While we were underwhelmed by our dinner at Hotel Fauchère's Delmonico Room, we were floored by the quality of every single piece of bread that passed our lips - the apple walnut bread served with our cheese plate, the bread served with dinner, the croissant at breakfast on Saturday morning.
Having been assured by the staff that all baked goods came from the hotel's patisserie (housed in a separate building next-door), we made a point of stopping by after our visit to Grey Towers on Saturday afternoon.
The patisserie is located in one of the hotel's two smaller, adjacent properties, both of which seem to be former residences. The patisserie has a cute little porch filled with marble-topped cafe tables and wire chairs - on a warmer, less rainy day, it would be a perfect spot to sit, enjoy a croissant and a paper (they sell the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) and watch the denizens of Milford go by.
We perused the selections on offer and settled on monkey bread, a rhubarb madeleine and a cream puff, all to share (I also had, of course, a cup of coffee.).
The monkey bread was adorable - I'd seen loaves of the stuff before, but never an individually-sized version. (For the uninitiated, monkey bread is kind of a quick version of cinnamon rolls - but instead of rolling and slicing individual rolls, you coat the outside of small chunks of dough with cinnamon and sugar and pack them into a loaf pan. To eat, just pull a chunk of dough off of the whole.)
The rhubarb madeleine was pretty, but did nothing to alter my conviction that madeleines are truly meant to be eaten hot from the oven; after about ten minutes, they begin to go a bit spongy and lose the slightly crunchy outside that distinguishes them from plain old cake.
The cream puff was, in a word, awesome. The choux paste was light as a feather, but still eggy and rich in flavor. The pastry cream was judiciously mixed with whipped cream and flavored strongly with vanilla, all of which yielded to a deep flavor and a smooth texture. We had one of the "small" cream puffs, and it took a lot of willpower not to buy one of the big ones to take back to my room with me for some late afternoon alone time.