Fall has finally arrived in New York City and one of the most inviting places to celebrate it is in Brooklyn’s Boreum Hill. It is home to one of Brooklyn’s most authentic French boulangeries and it is a great way to spend a chilly weekend afternoon visiting Bien Cuit. French for “well done,” Bien Cuit is a small shop that takes traditional French baking techniques and applies modern flavor profiles to them.
Walking down Smith Street, finding the shop was difficult with white blinds covering the their windows and a small sign above them with a cut out of the shop’s name. Once found, I was taken aback by the smell of bread that floated out the door once it’s opened. Baguettes, brioche loaves, and sets of boule – a giant hemisphere of bread – lead me to believe that I wasn’t dreaming.
As I walked in, I noticed the rustic vibe of wood being used everywhere from the walls to the tables and chairs. It was inviting and warm, literally, and I quickly made my way to their selection. With a friend, I ordered a plain croissant, a chocolate almond croissant, and a huckleberry éclair. The thought process was to get something basic, then something a bit more different, and lastly something completely unique to Bien Cuit. Impressive doesn’t even describe the experience.
Starting off with the unique treat, the Huckleberry Éclair was very interesting. The chocolate shell, filled with huckleberry crème, enrobed in a creamy yogurt glaze and topped with chocolate balls was a combination of every texture and flavor profile something could have. The bitter chocolate shell paired up well with the sweet, yet tangy, huckleberry which has as similar flavor profile to blackberries. On top of that, the yogurt glaze on top brought everything together by toning down the intense fruit and the chocolate pearls provided a crunch element. Overall, it was something that was worth trying but didn’t live up to the hype from recommendations.
The chocolate almond croissant was next to hit my taste buds and it was so much better than expected. Based on looks, it seems intimidating. It’s a huge chocolate croissant filled with almond paste and topped with almond slivers and a touch of powdered sugar. Crunchy and sweet, it is something I could have for breakfast or even dessert. But it was the classic croissant that made me want to book a flight to France immediately.
Buttery, flakey, crunchy, soft, and heavenly are the words that came to mind as I took my first bite. When I say this changed the way I think about croissants, I mean it. It was the most perfectly executed croissant I’ve ever had and is the closest thing to the ones made in France. In fact, everything at Bien Cuit is the closest thing to a quality product found at any boulangerie in France.The prices for croissants and pastries range from $4.50-$9.00 and their sandwiches and bread loaves range from $10.00-$20.00. The area is filled with coffee shops, perfect to go with these baked good.Bien Cuit lived up to my expectations of having the best croissant in Brooklyn. It not only gave me a tasty treat but also a taste of France. Despite the steep prices, they serve quality products that can only be found at their store. I would recommend this place to someone who is willing to splurge a little and and wants to try a taste of France in Brooklyn.