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Who has the BEST baked (read desserts, cakes, pastries) goods within 100 miles of Boston?

Don't post your neighborhood bakery either - I mean - when I take a walk in some european city like Brussels or Frankfure, or Nice, or even Geneva .... there seems to be no lack of exceptional pastries - baked fresh daily and well - and presented in wonderfularrays in windows. Where is one here????
I ran into "Popover's" in Portsmouth in NH because of their wonderful display - when they first opened - and was disappointed in the baked goods (cold popovers - and they would not heat them). Popovers has subsequently plummeted to being yet another corner version of au bon pain!

Flour in Boston appears to be a candidate for this list - but they too appear to have a VERY regimented display (although the dacquoise is TDF - and would be a star in any firmament)! Overall though, flour appears to me to be "exec chic" instead of "luminescence in pastry".

The "after theater" places are VERY lame - stuff cooked the previous day (or was it last week?) .... for those who don;t know their food, isuppose.....

Your thoughts for excellence in the supreme art of bakery?

PS - there seem to be very very talented individual bakers in the area ... for example, the wedding of a very close friendhad a cake which was extraordinary - AND - strwen with rose petals all over (may have had about a 100 roses on that sublime cake).... so they are out there - maybe just out of ones reach?

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  1. I just got another extraordinary cake from Konditor Meister in Braintree, still my favorite for weddings and other big occasions (this was a milestone birthday). Delicious and quite beautiful to look at, they always make a big impression. We were eating the leftovers, guiltily, for breakfast the next day.

    I've tried a bunch of flavors, haven't found a weak one yet. Some of my favorites: Cognac truffle torte with gold cake and Cognac-laced white chocolate mousse filling; strawberry Grand Marnier with gold cake, white chocolate mousse and fresh strawberries; carrot torte with walnuts, cream cheese and apricots; lemon torte with gold cake and lemon mousse; and Black Forest torte with chocolate cake, whipped cream, cherries and chocolate-cherry liqueur.

    I'm not a huge cake eater, but I can't resist these.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Just my 2 cents... Konditor Meister is definitely a good place - but its cakes have no WOW factor. I have tried it several times and thought ... good effort ... but personally, I would give it a solid B. Thanks for the posting!

    2. I'm so fond of Seven Stars Bakery on Hope Streeet in Providence that every time I go back there I get a huge bag of things to bring back and freeze. Exceptional items are the almond croissants and the outstanding scones. They have excellent bread, better than Iggy's imho and until B&R came around, better than everyone else too. The only thing they don't do well is their concession to lunch food: a sort of difficult -to-eat foccacia with roasted veggies. And they don't do cakes. It's not a patisserie, it's a boulangerie... of the best sort.

      1. You're asking for one bakery that does exceptional desserts AND cakes AND pastries?

        Yeah, you're not gonna find that.

        As for pastries, you told us not to post our neighborhood bakeries, but my neighborhood bakery is Clear Flour, and there isn't a better place for variations on the themes of croissant and brioche in the city, and probably in the state. There's a very good reason why the line extends down the block on warm weekend mornings.

        Cakes, second MC Slim JB on Konditor Meister.

        I don't understand what you mean by "desserts" as opposed to cakes and pastries, but I'm assuming you're thinking of filled things. Can't help you there, because when I get a hankering for something filled, I just go to Modern for a half-dozen cannoli.

        4 Replies
        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          Clear Flour isn't my neighborhood bakery, but it's a bakery that I'll drive or bike an extra half hour to get to. Best darned croissant in Boston, the closest I've seen to an authentic Parisian baguette and all manner of other interesting baked treats. If you show up around a big holiday, they'll often have specialty breads and treats geared towards the holiday (but also be prepared for an extra long line). They also have a presence at the Coolidge Corner farmer's market on Thursdays (also identifiable by the long line in front of it).

          And in addition to the other fine suggestions, I'd pitch for Rosie's for cakes.

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            And I'll have to go with my somewhat neighborhood bakery, Canto 6. Excellent. I don't care about creamy things most of the time, prefer Canto 6 style. Which is also Clearflour style but better IMHO, and yes I know the bread is from CF.

            1. re: Joanie

              Second Canto 6. Their pain au raisin reminds me of Paris everytime I indulge. mmm.

            2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              I'm another who will drive up from the South Shore to go to Clear Flour. Closer to home, though, I like French Memories in Duxbury.

            3. The Milk Tea Cake at Cafe Cakes. Classic French technique, and elegantly pretty in a a Japanese way.

                1. re: fullbelly

                  Yes, I'll second the Pastiche vote, for cakes and things with icing that is. They don't do bread.
                  And fwiw, I don't really trust anyone who tries to do both. They're really such different species.