Somethin’s cookin’ on the Hill. It’s probably baked goods.
The long awaited West Seattle staple Bakery Nouveau has set up shop on Capitol Hill.
“Take a bite of anything, and you’ll see why people make special trips to West Seattle to experience the unforgettable charm of Bakery Nouveau” claims the establishment’s website. Fortunately enough for residents of the Hill, such special trips are no longer necessary. The bakery, originally located in West Seattle, now boasts a franchise on 15th Ave. and John Street.
Strolling into Bakery Nouveau is a nostalgic experience. The space is generously large with plenty of seating available for customers. Despite the size, the interior décor creates a relatively quaint and intimate feel, quintessential to the passionate bakery-goer’s experience. The various hues and lights filling the place danced about the wide-open windows and tables in a way that highlighted the display of food.
Food, in this case, is a drastic understatement. When you find yourself in a generic bakery, you might seek a cookie, brownie or maybe an éclair if you’re feeling especially fancy. Bakery Nouveau, however, makes the decision far more difficult. After surveying the general inventory of the cases—the contents of which is nestled in a way that shows off every option available—you must first choose between savory and sweet.
Upon tasting each of these categories, I surprisingly must recommend the savory when it comes to Bakery Nouveau.
I have an undeniable sweet tooth–a taste of cake with a perfect consistency (moist, but not dense) in conjunction with a silky layer of frosting is all I want in life—therefore, the opportunity to taste various types of bakery treats for a reason was fairly thrilling.
To maximize my bakery-going experience, I researched the highest rated items of the establishment. I discovered that the item most universally praised is the twice-baked croissant. Both the chocolate and almond flavored pastries heralded innumerable compliments regarding their flaky texture and to-die-for quality.
“Enjoy the buttery taste of our croissants, delicate and flaky. Sink your teeth into our famous baguettes,” the website said.
This was the experience I was expecting, but it was not quite the reality of the situation.
Additionally, the bakery describes its bread as an entity you can sink your teeth into, and regrettably, this description is one that could be used equally for the croissants.
After looking forward to the outing all day, I ambled into the bakery accompanied by two ravenous teenage boys and set on a Parisian pastry experience. The three of us made clear our zeal for fine food by conservatively ordering a vanilla bean ganache truffle, a slice of hazelnut-pecan truffle mousse crunch cake, a croque monsieur sandwich, a quiche laden with bacon and cheese, and finally, the heavenly chocolate croissant.
Being an instant gratification personality type, I went immediately for the top item of the list. I picked up the croissant with the highest of expectations, until my teeth sunk into the bulk of the pastry. The croissant was topped with a layer of slightly soggy powdered sugar that did not quite compliment the bread of the item. Then, as we worked our way into the body of the dish, it evolved into a paste-like substance resembling applesauce. Regardless, our party finished the last of the treat, to the dismay of our stomachs.
Customer Byron Joyner agreed with the croissant disappointment.
“Bread is a totally different experience from baking pastries,” said Joyner.
Although the croissant was not quite the delicacy we were anticipating, the remainder of the goods did not fail to disappoint in the least. The eggs in the quiche were as fluffy as they could be while maintaining the structural integrity of the meal. The flavor of the bacon and gruyere coalesced exquisitely to permeate the entire dish. Comparably as delicious was the croque monsieur, a classic dish filled with the perfect ratio of Dijon mustard. The mousse cake was indescribable. It was Nutella and mousse taken exponentially beyond the next level—the chocolate truffle was divine.
Although he wasn’t crazy about the croissants, Joyner also told me that this was his second time at the bakery in a single day, a testament to how he really felt about the place. He pointed out its location as a well-trafficked area and gave high praise to the other foods.
In addition to the goods we tasted, Bakery Nouveau offers a variety of delicious-looking cakes, breads, chocolates, pizzas—essentially everything one would desire from a bakery. The prices were very reasonable, the atmosphere extremely welcoming and the food incredible. Despite the slightly misleading croissant reviews, the entire experience was enjoyable. Surrounded by families and dates having equally enjoyable experiences, the scene was merely bakery-filled bliss.