Our Rating: A++
The French have long maintained a reputation for crafting some of the most delectable pastries. French pastry chefs, or maîtres pâtissiers, master the fine art of baking pastries after years of practice as well as countless hours of dedication to their craft. The culinary creations these maîtres pâtissiers make are only testaments to their expertise. All over the world, these master bakers opened restaurants and bakeries showcasing some of the most iconic French pastries as well as their own inventions — Atelier Monnier is no exception. Dedicated to making French pastries of the finest quality, chef and owner Patrick Feyten introduced Miami to the beauty of French baking with Atelier Monnier.
Atelier Monnier is undoubtedly one of the best French bakeries in Miami. From traditional pains au chocolat to more “exotic” apricot croissants, Atelier Monnier offers a wide array of croissants to choose from. The dough and crust are fundamental parts of any pastry and they are what defines an okay pastry and an exceptional one. Atelier Monnier’s puff pastry dough should be used as the standard for comparing all other pastry dough. Golden, flaky, light and buttery, every pastry is baked to perfection while offering that satisfying “crunch,” a characteristic of excellent pastries.
“I think [what makes a good pastry is] all really [in] the bread that’s made since all the French pastries I’ve managed to taste rely on the almost golden crunchy texture and then the flakiness that comes afterward,” senior Nidia Volmar said.
While the dough is essential, flavors are also critical components of a pastry. Every pastry offered at Atelier Monnier has fillings made with natural and high-quality ingredients, greatly enhancing the taste of the pastry as a whole. The apricot croissant is a notable example: two gently glazed apricot halves are nestled in a warm and crunchy bed of puff pastry, surrounded by light vanilla cream. When the croissant is toasted, the glaze on top of the apricots slowly begins to melt, fusing with the vanilla cream and coating the puff pastry. At the first bite, one feels the crunch of the dough and tastes the contrast of flavors between the sour tang of the apricot and the sweetness of the vanilla cream. Truly, the apricot croissant is worth ordering again and again.
Despite Atelier Monnier’s impressive mastery of croissant-making, the bakery also offers a noteworthy selection of other French desserts and delicacies, such as macarons, choquettes, chocolate truffles and specialty cakes they call carrés. The Saint-Honoré is a classic French dessert which Atelier Monnier executes perfectly. A giant choux, or cream puff, is topped with vanilla whipped cream and smaller choux that are dipped in a crunchy caramel shell. Even though a full-sized Saint-Honoré is sure to please any crowd, Atelier Monnier also offers mini versions so one can indulge by oneself. On the other hand, Atelier Monnier is also well-known for its savory menu items such as quiches, croque monsieur sandwiches, artisanal bread, baguettes and brioches.
“Raspberry tarts are the prime mix of sweet and strong and sugary and flaky and delicious,” senior Angie Lopez said.
Currently, Atelier Monnier has four locations open, although the Pinecrest and Brickell locales are the most popular. Many of their products can also be ordered online ahead of time which is especially useful when planning a party. For an authentic taste of French culinary traditions, one should definitely visit Atelier Monnier.