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Smaller bakeries/patisseries


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#1 poutine

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 08:14 AM

Based on some suggestions from other e-Gulleters, stopped by yesterday and indulged in what I thought were the best canolli's I've ever tasted. Other cakes & patries looked awfully good as well. The establishment's name escapes me however.

I have seen a thread where Lesley C. commented (to paraphrase) that she is not very thrilled with the state of patisseries in Mtl and I wonder how folks feel about some of the smaller operations in the city. Walking along Mont-Royal East from St-Laurent to Papineau one comes across many small bakeries/patisseries that always seem filled with customers.

Can people comment who they feel makes the best canolli and is that your favorite patisserie/bakery? If not there, where? If hybrids count (eg. it's a restaurant/bakery/patisserie), I would vote highly for Olive & Gourmando, their bread is out of this world and their brownies are incomparable. And if you can finish one of their chocolate brioches in one sitting without assistance, Bravo!!!

#2 carswell

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 09:01 AM

The Italian pastry shop is Alati Caserta (277 Dante, 514 271-3013). It gets my vote for the city's best canollis. Their lobster tails are legendary, too, and the assorted cookies not to be missed.

Less refined but definitely worth checking out are the custard tartlets (aka tartelettes à la crème, for some reason) at the Portuguese bakery on the northwest corner of Rachel and, I believe, Laval. The almond tartlets are nothing to sneeze at, either.

#3 poutine

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 11:41 AM

Oh Carswell! Thanks for reminding me ... I had almost forgotten about those lovely custard tartlets that a former co-worker once brought to a pot luck lunch. He picked them up from that very same Portuguese bakery on Rachel and they were delish! Next time at Alati Caserta will try the lobster tails but honestly, everything looked sooo good.

#4 sf&m

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 02:13 PM

Speaking of Custard Tart(lets). (And a bit off topic.) Anybody know of a good place for Chinese Dim Sum or bakery custard tarts? (In SF they are common in Dim Sum places.)

And btw, anyone making "Pricess Cake" in Montreal? It's a rounded profile cake covered with light green colored marzipan.

/gth

#5 poutine

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 02:19 PM

I've enjoyed the egg tarts at both Tong Por & Lotte and I'd give the edge to Lotte (both for Dim Sum & tarts). There's a few ok bakeries on the people-only part of La Gauchetiere but again, edge to Lotte.

#6 tocino

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 07:27 AM

The tastiest ones used to be at Peche Delice, (beside jade garden) but it closed a few months ago, sadly missed. Dim sum giant ruby rouge (Clark south of Gauchetiere) does them very well, using nice flaky pastry - not that gummy provigo bakery style crust.

#7 Culatello

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 07:47 AM

Carswell Relax on the city's best cannolis and lobster tails.

The old Alati Caserta was great this one now isn't so hot ,Go to Alati on Jean-Talon
in St.Leonard there the Original onwers of Alati Caserta.

They have the best Cannoli,Lobster tails,&Sfogliatellamust try
and Zepploe San Giuseppe ( March 19 only ) must reserve 2 Weeks in advance.In the city Take my word, in one day I did the whole Island in search for the best cannoli & Sfogliatella.

2nd best cannoli goes to LaSalle in R.D.P they also make a good Cartuccio.

Edited by Culatello, 20 April 2004 - 07:48 AM.

Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia
My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994
I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

#8 pss999

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 08:07 AM

Anyone have any opinions on the new little Non Solo Con Pane Italian bakery in Dorval (across from Rallye Tires)? I stopped in last Saturday and picked up few goodies. They seem to really specialize in Italian pastries (not breads or other such items), and they all looked really nice and fresh and scratch-made (and tasted good to me and my family too, but we're not at all familiar with Italian pastries).

The young men and women running it sure were friendly too. Said they'd been there about a year.

Paul

#9 carswell

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 09:51 AM

Poutine, am surprised at the relative dearth of replies. I'd have thought everyone had a favourite pastry shop or two...

