Sono Baking Company

44 Church LnWestport, CT 06880 • (203) 557-8626 • sonobaking.com

I can’t say I looooove Sono Bakery, but they definitely have far better croissants than Isabella et Vincent which everyone seems to tout. Guess I’m just spoiled by the ones I used to get at La Tulipe in Mt. Kisco, NY where I used to live. Although, to be fair, that was pretty stiff competition, because those croissants were world-class. Then again, to be fair in the other direction, Patisserie Florentine in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, and even the friggin’ Croissant Gourmet (terrible name) in Winter Park, FL both have much superior croissants, so I’m not sure what the problem is here in Westport, a town that has no shortage of amazing restaurants.

But before I get off on a rant (TM Dennis Miller), Sono has lots of merits. The first being that it’s more than just a bakery, offering a full menu of made-to-order breakfast and brunch options. Plus, the seating area and vibe inside is pretty cool, granted the parking situation outside is not. No parking lot and most of the street parking is off limits for one reason or another, making it feel more reminiscent of Manhattan than Westport. So personally, I recommend walking or biking if you’re close enough, it’ll help burn off what you’re about to eat.

And now for the BIGGEST reason to come here, two words; Monkey Bread. Yes, the Monkey Bread, or more like “money bread” steals the show. Dense and dripping with frosting. It’s worth a parking ticket, it’s so damn sintastic. I also dig their cranberry zucchini muffin for a less sweet option that’s nice and moist and can help balance things out if you go splitsies with someone on one of the sweeter options. #bestofbothworlds

Isabelle et Vincent

1903 Post RdFairfield, CT 06824 • (203) 292-8022 • isabelleetvincent.com

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I’m not sure what people are smoking, handing out stars to this place like it’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Maybe it’s the baguettes? I mean they are good, but not sure they’re worth smoking. What I am sure of is that the rest of the stuff isn’t even worth eating. The croissants are doughy, not flaky. The chocolate isn’t even partially melted in the chocolate croissant and the marzipan in the almond croissant tastes like actual paste. Oh, and the pain raisin doesn’t even hold up to an Au Bon Pain.

Yes, I know the chef is French, but it’s not like being French automatically makes you a good baker anymore than being American makes you automatically shitty at electing presidents. So my advice, for much better croissants just up the road, I definitely recommend SONO Baking Company over this place. Their croissants aren’t amazing either, but they are far superior to Isabelle’s. That said, if you truly want to taste the croissant mastery of a French baker head to La Tulipe in Mt. Kisco where I used to live (wistful sigh). Their croissants are so good we almost didn’t move.

My mother always told me to try to find something nice in everything though, so I will say that there is a semi decent vanilla bean and chocolate pastry amongst the losers and shockingly enough, they do have some winners, their wide selection of baguettes, which I mentioned above. We tried the parmesan and thyme and it is money. Not sure I’d ever make a special trip just for that, but it’s the only thing I will ever buy there if I return.

2 teeth

L’anjou Patisserie Francaise

130 N Bedford Rd. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 • (914) 242-4929lanjoupatisserie.com

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Once again La Tulipe was closed, so once again I found myself hunter-gathering a back up plan for our Sunday morning family croissant ritual. Having already tried Jean-Jacques in Pleasantville and Susan Lawerance in Chappaqua, Anjou was the last bastion of hope for a go-to alternative according to the wisdom of Chapp Moms.

And while Anjou was certainly the best of the attempts to find said alternate, I believe it’s best at this point if we just do the unthinkable and go croissantless for a week or two until La Tulipe reopens. Brutal, I know. First-World problems are the worst.

So why did Anjou come up short? Well, right out of the gate one has to take marks off for not serving things freshly baked. I got there as soon as they opened and the croissants were already as cold as the weather outside. Maybe I could forgive him if he was busy baking tons of other morning goodies, but the place is tiny and there were no other freshly baked excuses to be found.

My other major complaint is texture. The croissants are way too doughy. This is blasphemy as far as I’m concerned. If you can’t make a croissant flaky, you just shouldn’t be offering croissants. Consider yourselves on notice Jean and Susan. That’s right. I’m getting’ real up in this bitch.

But before I go too deep down this rabbit hole of criticism, I do have to give Anjou props for flavor. Surprisingly I found the chocolate within the chocolate croissants to be excellent. Perhaps even better than in Tulipe’s. Just not as ooey-gooey because they weren’t warm.

And while the marzipan in the almond croissants was also good in terms of flavor, it was nowhere near as good as at La Tulipe, which is a tall order considering La Tulipe’s almond croissant is an Ultimate.

2 teeth

Jean-Jacques

468 Bedford Rd. Pleasantville, NY 10570(914) 747-8191jean-jacques.com
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Once a year La Tulipe closes for a couple of weeks for their summer vacation, and when they do, it’s always a very dark time in the Ferocious Foodie household. But, rather than suffer the affliction of going croissant-less for two weeks (first-world problems are the worst), this year we decided to try a highly recommended alternative, Jean Jacques.Well, Fu Ku, I always appreciate the tips, but I’m afraid I can’t go there with you. Jacques is no La Tulipe. In fact, I think I’d rather eat a cold, La Tulipe croissant off of the floor than one of Jacques, fresh out of the oven. Sure it’s better than Susan Lawrence’s croissants, but that’s like bragging that you can outrun a two year old.

From the moment you enter the Jacques bakery you know you’re in trouble as nothing about the place gives you confidence in what you are about to put in your mouth. It feels like the cheap, typical bakery you go to for cookies when you’re the one who drew the short straw and has to bring dessert to a bris. All three croissants, the chocolate, almond and plain were nothing better than you’d find at an Au Bon Pain, which is actually pretty great for a chain, so in all fairness, if Jacques is farther from your house than La Tulipe or an Au Bon Pain, than I say don’t even bother.

2 teeth

 

 

La Tulipe Desserts

455 Lexington Ave. Mount Kisco, NY 10549(914) 242-4555latulipedesserts.com

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I find it shocking that people can give this place 1 star on Yelp based on a myopic sampling of macaroons (hence why I left Yelp). I defy anyone to find any bakery on the planet that does EVERYTHING with perfection.

That said, La Tulipe does a lot VERY well. So let’s start with what rocks… First, they have the best almond croissant I’ve ever had in my life. And yes, I’ve been to Paris. Even their plain croissant is in my top 3. The chocolate croissant ain’t too shabby either. In fact, let’s just say they’ve got the entire croissant family covered.

But croissants are just the tip of this delicious iceberg. Most of their cakes are excellent too. For example, their chocolate bomb cake IS the bomb. Beautiful inside and out. Probably the best I’ve ever had as well.

Their gelato is excellent- I recommend pistachio and chocolate and skipping every other game in town if you want truly serious ice cream.

Most of their muffins are VERY good.

And as for their macaroons, I’ve had about 6 different flavors from them and I have to say only about 2 were great. The rest just “eh.” But 1 star? Seriously? I mean it’s not like Bouchon is batting 100o either. But as long as we are pointing out the nits, there are a couple of others. Skip the carrot cake- granted they don’t usually make it, but if you commission one for a party, think twice. It will look pretty, but the taste is just okay. Also, the staff is a bit hit and miss. Not particularly warm and not particularly good at remembering your order, unfortunately. Although, the chef himself is very nice.

So, to set the record straight, let’s just recalibrate La Tulipe in terms of their competition… They blow Lulu’s in Scarsdale out of the water and the only other bakery in Westchester that has anything as transcendent as their croissants would be Sherri B’s in Chappaqua, with brownies so good you’d swear they were laced with something other than butter.

5 teeth