Local family’s unanticipated restaurant serves “a touch of France”

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A quaint restaurant tucked away in peaceful Santa Clara acts not only as a savory escape to France, but also a local family’s unexpected foothold.

All this, thanks to a “leap of faith,” co-owner Tifiny Rose said.

Breakfast at Tifiny’s, located at 3105 S. Santa Clara Drive, is a charming hideaway with an authentic French-themed menu. Tifiny’s was established in 2012 by Tifiny Rose and her husband Earl Rose after they moved from Salt Lake City to St. George in 2010 in search of a better life for their 15 children. Of their children, 12 are adopted and 13 have disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, autism, Asperger’s syndrome and blindness.

The leap of faith

Just three years away from retiring from the Salt Lake City police force, Earl Rose and his family started anew in St. George after they discovered the warm weather did wonders for some of their children’s joint problems.

Tifiny Rose said they had no idea what they were going to do, but Earl Rose’s culinary talents pointed them in an unexpected direction: They began selling his homemade crepes at Tuacahn’s Saturday markets.

“People would ask ‘Where’s your restaurant?'” Tifiny Rose said. “(Earl) kept saying someone’s going to come up and tell us they’ve got a place for us to lease, and, sure enough, they did.”

From there, the Roses teamed up with Pat and Wayne Johnson, who offered them the space right next to their house, which was already decorated to match the Roses’ French menu. Pat Johnson had painted a mural with the phrase “a touch of France,” to go along with her business of selling photographs of French architecture and landscape. So, the Roses fit right in.

Soon, the Johnsons’ grounds became a delightfully decorated restaurant with cozy indoor and outdoor seating, flowering gardens, fountains and Pat Johnson’s photography.

Tifiny’s menu and decor synthesizes so effectively. The environment feels like a miniature vacation retreat.

“Our goal was to create something that was not so much St. George, (but) a place to go and get away from the cares of the world,” Tifiny Rose said.

She said her decor choices are meant to give a “grandma’s kitchen” feel that’s cute and old-style, yet cool. Attention to such details like vintage pink dishware and strawberry slices served in ice water accomplish that ambition.

Because of this, Tifiny’s can be considered the perfect date destination. Those with soft spots for flowing canvas, adorable dishware and beautiful scenery (flowers, fountains, birdbaths, etc.) melt before even tasting the cuisine.

The menu

Everything on the menu is from the Roses’ own home recipe books, and the authenticity of the French food is marvelous. Tifiny’s predominantly serves breakfast and lunch, but dinner is only an option Friday and Saturday nights.

Thus, the breakfast, lunch and dessert menus have much more selection than the current dinner options. Beef Bourguignon, a stew made with beef and red wine, and Cog Au Vin, also a stew but made with chicken and cognac, are the two dinner options. However, Tifiny Rose said the dinner menu will be seeing additions as the restaurant continues to grow.

The breakfast menu offers a variety of options from Creme Brulee French Toast to the Breakfast Crepe, which is my personal favorite. It’s served with eggs, cheese, bacon or ham and topped with bechamel sauce and is a savory and filling choice that should not be skipped.

As for the lunch menu, the French Dip is rightfully popular. It’s served with thick-sliced roast beef and tasty au jus. The Fresh Mozzarella, with roma tomatoes, balsamic and olive oil served on French bread, is also delicious.

On to dessert, the Pavlova can’t be missed. Not only does it taste divine, the meringue topped with whipped cream, fruit and blueberry sauce is also a splendid sight. It turns heads as it passes tables. Also, you can’t ever go wrong with the gelato or the crepes (s’more and turtle—yum!).

The only downside to dining at Tifiny’s is some may consider the prices to be a little high for the portions. Most entrées cost $7 to $10. However, quality balances it out. Also, earlier during Tifiny’s growth, service seemed a bit delayed, but that’s only expected as the diner had little time to expand. Tifiny Rose said daily customer counts have multiplied tenfold since the soft opening about a year ago.

Today, Tifiny’s service is delightful. The servers are more than pleasant and prompt. Manager Meagan Carler said the employees’ attitudes reflect a congenial work environment that comes from the Roses’ knack for treating everyone like family.

Most of all, dining at Tifiny’s is more than just self-fulfilling. In supporting a local business that more than deserves it, guests are also supporting a family raising children who are now granted more quality time with their parents.

“It means so much,” Tifiny Rose said.

Breakfast at Tifiny’s is open Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Roses also cater and take reservations for dinner. For more information, follow Breakfast at Tifiny’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BreakfastAtTifinys.