new french bakery in menlo park- Mademoiselle Colette

Earlier this month Mademoiselle Colette opened on Santa Cruz Ave (a block up and across the street from Penzey’s). I heard about it from a colleague who’s French so thought that was promising.

I’m on an endless quest to find good croissants. My first attempt a couple weekends ago was a fail as I went around 1:30pm and they were sold out. I got a gougere and another small pastry that were fine. But you know, not croissants.

This past Sunday I visited right before 9:00am and got plain croissants as well as a chocolate one too (they don’t have almond or other varieties). I got them to go. They have a small breakfast menu and 4-5 tables (it’s a pretty small place).

The plain croissants were nicely flakey but a bit toothsome as well. Not heavy or greasy. My bf had the chocolate one and he liked it (the chocolate has hazelnuts in it). Among choices I’ve tried on the peninsula they’d rank pretty high. Other recommendations welcome!

Mademoiselle Colette
816 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park CA
Tuesday to Saturday 8am to 7pm
Sunday 8am to 3pm
No website yet, but facebook page:

How do like their croissants versus those from the Sofitel RWC?

Good question - haven’t been to Sofitel rwc. Is this in their restaurant? Or do they have a bakery/coffeeshop?

Comparing to other local choices I would say they’re better than Pamplemousse or Cocola. I think Pamplemousse’s croissants are too heavy/leaden. While I like Cocola’s salads and some of their soups, I find their croissants and french bread pretty flavorless.

I guess I could also add in Coupa and Cafe Venetia as others I’ve tried and not found very interesting or tasty. Right now I think the best croissant I can find is the frozen ones at the Milk Pail that you bake yourself. As I mentioned other suggestions very welcome! Thanks.

There is a bakery right next to the main door. Although they probably serve the croissant in the restaurant as well.

Some other folks I heard like Voyageur du Temps in Los Altos. I have never been.

Do you know who supplied the ones from Milk Pail?

Yes, I still have to try the ones in los altos. A friend at work mentioned these when I was telling her about Mademoiselle Colette. los altos is out of my regular b-fast range, but I will seek out.

The Milk Pail croissants aren’t labeled with manufacturer info, so I’m not sure who makes them. They are really delicious - hard to beat fresh baked croissants from your own oven that take no effort (well, other than remembering to put them out the night before…)

I’ve had the sofitel ones in their cafe/lounge.

Like most hotels, they have a breakfast / lounge area next to the bar, and NOT in the formal restaurant. If you go (and like coffee) get the french press and a coissant. Very civilized, one of my favorite places for a business breakfast close to 101 ( not crowded and scene-y compared to, say, buck’s on the 280 corridor, or coupa cafe, which is nearer caltrain ).

Yes, there is a bakery counter somewhere in there too.

You used to be able to simply park in the ground floor of their parking garage and scoot in. Now there’s a gate there, so you have to take a ticket, ask for validation - or tell the car park people you’re just grabbing a croissant.

Sold out of croissants by 10am on a Saturday! They said they’ll be getting new equipment soon to increase production.

Brioche was delightful. Fluffy insides, but with structure, and a coarse sugar topping.


They have “sweet gougeres,” which are light and airy, with a taste similar to

Wow, that’s quick. We went a couple weekends ago to try the breakfast menu only to see it had kind of evaporated. More lunch focused now. I could see why since so many people seemed happy to just have pastries and coffee, but I was a bit disappointed to see that the fuller choices were gone before I got to try them. But there was no shortage of business that’s for sure.

I tried a few things at Mademoiselle Colette:

  • 4.7/5: The plain croissant is excellent: $4. Great buttery flavor, nice moist interior, shatteringly crisp exterior. No mealy-ness. It is very light and airy: when you pick it up, it feels like it might float away. The only negative: it’s small, and doesn’t quite have the critical mass for a perfect croissant. Overall, a bit better than Voyageur du Temps, and about equal to Satura Cakes.

  • 4.8/5: The flake pastry with apple center is excellent. Again, it’s super light/airy, great buttery flavor, and the apple part has just the right amount of caramelization.

  • 1/5: The mini gougers are bad. Far inferior to the gougers at b. Patisserie or Tartine.

Walked into Voyageur du Temps recently. For some reason on that day I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $4.5 for a relatively petite croissant… spoiled by Milk Pail I guess.

I went there the other day to see if they had cake. They had one what I believed to be a lemon tart, but was too big for me. So I ended up getting a few of their smaller ‘cakes’. And they were delightful.

Mango cheesecake- very good. The middle tasted more caramel than mango to me but the cheesecake nonetheless tasted delicate and rich. And I am a fan of that coarse exterior texture of the cheesecake.

Chocolate tart- great balance between bitterness of the cacao and sweetness. Soft on top contrasted by a crunchy biscuit at the bottom. Excellent.

Some sort of fruit tart. Pretty good. It had some sort of white cream in the middle underneath the fruit.

Mille-feuilles Vanilla was delightful texturewise, though I thought the custard-y filling tasted a bit one dimensional and less vanilla-y, so I preferred the other items.

The obligatory croissant was light and buttery. The flakes just shatters in the mouth. Good. Baked to a shiny golden brown.

Overall, the taste of the pastries were spot on, and they did a good job contrasting different textures in the same pastry.

The decor is so French/ Parisian. Can’t be any more so. The whole decor just screams French.

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They got a new pastry chef who used to work for Pierre Hermé, Christophe Michalak and Christophe Vasseur. Let’s see how the items change over time.

They are also opening up a location in Redwood City.

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Mademoiselle Colette now has the galette des rois for the month of January. They sell it in regular large size, small size and in slice ($5.5 each). I got a slice. Its pleasant.

I tried the mille-feuille again, and this time I enjoyed it much better than the one from a few years ago. Delightful texture and taste of cream.

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