Léon, to use his parents' pronunciation) was the owners' son, now six years old, and he had the run of the place. And if you're wondering about the connection between France and Japan, it's a longstanding one, especially when it comes to sweets.
Jay Friedman, connoisseur of fine food and a specialist in all things Japanese, championed Café de Lion from its first days. And he's the one who therefore reported its demise this week on The SunBreak.
As a fan of Café de Lion, and someone who turned others into satisfied regulars, I have happy memories of their well-executed, hard-to-find sweets like Mont Blanc. Fortunately, fans of Japanese-style sweets can find similar sweets at Hiroki in Tangletown, Fumie's Gold in Bellevue, and Setsuko Pastry via online ordering.For all his love of Lion, however, Friedman is appalled at how badly the owners handled the shuttering. No notice other than a sign in the window. And the café's Facebook page is still live, with nary a word about the closing.
Meanwhile, Queen Anne residents can find unique desserts from South Africa at the new Cederberg Tea House, two blocks away from Café de Lion's closed space.