>> Wednesday, July 20, 2011

109-01 72nd Road
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(347) 644-5606

If any of you readers have ever asked yourself "why does Manhattan get all the Le Pain Quotidien's?" you need hunger for one no longer. Now, we have one. It may be called La Boulangerie, but it's basically the same thing. Or it will be once it's up and running to full capacity. Apparently, the owners figured that they'd have a slow start, what with being all hidden away down a nondescript street and without so much as a website to call their own. But if the woman behind the counter's tone of voice was any indication, they were dead wrong.

Silly. Didn't they know Forest Hills has been itching for a real upscale French bakery for years?

The hours are still limited. They close at 4pm. When I got there, they were wiped clean. I got the last sandwich, there were only a few breads and, when I asked to see the menu, I was told that it wasn't ready yet, but would eventually have, in addition to their breads, sandwiches, paninis and soups. So I bought that lonely sandwich, ordered a cappuccino, and grabbed a seat. Jazz music played pleasantly. The interior is bright, with light woods and high ceilings. The stroller set will appreciate the bookshelf of children's books and available high chairs. Forest Hills is beginning to feel a little more Park Slopey.

A large communal table, the kind you might be seated at should you go to that aforementioned Le Pain Quotidien, takes up a third of the small dining area. All told, you might seat twenty patrons in here. When, not if, La Boulangerie gets its ball rolling to speed, I expect that the brunch crowd will have quite the wait.

La Boulangerie is, first and foremost, a bakery. Large glass windows open the clean white kitchen to both diners and passers-by. It's a relaxing place where you can go, have an espresso, read the Times, and smile in the knowledge that Forest Hills is finally becoming a little more refined.

The cappuccino was $3.25. The sandwich, which was very good, was $6.50.


Anonymous,  July 20, 2011 at 9:38 PM  

Don't know about you, but that's a grimy looking cappuccino. I'd be impressed if they could design a rosetta on top but I guess not. Having come back from France, I'd say this place is pretty average. Next please.

Anonymous,  July 21, 2011 at 11:03 AM  

Hey--the cappucino I saw did have a nice design on the front. And, BTW, in my experience not every place in France puts designs in the foam.

Anonymous: go to the place and try it yourself before trashing it. The bread and the croissants are delicious, as is the coffee, and while they have had some opening week glitches, I think it's precisely BECAUSE we in the hood recognize that it's a good place.

Petite-Fete July 21, 2011 at 2:09 PM  

Hello - I have to answer to anonymous. La Boulangerie is actually better than average. Everything I have had there so far is actually pretty delicious and the presentation has also been very good. And yes, I have been to France, and yes I have tasted all of its goodness. In my opinion, La Boulangerie is a piece of France right here in Forest Hills and I for one am happy they have planted roots in Forest Hills.

Anonymous,  July 29, 2011 at 7:19 AM  

Rosettas on top of cappuccinos is something of a trendy fad that doesn't really tell you that much about the quality of a cappuccino; the milk has to be properly micro-foamed, but the coffee doesn't even have to be espresso, and can taste like rubber for all it matters. The cappuccino looks fine, but no one but the person who drank it knows how it tastes from a picture.

cattyinqueens,  August 5, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

I am very happy this is here and hope it does just well enough to stay in business and not so well I won't be able to get a seat next to the electrical outlet! (i know...this is very selfish of me!)

cattyinqueens,  August 5, 2011 at 10:16 AM  

only slightly related: have you been to Old Vienna Cafe yet?

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