Review: Bakery Nouveau

In my perfect world, there are a couple of businesses I would personally bribe to relocate near my home (to be determined) just so I could indulge myself in whatever they had to offer me. One of them, is Bakery Nouveau. It’s probably for the best that it’s a bit of a trip for me to grab a $3.85 croissant sent from the pastry gods.

Located in central West Seattle, Bakery Nouveau offers so much goodness, even people such as myself who drool over foods can’t handle the intensity at times. I came upon this place when a good friend of mine recommended it to me. Being the food connoisseur that he is (as in he literally ordered seven of the same lobster dishes at once while on a cruise just to figure out which one would taste best after hearing the food quality was inconsistent), I took his recommendation to heart. We made a trip together and my mouth was already starting to build more saliva than usual once I entered the small shop.

I can’t describe how much I LOVE the smell of bakeries. If it weren’t for the fact I don’t think I can ever work out enough to keep the amount of pastries I like to consume in one sitting off my body, I would probably spend a lot more time working on my pastry making skills. Not to mention the patience involved with that. Any way, the windows of the shop have multiple homemade pizzas lined up, each looking more delicous than the next. The next display will not only intrigue your taste buds, but your appreciation for the art of desserts as well. Cakes of all sizes including large 8-inch ones adorn the top of the display. My favorite is the individual 3-inch cakes which are literally miniature versions of their larger counterparts. For father’s day last year, we got a variety of individual cakes for all the dad’s (from our secondary family). Photo to the right taken by Jane Li, of the different mini cakes we got. Classic chocolate and the Phoenix Mousse.

The third display has an arrangement of french bread (which I heard makes the most fantastic sandwiches), quiches, sandwiches, etc. I’ve only been able to sample the quiches (A Quiche Lorraine and a Spinach Ricotta), which were each so savory, it didn’t matter if you had them warm or cold. The crust along makes my mouth drool just thinking about it. And the filling has just the right blend of flavors. It’s hardly bland and you can taste how each ingredient compliments the others. At $4.50 each, this is definitely a snack or small breakfast I would love to treat myself to. I didn’t take a photo of the last quiche I got (I ate in the car and forgot I hadn’t taken a picture), but just know everything in this store looks incredible.

The last display is where it get’s really dangerous. Because if you’re a recent college grad such as myself and not making the big bucks, you’re always looking for the best deal. I’m usually going for the “whatever gets me the most food for the least amount of money” sort of thing. But Bakery Nouveau is a special treat and you can’t skimp there. So after feeling completely overwhelmed by the intesity of everything, I put my bargain hat on. The pizzas you can pass on if you’re not that hungry; the cakes you can pass on because you don’t want to buy a whole cake for yourself or spend close to $5.00 for a slice of cake; you can even pass on the sandwhiches or quiches if you were able to pass up the pizzas. The last display has an incredibly delectable assortment of pastries. Each one is beautifully crafted, and it’s hard to determine what you want exactly, if you are a snacker like me. I could definitely bringing a friend or two and sharing whichever desserts you decide to go with. That way you can sample each one. Nothing gets a reaction out of me better than their Cherry Almond Croissants. When I went this past weekend, the workers told me they hadn’t made any in a while, so I got the next best thing. A Twice Baked Croissant. Exchanged for $3.85, this is probably the most intense pastry I’ve ever had. The crust is flaky, but the entire piece is so dense, one can only handle so much rich sweetness. It is soaked in simple syrup and stuffed with almond cream. It is then topped with sliced Almonds, powder sugar and more almond cream. Drool……

Besides the croissants and quiche on my last visit, I bought an 8-inch Phoenix Mousse for my mom’s birthday. I can’t even describe this cake any better than their website describes it:

“This cake scored the highest points in the National Pastry Championship, 2005. It is a triple layer mousse cake with a delicate balance of pear mousse, 70% chocolate mousse, caramel mousse, pecan dacquoise and chocolate sponge cake. All covered with a caramel glaze.”

Don’t forget your morning, afternoon, evening, or anytime of day latte at the bakery as well. Although I’m not much of a coffee drinker, I heard the espresso is quite tasty.

After several successful visits, here I am. I’ve also learned that Bakery Nouveau is home to mutliple award winning bakers. Another great perk is that the bakery is open late. Later than any bakery I’ve ever been to. 7 or 9 p.m. seven days a week. Needless to say this place is doing well, catering to all types of events, and sponsoring many local events and charities.

So the next time you are in West Seattle, don’t leave without making a stop for a little slice of heaven.

Rating *****
Bakery Nouveau
4737 California Ave SW (at the Alaskan junction)
Seattle, WA 98116

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