At Gino’s Petit Dejeuner in Harmar, a not so little breakfast with a French infusion | TribLIVE.com
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At Gino’s Petit Dejeuner in Harmar, a not so little breakfast with a French infusion

Joyce Hanz
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Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
Authentic French specialty crepes such as Sweet Happiness ($9.50) with bananas, strawberries, Nutella, walnuts and chocolate sauce are customer favorites at Gino’s Petit Dejeuner.
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Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
Gino’s Petit Dejeuner owners Michel and Jen Celik (center) with son Julien (left) and cousin Hande Baskir.
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Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
Gino’s Petit Dejeuner employee Hande Baskir with the Filet Steak Omelet featuring steak, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese.

An international trifecta of culinary flavors unite at Gino’s Petit Dejeuner in Harmar.

The cozy French-inspired bistro, located in Harmar Shopping Plaza, blends American and Turkish influences on an extensive breakfast and lunch menu.

In French, “petit dejeuner” translates literally as “little lunch” but means “breakfast” — which is the main draw here in the contemporary, bright and spacious eatery with seating for about 50.

The bistro is owned and operated by Michel and Jen Celik, who cook together in the open kitchen.

Michel hails from France and Jen is from Turkey.

They relocated to Pittsburgh from their respective countries (Jen has Pittsburgher friends) and opened Petit Dejeuner almost two years ago.

“Our food is different — it’s international — French, Turkish and American food, all together and all mixed up,” Jen Celik says. “I want everyone to try my food.”

The Celiks work alongside their son, Julien, and cousin, Hande Baskir.

“We created this concept — something French and delicious,” says Julien Celik.

You’ll find a family-friendly welcoming atmosphere at Gino’s — a priority for the couple.

“I have been cooking for over 20 years as a chef, and my husband loves the cooking,” Jen Celik says. “Working together as a family is very important because we love to be together.”

Customers love the “very fluffy” pancakes, the result of a secret Turkish recipe handed down from her grandmother, says Jen Celik.

“It’s her recipe we have used for more than 50 years.”

Choose from six specialty pancakes that include the Honeymooner ($9) served with vanilla ice cream, honey and strawberries or blackberries, or the Bacon and Corn Griddle Cake ($9) with crumbled bacon, corn, mozzarella cheese and maple syrup.

Crepes (very thin French pancakes) are the signature dish here, with six sweet and salee (savory) options available.

All sweet crepes are topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream, and the salee crepes are served with a side salad of fresh greens.

The Meat Lovers crepe ($9.50) has ham, bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs with cheese.

The sweet crepe top seller, Sweet Happiness ($9.50), features bananas, strawberries, Nutella, walnuts and chocolate sauce.

A full specialty coffee menu includes Turkish coffee, served in traditional Turkish cups.

In addition to crepes and pancakes, the extensive menu offers French toast, waffles, omelets, croissants, paninis, specialty sandwiches and desserts.

Vegetarian options and customized orders are easy — thanks to a long list of add-ons on their “level-up” menu.

Regular customer Steve Babak of Kiski Township went big during a recent visit to Gino’s — ordering two meals for breakfast.

“The filet steak omelette is my go-to item here — and the pancakes. I really like supporting small business, too, because my father owns a small business in Leechburg.”

•••

Gino’s Petit Dejeuner

Where: 55 Alpha Drive West, Harmar, in Harmar Shopping Plaza

Hours: 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays

Contact: 412-517-8866 or

ginobreakfast.com

The concept: Petit Dejeuner translates as “little lunch” but means “breakfast” in French

Family-owned and -operated eatery serving traditional homemade French breakfast and lunch options blended with Turkish and American influences.

Menu sample: Breakfast offers numerous specialty crepes served with salad: Bacon, Cheese, Chicken, Meat Lovers, Spinach Feta Cheese and Ham and Mozzarella ($8.50-$9.50) or go sweet with six different crepes like the Sweet Happiness served with bananas, strawberries, Nutella, walnuts and chocolate sauce.

• Specialty French toast, waffles, croissants, omelets and pancakes are available all day.

• The Sweet Happiness crepe is a top seller.

• Omelets ($8-$10.25) are prepared with three eggs and served with fresh greens, fruit, toast or two pancakes.

• The Filet Steak Omelet ($10.25) features steak, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese.

• Lunch offerings include the Sigara Cheese Patty ($6.50) featuring a Turkish-style dough with feta cheese and fries, Graven Egg Bread ($9.50) served with green peppers, roasted red peppers, mozzarella cheese, scrambled egg and salad, and Chicken Burger ($7.50) with cheesy chicken, pickles, tomatoes, onions, American cheese, fresh greens and fries.

• The coffee menu includes Turkish coffee and specialty coffees such as caramel brulee ($3.99) and caramel or vanilla macchiato ($3.99).

Must Try: The crepes and pancakes. “They are different because we use my grandparents’ recipe that’s 50 years old. They are fluffy and tasty,” said co-owner Jen Celik.

Bottom Line: The Eiffel Tower on the menu gives it away at Petit Dejeuner. Bistro-style dining, open-air cooking and a bright and modern dining room. A fresh French-influenced bistro-style breakfast and lunch eatery with homemade foods prepared by international cooking couple turned Pittsburgh residents Michel and Jen Celik.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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