'Is Destin ready?' New restaurant concept fuses French and Vietnamese cuisine

Savannah Vasquez
Owner Duc 'Happy Man' Tran invites Destin to come try his new French/Vietnamese restaurant.

What do you get when you cross French and Vietnamese cuisine? A new restaurant concept called the Baguette Bistro in Destin.

Don’t let the name fool you. The Baguette Bistro is not a bakery but instead it is an upscale, full service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Owner Duc ‘Happy Man’ Tran said he thought Destin needed something a little special and decided to mix the two seemingly polar-ized food styles.

“Destin is an exciting city, a new city, and people in Destin deserve something different,” Tran said. “There are a lot of Thai and Italian restaurants in Destin but no Vietnamese or French restaurants, that is something I noticed.”

Tran, an immigrant from Vietnam, said that about 150 years ago, the French brought new dishes to Vietnam that eventually became part of the local culture and this is the cuisine that he is now offering in Destin.

“Items such as beef stew, the crepe, the coffee, the sandwich, it was the French who introduced them to us,” he said.

On the menu, items such as the French Beef Rillette and the Vietnamese Banh Mi are just two examples of this unique cultural mixture.

“In Vietnam, we did not have beef,” Tran said. “Water buffalo was the prized meat until the French introduced cow.”

Tran also explained that the Vietnamese word for baguette is Banh Mi, and it is the common bread used for sandwiches.

Another unique menu specialty is the appearance of friends’ and places’ names, such as the Dr. Dao Omelet and the Chicken Crepe Destin.

“My friend Dr. Dao Hien invited me to Destin,” Tran said adding that he has a few friends’ favorite meals listed on the menu.

When asked why he goes by the name ‘Happy Man,’ Tran just smiled.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t have much. Life was difficult, life was hard,” he said. “So, I choose to be happy man no matter what, I just have to be positive.”

This restaurant venture is a risk for Tran, who sold two Vietnamese restaurants in Atlanta to open Baguette Bistro. He brought his chef along, as well as his own recipes, and said he hopes Destin enjoys his food as much as he does.

“We make everything from scratch,” said Tran. “Is Destin ready for a French, Vietnamese concept? Whenever you crave for something new and exciting, please come see Baguette Bistro.”

Baguette Bistro is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is located at 4418 Commons Drive beside Jets Pizza. For more information, visit