Anyway, changing gears a bit, Montreal also has some fine baklawa makers. My two faves are Pâtisserie Dorée (1560 Dudemaine) and Noisettine (9465 Charles-de-Latour). Some of the baklawa at Adonis are pretty good, too.

And btw, anyone making "Pricess Cake" in Montreal? It's a rounded profile cake covered with light green colored marzipan.

Have never seen a princesstårta outside of Scandinavia, sf&m. But, then again, I've never been to Minneapolis. It'd probably not be too hard to make, although getting the marzipan perfectly smooth and seamless could prove a challenge. I also miss fettisdagsbullar (mardi gras buns, for the non-Swedish speakers) — filled with almond paste, not whipped cream TYVM — and fresh cloudberries and wild strawberries, to say nothing of the endless varieties of sill (pickled herring). On the other hand, surströmming (fermented herring) and blodpuding (pig's blood and flour) I can live without. Actually, with the exception of crispbread, pepparkakor (Swedish ginger snaps) and the limited range of items at IKEA, Swedish products are hard to come by in Montreal.

Carswell Relax

Gee, sorry if strike you as high-strung, Cully. Time to get that Zoloft scrip refilled, I guess.

Go to Alati on Jean-Talon in St.Leonard

Thanks but no thanks. Maybe in 2015 when the blue line's extended. Until then, St-Léonard = Siberia. Meanwhile, I'll just have to suffer Alati-Caserta's inferior products. Oh, well, ignorance is bliss.

#10 sf&m

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 01:14 PM

For Baklawa try Picadilly (greek bakery) in ParcX. Also have those custards you cut from a pan like baklawa. (and very nice REAL yoghurt if so inclined.)....etc.

Re: Custard tarts, Thanks, I need to try some Montreal Dim Sum anyhow.

Yeesh, Carswell, you never cease to amaze me! I've only just started following your foraging trail for duck confit. Thanks for that BTW.

For a demo how to make the Marzipan Dome for the Pricess Cake check this link:

Pictoral Princess Demo

or

[URL=http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~mjw/recipes/cake/mp-cake-coll-4.html#10]Princess cake recipe in English[/URL

I can get Princess Cake at my local italian bakery (Victoria) in SF so I thought some of the European flavour bakeries here might have it.

/gth

#11 carswell

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 01:46 PM

For Baklawa try Picadilly (greek bakery) in ParcX. Also have those custards you cut from a pan like baklawa. (and very nice REAL  yoghurt if so inclined.)....etc.

That pastry's called galaktobouriko (or letters to that effect). In the '80s there was a tiny Greek bakery on the corner of Napoléon and Hôtel-de-Ville or de Bullion that made the city's best crusty white rolls and absolutely killer galaktobouriko. One day I asked the clerk what the name meant and suddenly made the etymological connection between lactose, galaxy and the Milky Way. Haven't been to Picadilly, so thanks for the tip.

The baklawa shops I mentioned above make Middle Eastern (Lebanese, I believe) baklawa, by the way.

Marché P&A on Park between St-Joseph and Laurier also sells excellent thick yogurt (half cow's milk, half goat's milk). Perfect for making tzatziki.

Thanks for the princesstårta link. Can't display it because I recently ditched Explorer for Firefox and haven't yet installed the Java plug-in, but I will.

Is your SFBA Italian princess cake the genuine article?

#12 identifiler

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 03:53 PM

Because of unfortnate timing we had baklawa back to back from Adonis and from Petit Milos. Obvioulsy, there was a price tag difference.

The philo at petit milos is really really good, so any flat shaped baklawa are out of this world and the honey is clearly top notch. The best baklawa from Adonis were the stringy ones with nuts (the ones with a more weathy taste). Most but specifically the flat ones (small squares with lifted corners and pistachio in the middle) never came close to the ones of Petit Milos.

There are many places in that area for pastries, I can't really think of canollis since I get mine in a cheese shop in Saint Lambert.

