Bakery Nouveau

Written by on November 16, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – West Seattle

How I heard of this place: We tried it once nearly one month ago and couldn’t stop talking about it! Second time? Also a culinary success.

Type of cuisine: French baking at its best outside of Paris. “Whether it’s chocolates, pastries, quiches, breads, pizzas, jams, or cakes, you’ll find they have one thing in common: They’re simply among the best you will ever taste. No one else in the city makes them or bakes them the way we do. Moreover, you’ll find creations and seasonal faire that exist nowhere else. Start with a simple baguette and taste your way up to the complex chocolates and desserts. Save room. It’s a long way to the top and you’ll meet plenty of favorites along the way.”

Ambiance: Step into this patisserie and you will have just stepped into a Parisian cafe. The aroma of fresh baked breads and pastries, the faint fragrance of fresh roasted Lighthouse coffee waft through the space, as the crowds make their way into the small, but cozy space. Should one walk by and (sadly) not make their way in, the window display of seasonal goodness will draw him back. Stepping through the door one finds to his left a full display of warm pizzas and quiches, working over to the cookies and macaroons. Continuing down the length of the bakery, your senses are heightened with the beauty of small gateaus, artfully decorated slices of layered cakes and pies and finishing the sensory tour with pastries, danishes and filled croissants. To your right, if you can take your eyes off of the delicacies, can be found a long booth that stretches the length of the cafe with small wooden tables and chairs next to it. To the back, patrons can help themselves to coffee cup lids, java jackets, serviettes, water and other such accouterments. The baking space is just beyond and the half-wall gives onlookers the opportunity to watch bakers do their work. “And nothing brings people together faster than delicious, expertly prepared food.” We strive to be a refuge from demands of daily life. A place where one can linger over a cup of coffee and croissant and laugh with a friend”. Visit us on any bustling day and you’ll see what we mean. Strangers ask each other what they’re having and offer ‘have you tried the…?’ Friends from the neighborhood bump into each over the pastry case, and suddenly, that long-meant-to-have cup of coffee is consummated over a pear Danish. Our staff knows a great many of our customers by name and have created an extended family. We are building community one bite at a time.”

What I ordered: I knew I had to take a box of goodies home to my parents, so first we packed up one pear danish ($3.50), a twice baked almond croissant ($3.85), one pain au chocolate ($3), and a cherry cream cheese danish ($4). My dining companion needed a chocolate croissant ($3) to take away and enjoy later. To dine in the cafe, we settled on one lemon-almond croissant ($4.40) and a chocolate-hazelnut croissant ($4.40) with fresh, roasted hazelnuts. A 12-ounce double cappuccino ($3.45) and two cups of water helped to wash it down.

What I loved: We were both in agreement that of the two options enjoyed in house, we preferred the chocolate-hazelnut, as it comforted us with its warm, rich, dense flavors of homemade chocolate-hazelnut topping and the roasted hazelnuts placed atop. The flakiness of the lemon-almond croissant was to die for, and the addition of cake in between the croissant pastry and the lemon topping an interesting surprise. Of those enjoyed this morning in the company of my parents, I thoroughly enjoyed the cherry cream cheese danish. The complementary flavors of buttery pastry and sweet pear in the pear danish continued to impress, as did the twice-baked almond croissant.

Why I loved it: I loved the space, reminiscent of bustling boulangeries in Paris, where one can sip a cup of coffee over a chocolate croissant, chat with good friends, or grab a selection of pastries for out of town family and friends to enjoy at home! The whole space makes the trip out to West Seattle well worth it! And one that should be repeated…over and over again.

Cost: Average to high ($3-$5 per pastry/danish)

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