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Dec 18, 2006 02:36 PM

Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle?

Hi all, anyone been here yet? It's at the Junction and features former Essential champ William Leaman's pastries and candies. I haven't been but wondered if anyone had and what the verdict is. Seattle needs more of these types of places--time to dethrone the Bay Area! I'm thinking of checking it out.

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  1. Just went over there. They had samples of a whole wheat walnut raisin loaf & I bought a baguette. Wanted to buy one of everything. GORGEOUS stuff. Sweets, like cakes and a few cookies, breads, and pastries (croissants, some lovely fruit pastries) and a few wee quiches. They were making hot chocolates that looked like dessert.

    As for the taste, the raisin walnut loaf was delicious. Chewy, savory. A little tang to contrast with the sweetness of the raisins.

    I'm eating a chunk of the baguette right now with some hard goat cheese and salami. The baguette too is chewy, with a nice airiness to it and a crunchy crust.

    Not cheap, any of it, but worth it. Heck, I just bought a baguette because I don't have a lot of cash to throw around at this moment. Not cheap, but don't let that deter you if you don't need to.

    2 Replies
    1. re: missliss

      I stopped by on 12/20. I didn't think their prices were out of line. I was surprised by how traditional it seemed, don't know why. Not that there's anything wrong with opera cake.

      1. re: babette feasts

        I wasn't saying that the prices were out of line, but if folks are used to buying bread at the supermarket, they'll find the prices higher here. Well worth it for the fine craftsmanship you're getting, but worth knowing.

    2. Excellent!! Thanks so much for giving this thorough review. I've got to get over there.

      1. We've dropped in twice now. Brown sugar pecan brioche ... breakfast nirvana. The chocolate cake looks heavenly too; haven't tried it yet. The fresh-fruit danishes looked too pretty to eat. Tried a latte too; delightful. Not too pretentious, but not remotely lowbrow, either.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wseattleblog

          The fresh fruit danishes looked prettier than they tasted. I used to sell Essential pastries. I'm hoping to go back and try Bakery Nouveau again, but I was disappointed with a dry clover-twist raspberry roll, and the brown sugar pecan brioche was also like supermarket egg bread, sweet and dried out, no real flavor. Please tell me I'm crazy and the ovens were on the fritz that day.

        2. Okay, so I finally went over there. You can definitely tell this was the guy who did the chocolates at Essential; however, there were very few there. The place is clearly a work in progress, its paint new enough you can catch a whiff, and its sign made apparently of paper. There are some interesting molds set up in the front window.
          Get this: the world cup of baking is on the counter!!! That blew my mind. The thing is huge.
          Now, having lived in SF for half a year and partaking in that foodie wonderland, I have to say that although this guy paired up I think with the fellow at Boulangerie Bay Bread, his pastries are nowhere near as good as that SF staple.
          And to pitch Cafe Besalu again, in Ballard, I still think THAT cafe is the best Seattle has got, period, for pastries. Chocolates I leave up to others to decide; if they're as good as Essentials, then they're very good, but perhaps not the best you could get.
          So I'm a little disappointed also. I tried 3 pastries: almond cherry, apricot danish, brown sugar. All good but none as good as Cafe Besalu's. That said, I'll give the place another look in a couple of months.
          Thanks for all the feedback!

          1. A friend of mine says that French bakeries either do bread well or pastries well, never both. If other posters first impressions are correct, he does (counterintuitively) bread far better than pastries. Still, he's learning a new space, new (presumably) equipment, and new co-workers. I'll give him a little more time and hope that he continues to improve.