In that area, Fous Dessert comes to mind. How about Motta pastry-bakery on Mozart just on the side of Jean Talon market, they should have a good canolli there. I think most of the other places are french pastries and chocolate shops

#13 carswell

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 04:04 PM

If I've seen baklawa at Le Petit Milos, it didn't register. Where do they keep them, ID? Do they make their own or purchase them from a bakery?

In my limited experience, Motta is uneven and OK at best. (My experience is limited because I quickly learned to head for Alati-Caserta.) Have never tried their cannoli but their lobster tails are nothing to write home about.

#14 SteveW

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:21 PM

The baklawa at Le Petit Milos are excellent, the best I've ever tasted. I think they keep the baklawa next to the cash register area(top of the display case I think). It's the same baklawa that they have at Milos. Le Petit Milos make their own baklawa & they charge a pretty hefty price.

-Steve

Edited by SteveW, 20 April 2004 - 10:25 PM.


#15 SteveW

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:34 PM

Carswell Relax on the city's best cannolis and lobster tails.

The old Alati Caserta was great this one now isn't so hot ,Go to Alati on Jean-Talon
in St.Leonard there the Original onwers of Alati Caserta.

They have the best Cannoli,Lobster tails,&Sfogliatellamust try
and Zepploe San Giuseppe ( March 19 only ) must reserve 2 Weeks in advance.In the city Take my word, in one day I did the whole Island in search for the best cannoli & Sfogliatella.

2nd best cannoli goes to LaSalle in R.D.P they also make a good Cartuccio.

I've got to try Alati then. I heard of Alati before, but I had heard it was the second location of Alati-Caserta with the same owner. Now you tell me, Alati are the original owners of Alati-Caserta.

-Steve

#16 SteveW

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:48 PM

Anyone have any opinions on the new little Non Solo Con Pane Italian bakery in Dorval (across from Rallye Tires)? I stopped in last Saturday and picked up few goodies. They seem to really specialize in Italian pastries (not breads or other such items), and they all looked really nice and fresh and scratch-made (and tasted good to me and my family too, but we're not at all familiar with Italian pastries).

The young men and women running it sure were friendly too. Said they'd been there about a year.

Paul

Been to Non Solo Con Pane Italian bakery in Dorval. Basically on my visits there, I have just tried their cannolis(their speciality), & found them excellent. They make 3 kinds of cannolis(different fillings).

Are they any great Lebanese or Greek bakeries/patisseries in Laval from anyone?

-Steve

Edited by SteveW, 20 April 2004 - 10:53 PM.


#17 unreserved

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 10:52 PM

Greek (not Turkish) baklava and Arabic baklawa are entirely different breeds. Although I must admit that I have not tried the ones at Le Petit Milos, I doubt they would be the same you would find at Adonis (which is not the best place to get baklawa IMO).

As for Gelato, I returned from Vienna last week and I am devastated to report that Montreal really does not know Gelato. I sampled (every day) unbelievably delicious Gelato from a place named Zannoni – if someone can get the recipe to that stuff and bring it Montreal, they would rule the Gelato scene hands down.
Anthony - aka "unreserved"

"Never eat at a place called 'Moms', but if the only other place in town has a sign that says 'Eats', go back to Moms."
W. C. Fields

#18 carswell

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Posted 20 April 2004 - 11:26 PM

Greek (not Turkish) baklava and Arabic baklawa are entirely different breeds.  Although I must admit that I have not tried the ones at Le Petit Milos, I doubt they would be the same you would find at Adonis (which is not the best place to get baklawa IMO).

Middle Eastern vs. Greek: it's a point I made above but identifiler's pistachio-filled filo squares with the corners folded up sound like the staple of Lebanese pastry shops and restaurants. Don't recall ever seeing anything similar in a Greek establishment. Maybe Le Petit Milos is going pan-Mediterranean in the dessert department?

