Just a year ago San Francisco didn't have any hometown examples of the stylish, modern patisseries one finds in Paris, with their gleaming vitrines filled with colorful, expertly crafted desserts. Now we have three. Belinda Leong's much-blogged-about patisserie project, b. patisserie, is finally becoming a reality tomorrow after a few last-minute hold-ups with inspections, and it joins Yigit Pura's Tout Sweet and William Werner's Craftsman & Wolves in a new local pastry boom. The shop at California and Divis, in the former Crepe & Coffee (2821 California), has been remodeled and tricked out with the sort of fancy display case found in those Parisian patisseries, and it's the first of its kind in the U.S. the marble surface has variable temperature settings so that it can be room temperature for baked goods, like croissants and Leong's famous kouign ammans, or chilled down for cold items, like mousses and tarts.
There is seating for 25 in the new space, and a bright, airy café vibe. Oh, and the coffee? It will be Four Barrel.
Leong cut her teeth as pastry chef at Gary Danko and Manresa before breaking out on her own. Her solo operation has been a pop-up for the last year, and we've already gotten to know some of her signatures besides those kouign ammans (a type of croissant-like pastry from Breton that crown-shaped, sugary crisp at the edges and can be filled with chocolate or fruit), like her American candy-inspired macaron flavors, like Watchamacallit, Snickers, Mounds, and Lemonheads.
Michael Suas (Thorough Bread, TMB Baking) is her on the project, and he's assisting on the savory side, with a custom levain bread that Leong will be using to make open-faced tartines, like one with fromage blanc, caramelized onions, pickled onions, bacon, and Gruyère. There are also some cheese sticks that Ms. Tablehopper already says are "addictive."
The place is opening for business tomorrow, Tuesday, February 12.
b. patisserie - 2821 California Street at Divisadero - Hours, upon opening, will be Tuesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.