Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pain D'Avignon

          Pain D'Avignon is a family owned bakery that was founded in Cape Cod in 1992. For years they were a wholesale operation, producing the highest quality breads and other baked goods from scratch. About seven years ago they expanded first to a small Boulangerie, and eventually to a full service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I recently had the opportunity to try the restaurant for breakfast, tour the bakery, and speak General Manager Mario Mariani who is truly passionate about the business.

           Upon walking in, I immediately felt like I was in a small cafe in Paris. Breakfast is more casual; you order at the counter and can take the food to go or sit at any of the dining room or patio tables. Lunch and dinner are full service in the bar or dining room.

           We started with breakfast, and tried a large portion of the menu starting with the croque madame and spinach crepe with parmesan. Both were served open faced with over easy eggs on top. I was most excited to try the croque madame, but the crepe ended up being my favorite (although it was a close call).

          Next we tried an almond croissant, and it was surprisingly the first time I'd ever tried one. My first reaction was "I can't believe what I've been missing!" although I'm sure most don't compare to Pain D'Avignon. This was warm with tons of gooey cinnamon in the middle, almost like the top of a cinnamon bun. 

          Finally, we shared the Oeufs Pochés: two poached eggs over crispy polenta, served with housemade sausage and tomato compote. This reminded me of shakshuka, but more refined in both presentation and flavor. I loved the contrasting textures of the fried polenta, and the combination of the runny egg and dallop of tomato compote.

          When we couldn't eat another bite, we headed out back for a tour of the bakery. I can't even begin to describe the amount of care and attention to detail that goes into each and every product. It was truly unlike anything I've ever seen. 

          After tasting the end result I never want to eat mass produced bread again! I brought home a bag of the bakery items, and just today one of my coworkers commented on my sandwich saying the bread looked homemade. 

          Pain D'Avignon is available at several local farmers markets (including Sowa) as well as Whole Foods. If you're ever in Hyannis, you have to check out the restaurant!

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