Friday, June 01, 2012

Hello Sugar...

by contributor Wendy Gordon

Friday may have been raining cats and dogs, but downtown, it was raining confections.  Hello, Sugar.    

Paul Bakery celebrated its opening at its new location at 1000 Connecticut Avenue at the  corner of the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and K Street northwest, right by the Farragut West Metro.  How excited are we?  Probably about as excited as all the local offices and residents who’ll be hitting the new location for a grab and go lunch and high end sugar fix.


The walls were busting with guests who sipped wine and champagne.  The guests were bursting with tarts, sandwiches, baguettes, quiche and salads while celebrating this new Mecca of all things French pastry.  PAUL’s breads are made fresh daily from an organic, locally sourced flour milled exclusively for the bakery/café and are naturally fermented and are made without additives or preservatives. See?  Healthy.  Among the most popular breads: Le Charlemagne, a baguette bread made from whole wheat flour featuring a thin crust and dense center; pain 7 cereales, a fiber-rich, flavorful bread made with seven healthy grains; and fougasse aux olives, a bread from Southern France made with olive oil and chunky green and black olives.  

Adding to the experience is the company’s renowned Viennoiserie which features melt-in-your-mouth, buttery pastries such as croissants, pain au chocolat, escargot aux raisins (raisin Danish), turnovers and macaroons, all prepared daily at the bakery. 

PAUL’s sweeter side is showcased with an impressive selection of seasonal cakes and tarts: From French favorites such as the crispy, crème filled Millefeville  (Napoléon) to decadent desserts such as Moellux au Chocolate, a soft, dense dark chocolate cake that is simple yet indulgent and intricate seasonal specialties such as Seasonal Fruit Tarts featuring loads of seasonal fruit picked at its ripest and paired with flaky, sugary crust and crème pâtissière. Realizing that we have neither pride nor listen to our own inner monologues, we walked out with about five bags full of…well…of everything. 

PAUL is France’s leading bakery, founded in 1889 by the Holder family and has continued baking bread in the traditional manner for over 120 years.  There are currently nearly 500 bakery-cafes worldwide in over 25 countries.  Their  US Flagship bakery-café in Penn Quarter opened  May 2, 2011, with a second bakery opened in Georgetown on November 21, 2011.  PAUL hopes to open two more bakery cafés in the DC Metro area this year, with more locations on the horizon in 2013.

Even though PAUL is opening in a brand new glass, steel and granite building, its interior design inspires French comfort in a warm and welcoming ambiance, reminiscent of authentic French bakeries, and decorated so guests feel transported to a traditional boulangerie café in France. The 2000 sq ft bakery will seat 28 people inside, and a soon-to-open outdoor patio will accommodate approximately 20 people.  Woot!

But wait…there’s more….on June 4th, PAUL will be officially open to the public and will be be featuring a special giveaway with purchase.   PAUL will give a FREE flute (baguette) OR a large macaroon (in chocolate, raspberry or pistachio flavors) to the first 1000 people who make a purchase at their new locale.  Note: It's going to be a crazy day, so the staff will be determining what they are handing out when—we recommend good timing, patience, and the idea you get more action with honey than with vinegar…just sayin’.