Jan. 16th, 2013

Head to Pain D'Avignon for Authentic French Cuisine

Photo Courtesy of Pain D’Avignon
If you live in New England, you’ve eaten their bread whether you realize it or not. Meet Pain D’Avignon, the Hyannis-based French bakery that has been churning out everything from braided brioche, crusty baguettes, buttery croissants and enormous bagels to chocolaty brownies, fruity biscotti and oniony focaccia (175 different products, to be exact). In the early morning hours, you can often encounter a wait (and for good reason) at this French bakery located on Cape Cod. After all, it’s here where many New England hotels (like Chatham Bars Inn, Ocean Edge Resort, The Langham Boston and Mohegan Sun) and restaurants like Boston’s Strega come for their bread supply.
 Pain D’Avignon

We paid a visit one weekend night to this café-by-day, bistro by night, transforming from Pain D’Avignon into Café Boulangerie. Typically speaking, Cape Cod in the winter is very slow but this cozy bistro was filled to capacity and after dining here, and we now know why. As soon as we arrived, we were quickly presented with a basket of freshly sliced (not to mention incredibly addicting) crusty bread served with a side of soft creamy butter topped with sea salt. Head Chef Rebecca Arnold has created a variety of daily specials from foie gras to flavorful flatbreads to go along with her French-inspired menu.
 Café Boulangerie

From our table, we had a clear view of the adjacent bakery where loaf after loaf was being cooked to perfection in the stone hearths. The bakery churns out anywhere from 6,000 to 15,000 pounds of bread each day. “We are a 365 day a year operation and are in the quality and quantity business so there is no rest for anything,” said General Manager Mario Mariani. “We are a hands-on operation where all of our products are weighed, portioned, made by hand and then distributed. The dough is made, chilled and then goes to a steam room. The warm steam bath allows the dough to rise to its intended height and when it is baked in the stone hearth, it gets a beautiful glaze that creates a nice crust.”
 French Cafe

Be sure to start off with a sampling of the escargots that arrive swimming in a pool of garlic butter, chanterelle and leeks served with what else but a side of toasted bread covered in melted Parmesan (pure bliss). Now move on to the ever addicting grilled flatbread – we chose the special of the day topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella, chives and roasted garlic.
French Bakery

Now that you have successfully engaged in carb overload, it’s time for dinner. We recommend the uber tender and super rich beef stroganoff with house made egg noodles, tossed with exotic mushrooms and red onion. The steak frites was a tender and juicy cooked to perfection thick grilled hangar steak served with a generous side of golden house made fries. Don’t forget to save room for the warm chocolaty dense brownie sundae served with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream from Four Seas and topped with hot fudge. You’ll thank us later. Pain D’Avignon is located at 15 Hinckley Road in Hyannis.
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Kellie K. Speed
Is a freelance travel writer with more than 20 years experience. She provides, travel and restaurant reviews, luxury pieces, product features for magazines such ...

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