My hubby and I were enjoying a relaxing weekend in St. Augustine. We strolled along, hand-in-hand, exploring side streets and shops we’ve walked by countless times before. I love being a travel blogger in St Augustine!
This sign led us to a fantastic discovery… Denoel French Pastry.
A chalkboard hung outside the door shared some of their specials. We’d already eaten lunch, so we almost didn’t go in. We almost missed this St. Augustine gem!!
Denoel French Pastry has been owned and operated by the Guy & Christine Denoel for 45 years! The Mr. is a master pastry chef (originally from Belgium, he’s half French and half Flemish, she’s Flemish from Belgium) and he makes everything in the shop- from breads to profiteroles to cheesecake- the old-fashioned way. By hand. With butter. And it’s delicious.
I ordered a capucinno to warm up (it was one of our cold days in the fall!). Check out the cups- my grandparents in Miami had a set of these when I was a kid! I didn’t mind the old-school dishes, articles on the walls that are decades old, and memorabilia from the Denoels’ homelands. You see a snapshot of a lifetime of work faithfully poured into a business.
About the food… Chris ordered a cream puff. I think the French name is profiterole but he grew up eating his grandma’s cream puffs on Long Island, so cream puffs I shall call them. His Meem’s cream puffs were beyond amazing. He has *never* in our 14 years of marriage said any cream puff even comes close to Meem’s. Well guess what… he loved Denoel’s Swan Cream Puff!!
I opted for the French Cheesecake. It’s much more dense than the cheesecakes I’m used to and it sits on a shortbread-meets-cake base instead of a graham cracker crust. Mrs. Denoel said she never eats the base, it’s just to hold the cheesecake in place, and I think that’s great advice. Fill up on the cheesecake instead! It had a subtle citrus-y zing to it and was delish.
I’m looking forward to return visits. Denoel’s, like Bistro de Leon, offers delicious, authentic French food without the snotty & particular atmosphere Americans often associate with a French restaurant. Instead, you enjoy every bite in a comfortable, casual environment that allows you to be as fast- or preferably as slow- as you desire.