Arab (savoury) pastry story: Back in the '70s, barely functional in French and just beginning to learn about Middle Eastern food, a friend and I went to a cafeteria-style Lebanese restaurant somewhere on Côte Vertu. Spotting a pile of spinach turnovers (fatayer bi sabanikh), my friend asked the owner, "C'est fatayer?" The owner's demeanour instantly changed. Eyes flashing, he frowned, drew himself up and angrily replied, "Non, monsieur. C'est fait aujourd'hui!"

Edited by carswell, 21 April 2004 - 12:29 AM.


#19 unreserved

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 04:14 AM

my friend asked the owner, "C'est fatayer?" The owner's demeanour instantly changed. Eyes flashing, he frowned, drew himself up and angrily replied, "Non, monsieur. C'est fait aujourd'hui!"


lol :laugh: that's funny!
Anthony - aka "unreserved"

"Never eat at a place called 'Moms', but if the only other place in town has a sign that says 'Eats', go back to Moms."
W. C. Fields

#20 identifiler

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 06:39 AM

Ya, just wanted to confirm, the Baklawa at Petit Milos are kept in small numbers at the first counter when you enter (just above the olives). They are really amazing but pricy as hell. The green olives with almonds are also pretty sublime, 8.00$CAD for a small plastic container... I brought some home on a staurday afternoon, then did some work around the house, by the time I got back to the olives, everyone had a fiest on my olives... Damn those kids ! But I digress...

#21 sf&m

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 07:54 AM

Is your SFBA Italian princess cake the genuine article?
 



Carswell, let's put it this way - there has never been any leftovers! But of course it's not SWEDISH PricessCake - harumph!

Now "we" just have to find it in MONTREAL.

/gth

#22 MaeveH

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 12:08 PM

In my limited cannoli experience, San Marco (1581 Jean-Talon E., 727-5401) is best. They fill the tubes on the spot so they don't get soggy.

#23 Culatello

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 06:58 PM

As for San Marco there was always a rivalrie between San Marco and Alati for cannolis I still prefer Alati

As for Carswell sorry if I offended you with the Relax
Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia
My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994
I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

#24 carswell

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 07:46 PM

The recent discussion on cannoli made me anxious to compare Alati-Caserta's with San Marco's and Alati's, and last weekend’s departure on sabbatical of a favourite disquaire at my neighbourhood Renaud-Bray provided the opportunity. Though I set out on Sunday intending to hit all three pastry shops, reason prevailed: not only was the schlepp to St-Léonard unappealing, the thought of eating three cannoli, however delicious, was vaguely nauseating. So I limited my purchases to two: Alati-Caserta (AC) and San Marco (SM).

As MaeveH foretold, SM filled the tubes to order; at AC, they were prefilled. Prices were similar: a half-dozen sets you back $13 at SM, $13.50 at AC.

The participants in this impromptu tasting included two disquaires, a cashier and yours truly. One of the disquaires also took the remaining four cannoli home, where he and his girlfriend investigated further. All except me were cannoli virgins, though both disquaires consider themselves connoisseurs of French pastry. All involved knew that the cannolis had been the subject of debate on this board, but no one except me knew which was championed by whom.

When opened, the boxes were greeted with cries of "wow" and "écoeurant." SM's pastry tubes were golden and flaky, AC's brown and solid. Both were liberally sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. In both cases, the filling was ricotta based. SM's filling appeared to incorporate chocolate shavings, AC's orange or lemon zest.

We began with the AC cannoli, which met with favourable comments all around. After a pause and an infusion of coffee from Brûlerie St-Denis, we attacked the SM cannolis. Everyone agreed on the basics. The AC cannoli were sweeter, the filling slightly denser on the palate, the flavour more complex, including, maybe, a bit of cinnamon or almond. The tube had a toasty taste. For their part, the SM cannoli tasted more of ricotta and had a sourish tang. The chocolate shavings were not particularly discernible as a flavour. The tubes were crisp and flaky but had an faintly oily aftertaste.

