Just got back from Cafe Melisse, an offshoot of Melisse. The Cafe is located in Valencia on Town Center Drive near the Mall.
They also have Cafe Melisse to go, which is only open 11 to 4, offering sandwiches, salads, small pizzas, soup and desserts.
Went to check it out on friday, but arrived at 4:30, they did let me in to look around and said if I really wanted something, it would be no problem. Was given samples of chocolate covered strawberries and a pineapple teacake. The strawberry was great, they used strawberries that have flavor, not the large tasteless, mostly white ones which are usually encountered. Tea cake was almond flavored with a chunk of pineapple on top, just enough for 2 bites.
Took a menu and left. They do box picnics consisting of different sandwiches, side salad (potato, roasted veg, etc) and a choice of deserts. Prices ranged from $10-20 depending on ingredients in the sandwich. prices Seemed reasonable given the choices. I got several desserts to bring home and plan to try some of their salads for lunch next week. Prices for takeout are very reasonable. Strawberries were .50 each, teakcakes .25, Lemon tart wedge - 2.75. You could do a take out lunch for less than $10, even less than $5 if you just chose salad
Went back for lunch in the dining room today. There is an outside patio as well as a large dining room. Also off the dining room I could see a room that can be shut off easily (by closing a door) for private parties. The part of the dining room I sat in was a little funky, exposed ductwork and sprinkler pipes, but that is just in one small section, the rest is regular ceiling.
When you sit down you are given warm bread which today consisted of foccacia wedges and slices of wheat baguette. Both were good.
Lunch menu is on the small side, consisting of several choices each of salad, sandwiches, pasta, entrees. I still had a hard time making up my mind. Soup of the day was tomato bisque "with more than a little cream", sandwich of the day was caprese.
I chose the caprese sandwich (diagonal slices of baguette, grilled -- roasted red and yellow peppers, burata mozarella slices, black olive tapenade, tomato slices and fresh basil leaves). Sandwiches came with choice of soup or salad and choice of fries or potato salad. I had the tomato bisque - very creamy and great tomato flavor and the fries. Fries were skinny with the skin left on, sprinkled with coarse salt They were very tasty and not greasy.
My companion chose a roasted chicken sandwich which came on some kind of homemade bread (sorry - don't remember what) chicken was pounded think to make it easier to bite into, very moist and juicy, sandwich had red onion, lettuce, tomato, and a spiced mayonnaise. He enjoyed it very much and chose salad and potato salad with it. Salad was greens, red onion, carrots and slices of parmesan with a tasty herb vinagrette. Potato salad was red skinned potatoes cooked perfectly coated with herbed mayonaise, dijon mustard combo with chives thrown in. Huge portion of potato salad.
For dessert we shared an tarte tartin with vanilla ice cream and carmel sauce. It was plenty large enough to share, vanilla bean ice cream was very tasty and melted over the warm tart, which consisted of chunks of spiced apple piled onto several layers of a nice round, buttery piece of puff pasty.
Lunch prices ranged from $8 - $18 range depending on what you got. Sandwiches weren't more than $12. Desserts were $6.50. There were probably 5 other dessert choices.
They also serve a large menu for brunch and an expanded dinner menu. There is even a section of the dinner menu for the "young gourmet"
Portions were good for the prices, the freshness of ingredients was great. Staff is nice and have a sense of humor.
I will definitely go back again and try dinner and brunch.
Cafe Melisse has a website, but right now it is just showing the same information as the Melisse website, but I am sure they are working on it. They have a totally different menu from Melisse, based on what I was able to read on the Melisse website (menu section isn't formatted well, you can't read the whole menu)
If you are in this area, check it out.