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Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle?

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diadot Dec 18, 2006 02:36 PM

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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    missliss RE: diadot Dec 18, 2006 08:19 PM

    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
      babette feasts RE: missliss Dec 21, 2006 10:45 PM

      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
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        missliss RE: babette feasts Dec 21, 2006 11:35 PM

        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.

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      diadot RE: diadot Dec 19, 2006 01:11 PM

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

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        wseattleblog RE: diadot Dec 21, 2006 01:45 AM

        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
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          maggie RE: wseattleblog Dec 23, 2006 06:28 AM

          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. d
          diadot RE: diadot Dec 24, 2006 02:28 PM

          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!

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            missliss RE: diadot Dec 24, 2006 11:53 PM

            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.

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              sugarbakery RE: diadot Dec 31, 2006 06:19 PM

              Went back to Bakery Nouveau. Can I first say how happy I am to have such an excellent bakery here in West Seattle. On our second trip, we got all desserts and I must say their desserts are stronger than their breakfast pastries(of which we got a bunch on our previous visits). I loved the chocolate tartlet with TWO different layers of chocolate. Such shiny chocolatey goodness. We are excited to have a regular place to stop by and enjoy. Congratulations Chef Leaman for making a go of it on your own!

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                Andre RE: diadot Jan 2, 2007 03:13 AM

                We live in walking distance to Bakery Nouveau and stop by there almost every other day. For us (coming from Germany and Japan) this place is heaven.

                Their bread is the best we had in the US. They bake throughout the entire day. On New Year's Eve we snatched a Multi-Grain almost straight out of the oven at around 2 pm. Pair this with some Prosciutto di Parma from Husky Deli a couple of stores down and you are in heaven.

                It did take them a little bit to get used to their new equipment. In the beginning the crust was a little bit off, but after about a week they worked it out.

                We sampled their Cheesecake (Mocha and regular), Opera cake, Tiramisu and Passionfruit tart. All of them were among the best we ever had (inside and outside of the US). Their cakes are much lighter than what you can usually buy in the US.

                My wife loves Brioche and Pain au Chocolat. Both of them are excellent at Bakery Nouveau!

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                  diadot RE: diadot Jan 2, 2007 01:54 PM

                  I did stop back by to take a peek while in W. Seattle this weekend. I was not able to stay, just literally dashed in and out, and there is a great difference already in appearance. Notably the desserts are actually present! And they look gorgeous.
                  So I will need to return, now the oven's seasoned, and sample things again. Certainly I will sample those tarts; I loved Essential's tarts.
                  I'm pleased West Seattle now has this artisan baker, especially in such a high profile area.

                  1. h
                    Haeli RE: diadot Mar 3, 2007 05:26 PM

                    Just wen to Bakery Nouveau this morning. Breads and Muffaletto sandwich are amazing. Chocolate Banana Muffin was far too dry and the scone too soggy. The service at the counter is quite abrasive. I was the second person to ask for butter that might accompany my nice baguette I was planning to eat with my child. Both the woman in front of me and I were told " no, we don't. It's in the back," in the most surly of tones. Surely you can do better with your customer service. No need for surly staff!!!! I would suggest you smarten up your staff. Some are very friendly and helpful, others like the Saturday morning women (only two of them were rude) need to be trained in customer service. Is it really that big a deal to get some butter when more than one person asks for it and is it really too much of a a bother to use a different set of tongs to pick up a non-nut item after you have just picked up a pastry with nuts for those that are nut allergic?

                    1. luvsseattle RE: diadot Mar 3, 2007 09:45 PM

                      I've never had surly service (and live within walking distance). In fact, I was there this AM.... however, I did notice a couple new faces on the employee side. I love the baguettes (you can taste a distinct buttery flavor in them) and the croissants are excellent as well.

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                        dsapelak RE: diadot Mar 17, 2007 03:10 PM

                        This is one of my new favorite places in the city. When they first opened we tried it and it was just "OK", but recently went back and they've really pulled it together. Try the slice of cheese pizza, sounds boring, but you won't be sorry. the chocolate croisants are fantastic and the pretty blond girl makes one of the best mochas in town (one time a different girl made it and it really wasn't great, but it was the first time I'd seen her there, she may have been new).

                        If you tried it when it was new and haven't gone back, definitely try again.

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                          celtj RE: diadot Mar 26, 2007 03:13 PM

                          We live nearby and I go there at least once a week in the evening for bread - and once on the weekend for pastries. Love the chocolate croissant and the pear danish. Yum. Definitely getting better as they gain more experience. Always have helpful and pleasant staff.

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                            Naleiya RE: diadot Apr 1, 2007 11:32 AM

                            I just went there for the first time and had a chocolate croissant and several macarons. Everything was delicious! The croissant was buttery and flakey and the macarons had a crisp shell and a wonderful sweet and chewy inside. Of the five flavors I liked the coffee macaron the best. I will definitely go back again for the macarons.

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