After the first bite or two of their SM cannoli, both J. and P. declared it superior, praising the texture of the tube, the tang of the filling and the low level of sweetness. About halfway through, I wandered over to the cash to ask M. for her verdict. Both were good, she said, but she preferred the dark one (AC). When I arrived back at the service desk, J, and P. independently announced that they’d changed their minds and found the SM slightly bland and cloying. I concurred.

Everyone agreed that both were fine products and that the ranking had less to do with absolute quality than personal preference.

So, there you have it: a snapshot more than a scientific survey, but five out of five vote in favour of Alati-Caserta.

Or so I thought…

As mentioned above, J. took the four remaining cannoli home on his dinner break. This morning he sent me the following message (edited to protect the innocent):

Voici le résultat de ma seconde dégustation: Le clair est meilleur que le foncé. C'est aussi le constat de ma blonde.

Le foncé est plus corsé (roti à exces), plus chargé (zestes d'agrume, fort possiblement d'orange, présence d'une épice dans la pâte, possiblement canelle), plus lourd (la crème, même si extrêmement délicieuse, est grasse et plus sucrée).

Le clair est précisément l'inverse. Sa pâte est plus douce, moins cassante. Au moment où j'ai gouté la seconde fois le goût d'huile était complètement disparu. L'absence d'épice et du «toast» dévêt une pâte simple, mais délicieuse à mon goût. La crème plus fine et moins sucrée est plus légère et laisse la possibilité au gourmand d'en reprendre un second... Plus léger, plus discret, un peu comme si on avait appris les bonnes manières autrichiennes à un criard italien... Le caractère reste même si modéré. Somme toute, un vrai délice.

[Here's the result of my second tasting: the light one is better than the dark one. That's also what my S.O. thinks.

[The dark one is stronger tasting (overcooked), more laden (citrus zest, maybe orange; some spice in the pastry tube, maybe cinnamon), heavier (the cream is really delicious but also richer and sweeter).

[The light one is exactly the opposite. The pastry tube is softer, less brittle. When I tasted it the second time, the oily taste had completely disappeared. Unmasked by spices and "toast," the pastry is straightforward but, to my taste, delicious. The finer, less sweet filling is lighter and leaves the door open to seconds for the gourmand… Lighter, subtler, a bit like a gaudy Italian being taught Viennese manners… The character is still there if somewhat subdued. All in all, a pure delight.]

Final score: AC 3, SM 2. Make of it what you will.

Edited by carswell, 11 May 2004 - 06:09 AM.


#25 identifiler

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:40 AM

I always thought cannoli's were made with macarpone, I know the difference is slim but mascarpone has this grainy nutty taste not always found in ricotta.

#26 SteveW

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:54 AM

Cannolis are usually filled with ricotta(that's the Sicilian cannoli version). Alternatively custard or chocolate fillings can be used. Alati pastry shop I know has all three of these fillings available. San Marco has at least ricotto & custard fillings available(they probably have the chocolate filling but I didn't ask).

Carswell to make your Montreal cannoli test much more complete, you need to check the cannolis at Alati pastry shop soon to compare with Alati Caserta & San Marco. What you posted here of your taste test between AS & SM cannolis are fascinating.

-Steve

Edited by SteveW, 11 May 2004 - 07:50 AM.


#27 Culatello

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:55 AM

Carswell

Now that you've tried 2nd Best take the unpleasant journey to St.Leonard a & try the Best Cannoli's in the City
Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia
My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994
I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

#28 Culatello

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:56 AM

sorry

Edited by Culatello, 11 May 2004 - 06:58 AM.

Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia
My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994
I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

#29 Culatello

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:56 AM

Me again

Edited by Culatello, 11 May 2004 - 06:58 AM.

Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia
My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994
I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

#30 Culatello

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:56 AM

I pushed enter 3 times sorry

Edited by Culatello, 11 May 2004 - 06:59 AM.

Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia
My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994
I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .