Baguettes are just the beginning.
Recently opened in the ground floor of a new luxury apartment complex, Mademoiselle Louise is just the sort of bakery that despite its hustling and bustling downtown location is likely to succeed in luring passing young professionals to pause for a pain au chocolat.
Chef-owner Frederick Fortin (whose grandmother, Louise, serves as the namesake for the bakery) has created a space that is simultaneously sleek and sophisticated and warm and welcoming by juxtaposing neutral hues and clean lines with a bakery case filled with patisserie classics such as croissants, fruit tarts, and plump eclairs. Also, there's a stack of croque monsieurs ready to be reinvigorated by a brief toasting in the oven.
Late one recent weekday afternoon, I stopped by to purchase a baguette roughly the size of a baseball bat. It was warm to the touch despite the fact the shop was due to close in 30 minutes. Later, at home, I would discover its crackly outer crust belied a supple interior dough whose balanced yeasty flavors were fine on their own but only improved with a generous pat of butter. I also picked up one of Mademoiselle Louise’s signature creations, a croissant stuffed with pistachio cream, which seemingly lost none of its flakiness and notes of nutty cream when I enjoyed it as a mid-morning snack the next day.
I also had the opportunity to chat with the amiable Fortin about how he plans to expand Mademoiselle Louise’s offerings. In the coming months, sandwiches made to order with the bakery’s expanded selection of breads (I pleaded for brioche, which Fortin informed me was already in the plans) will be available for the lunch crowd. A more robust, diverse selection of desserts, including—for the holidays—(this author’s favorite) Bûches de Noël are in the works. Plus, cheese plates constructed from a rotating selection of regional French cheese may be added eventually.
The quality of Mademoiselle Louise’s basic goods certainly bodes well, but what I believe succeeds most is Fortin’s proclaimed commitment to making what can be intimidating and fancy pastries accessible to his local audience. I look forward to peeking back in soon to see his progress.