Bayside bakery The French Workshop opened last week, and it is delivering on all its promises of high-end sweet bliss.
Traditional French desserts are offered at the Bell Boulevard location, including high-end, high-quality traditional breads, cakes, pastries and chocolates created on-site by both bakers and ovens commissioned from France. The menu also features American-style coffee roasted in-house from fresh coffee beans.
The shop’s Dec. 10 grand opening was attended by father-and-son team Nikolaos and Jerry Pantelatos, the Zorbas brothers of Zorbas Foods, Councilman Paul Vallone, Cyprus Ambassador Vassilios Philippou, Father Paul of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Shrine Church and Father Dennis of Holy Cross in Whitestone, among other well-wishers.
The Courier was invited to sample some of the bakery’s wares a few days after the initial excitement over the grand opening.
Profiteroles covered in chocolate glaze formed appetizing mounds that gave way to the decadent indulgence of a sweet cream center. Strawberry millefeuilles, a caramelized puff pastry layered with strawberries and cream, contrasted a crunchy top layer with the smooth texture of cream and freshness of strawberries for a unique experience which could only be found in a boutique bakery such as The French Workshop.
The space itself is pleasing to the eye, with a marble display counter that stretches down the length of the whole cafe. The choices of bread and desserts seem to be never-ending. Each treat available that day is featured in the glass case for patrons to peruse.
The sharp cleanness of the new displays are echoed by the clear glass panels that separate the counter from the kitchen area. One look behind these counters offers a peek into the baking process, assuring any customer that the products created in The French Workshop are as fresh as possible.
Nikolaos Pantelatos said that the neighborhood response to The French Workshop has been tremendous and that the store has been doing even better than expected in its first few days.
The Pantelatos family also runs Greek pastry shop Artopolis, which has Zagat-rated outposts in the Upper West Side and Astoria.
“We’re so proud of our product. We’re so proud of our stores,” Pantelatos said, “and I want to promise every one of our customers that we’ll get better and better.”
The French Workshop is located at 38-39 Bell Blvd. For the month of December, it will be open every day at noon.