PGH Dining: La Gourmandine

Whichever way you look at it, Husband and I have been lucky to live close to a bakery, and a French patisserie at that. La Gourmandine is affixed in a group of shops on Butler Street, across from the Boys & Girls Club at 46th street. I've neglected to write a PGH Dining post about La Gourmandine, mainly because we've been so often that it becomes somewhat commonplace. The "bakery" is anything but commonplace, however. 

We've had the chance to sample almost every offering they have, from breads to sandwiches to quiches to those lovely pastries and desserts. Everything is delicious, because it's made in the true French way, with no short cuts. 

You've seen the following desserts we gobbled up this past December
One of the Religieuses - Two tiers of choux pastry filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with fondant.
The pastry above was featured in the February issue of Pittsburgh Magazine {on page 49 if you want to know}. The article about the patisserie is on page 55, and features the head pastry chef, Fabien Moreau. The article lauds Moreau's work, and {wisely, in my opinion} urges each 'Burgher to visit the shop.
And these, too, which were our New Year's treats.
Husband's Tartelet au Citron {Lemon Tart}.
My Buche de Noel.
 Then, we shortly moved on to the breads. They all have a perfect crumb, but our favorite is he Pain aux Cereales, which is bread with sesame seeds, flax and sunflower seeds.

It reminds me of Seeduction bread from Whole Foods, but it's more hearty because of the amount of seeds. Seeduction is overwhelmed by seeds, and there isn't much room for the actual bread. The Pain aux Cereales is a perfect mix of both.

More recently, we stopped in for a quick snack of madeleines and coffee. 

Husband, for some weird reason unknown to me, loves his madeleines to be saccrine-sweet, with a pungent lemon flavor. I love a softly sweet madeleine that's scented with lemon. La Gourmandine achieves the latter. 

There's nothing better than dipping a lemony scented biscuit-type confection into a hot coffee. This brings me to a whole other discussion. Other French patisseries I've been to in the past have set the coffee standards fairly high. They have a house-brewed coffee, but also options for lattes, espresso and other 'specialty' drinks. La Gourmandine chooses to only offer carafe-pumped, self-served coffee. Don't get me wrong - I am a fan of the coffee they serve, but it's a bit of a contradiction between the superb baked goods they offer to the type of coffee service they offer. This is so nit-picky, I'm not going to spend any more time on it!

We also have had the chance to try most of their sandwiches {La Parisien, the ham, Swiss and butter is our favorite}, served on their homemade baguette. Continuing with their savory options, we purchased one of the Foccacia Garnie, which is a small round focaccia, topped with mozzarella, Parmesan, basil and tomato. 
Focaccia on the tray.
It was almost like a small pizza, but with actual bread as the crust. It wasn't greasy, as focaccia is sometimes. Lovely for a quick lunch.
 They also serve Foccacia aux olives, as pictured below. 
Of course, since I married an olive-hater, we didn't romantically share one of these. {In my dreams!}
Overall, I love each and every offering from La Gourmandine. It's a classic patisserie, and I feel lucky to have it in my neighborhood. 

La Gourmandine on Urbanspoon

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