Two New Bakeries in the Downtown
Is there any culture or cuisine that worships bread more than the French? Doubtful. It can be argued that the French Revolution was sparked as much by poor wheat harvests and a lack of fresh bread in the late 1780s than merely hatred of the aristocracy.
In the Gables, there has long been a dearth of French bakeries. Chocolate Fashion Andalusia has been the lone stalwart for years (and yes, chocolate is another French obsession). Now two new players have joined the scene.
Gustave, on 366 Miracle Mile, was launched at the end of last year (they proudly put “Est. 2020” with their logo). While it declares itself a French restaurant, they also bake with a vengeance, including the best baguette you will find anywhere, along with a nice assortment of croissants and tarts. With their new outdoor seating and awning, they have also become a weekend brunch hot spot.
Gustave was launched by two Parisians, Quentin Dubois and Sam Dis, who have plenty of culinary experience; Dubois comes from the catering side, while Dis still owns two restaurants in Paris. And if you didn’t guess by now, the restaurant is named for Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed that little tower named after him.
Meanwhile, L’Artisane has sprung up at 2526 Ponce. It would be an exceptional bakery just by virtue of its selection – strawberry tarts, apple pie croissants, chocolate pastries, peanut butter cookies, pecan cookies, macarons, madeleines – but has the added accolade of being vegan. That means nothing from animals, including no butter (or cheese) for the baked goods, and no milk for the coffee.
No matter. L’Artisane proudly declares itself to be the first vegan French bakery in the U.S., and the only mystery is how they get their goods to taste so good without the contribution from cows. But they do. And, as for the café au lait, go for the creamy oat milk. Even better: Next door they will soon launch a sister shop that sells only doughnuts.