Portioning levain dough at the Manresa Bread production site.
Spoiler Alert: That flaky, golden croissant you can’t wait to dig into at Manresa Bread consists of 1 part dough to 3 parts butter.
Maybe more than I wanted to know, too.
But at least I’ll own up to the fact that it still won’t stop me from nibbling on them any chance I get.
Which is exactly why I didn’t turn down an invitation to be part of a small group of media to visit Manresa Bread’s 3,400 square-foot production kitchen in Los Gatos last week.
The facility bakes the goods for both Manresa Bread retail locations in Los Gatos and Los Altos, as well as for Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, The Bywater restaurant in Los Gatos, and its stands at the Campbell and Palo Alto California Avenue farmers markets.
You smell the unmistakable aroma of yeast the moment you walk through the doors of the production kitchen. At a large wooden table, two bakers weigh and portion dough for the bakery’s crusty levain loaves.
Presenting L’Orange from Alexander’s Patisserie.
From the lighted, jewelry-like display cases to the tony, studded white leather wingbacks to the French marble tabletops, Alexander’s Patisserie oozes luxury.
The patisserie, which opened last year in downtown Mountain View, is by the team behind Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino and San Francisco, and The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto.
Executive Pastry Chef Dries Delanghe honed his skills at Pierre Herme in Paris before joining the team at Joel Robuchon Restaurant in Las Vegas.
Designed like a high-end boutique.
Taking a load off in style.
His pastries are exquisite looking. Individual domes and tarts, perfectly formed and flourished, are displayed like little works of art.
Fortunately, they deliver in taste, too, as I found recently when I purchased a few goodies to take home.
Front and center, the incredible kouign-amann from B. Patisserie, as well as a croissant and an apple brown butter coffee cake.
It’s a good thing I don’t live close to the new B. Patisserie in San Francisco’s lower Pacific Heights neighborhood — or I’d be 300 pounds.
If I lived within walking distance, it would be a far, far dangerous thing.
That’s because these are pastries worth every single calorie.
Pastry Chef Belinda Leong and business partner Michel Suas have created a very special place.
That’s because Suas, founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute, is a master of bread, which star in the bakery-cafe’s open-faced tartine sandwiches. And Leong knows her way with butter, having trained in Paris with Pierre Hermé, and staged at Fauchon in New York. She’s also headed the dessert side of the kitchen at Manresa and Gary Danko restaurants.
The result is the perfect neighborhood bakery that feels like a slice of Paris.