Best Plain Croissant - Sportello
It's true - the best plain croissant I've ever had in the New England area came from Sportello in Fort Point (upstairs from Drink) this morning - it was light, buttery, tender, flaky, and flavorful - and definitely baked within very few hours of consumption. I used to head to Riviera in Lexington for a croissant fix like this, but this was better - really, all others pale in comparison.
This bakery operation deserves more attention and investigation (it opens at 7a on weekdays) - but it also needs at least a couple of savory item offerings - everything else there today was really sweet stuff ( but the cupcakes looked really interesting...that's a breakfast food, right?)
Oh man, I want to go there so bad! Thanks for reporting on their croissants, I've been meaning to try the macarons; so now I have more reasons to go!
OK, rlh, you've got my vote for Outstanding Boston Board Chowhounding of the Month. Grabbed a buddy from the office and checked out Sportello this morning. That was a damn, damn fine croissant. Perfectly crispy exterior, soft and chewy interior, lots of butter flavor (and by "butter flavor" I mean "butter"). The almond croissant was excellent too, but when you've got a base dough this good, the filling just gets in the way. Respectable, if not stellar espresso drinks too.
The atmosphere was more than a little silly, making me feel like I'd been magically transported to Milan circa 1997, lost in a sea of pretentious gray scale, but hey, whatever puts butts in seats. I will also say that I'm appreciably irked that a very, very small plain croissant (it would barely be out of place on a tray of petit fours) is selling for a cool three bucks.
As plain croissants go in this town, I still think Clear Flour takes gold (both in pure quality and in terms of value), but Sportello's is top tier, no doubt about it. Very excited to go back and try what looked like a really promising array of delicious, impressively overpriced lunch items.
Yes - I should have mentioned the outlandish price of $3 (that's for one!), but I guess that I have just accepted that when I get food at either Drink or Sportello, it's generally going to be really good, but it is going to cost a lot per oz. (e.g., $10 for three bites of steak tartare at Drink or $22 for a small bowl of pasta with perfectly-cooked but very thin and small chicken paillard and some aged gouda cheese in the pasta at Sportello). I hope they can hold out in these economic times - I was the only customer in the bakery operation when I went during rush hour this morning.....