Recently a young man who is currently a sophomore at Georgia Tech emailed me and asked me to name some of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta. I only had 10 minutes right then to reply back, and below is exactly what I came up with…unedited! $’s indicate how pricey it is. Given more time, the list may look a bit different, but again this is what came to mind in 10 minutes:
My recent post about a brand new bakery and cafe in Tampa called Mikey’s and their nicely made Pain au Chocolat reminded me of the most authentic French patisserie that I have been to in the United States. It happens to be in Atlanta! Douceur de France is tucked into the hills north of Atlanta and is famous in those parts for so many reasons.
The owner, Luc Beaudet was born in the Poitou region of France, learned how to cook from his mom, and she inspired him to pursue a formal training in the Art of Patisserie. After earning his degree, Luc enrolled in “Les Compagnons du Devoir du Tour de France”, an organization dedicated to touring France and Europe to learn the pastry techniques unique to each region. He helped open La Madeleine French Bakery in Atlanta and then in early 2000 he started Douceur de France.
I could go on and on about how they must use the same ingredients and water from France, because just the scent when you walk in transports you to a cafe in France. Not some ritzy, nose stuck up in the air, you stupid American get out of my restaurant kind of cafe. This is the kind of place you would find in the South of France. (I’m partial to the south because I am a southerner here and have a theory about the north and south of most countries) It’s the kind of place you want to spend all morning with friends, enjoying a scrumptious breakfast or brunch that isn’t limited to just your typical French breakfast of a croissant and coffee, and makes you feel warm all over. The fact that their first location was in a nice little house tucked up in Marietta confirms that they knew how to appeal to down-to-earth Atlantans!
The only care you will have when walking into this emporium of delicacies is choosing which pastry to start with. The fruit tarts, cookies, and petits fours all give the pain au chocolat a run for its money. Or you can just get them all.
Luc, if you ever feel like having a place to perform your magic closer to the beach, Tampa would be ready!
Check out their blog for updates about their menu and other fun Atlanta events.