By STEVEN DeSALVO
For Montclair Local
In Montclair Eats, Food writer Steven DeSalvo compares dishes at Montclair restaurants. DeSalvo has a degree in Hospitality Business Management from the University of Delaware, and has worked extensively in restaurants and hotels.
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For me, the ideal time for baked goods is autumn. I decided to head to three local bakeries to see what they were baking up for their fall special. My favorites: Montclair Bread Company’s Pumpkin Glazed Doughnut, Gina’s Bakery’s Pecan Bun and Café Giotto’s Apple Cake. All three exemplify everything great about fall baking, and they’ll keep you warm as the weather gets cooler.
1. Montclair Bread Company pumpkin doughnut game changer
Montclair Bread Company has a massive selection of doughnuts and pastries that I had to choose from. I think I made a good decision when I went with the glazed pumpkin doughnut. It just doesn’t get more “fall” than that. The doughnut itself was light and springy, with an evident, but not overpowering flavor of pumpkin and baking spice. The glaze was delicately applied, but the real game changer was the crumbled pumpkin seed topping. That textural element really brought this doughnut together into something quite special.
2. Gina’s Bakery bun beautifully light and fluffy
Gina’s Bakery could put on a “master class in baking technique” with the beautifully light and fluffy bun. I struggled to decide which of their offerings was the most appropriate. I am thankful I went with the pecan bun. The toasted pecans on the top melt sumptuously in your mouth along with a healthy bite of pastry that seems light as a feather. The glaze helps the experience as well, coating the pecans and adding another element of flavor. This is one of those buns that you could eat a lot of and justify that it is “low calorie” because of how airy it is.
3. Café Giotto moist cinnamon apple cake
Café Giotto is a one stop shop for excellent Italian cuisine, whether it be homemade pasta, seared sea scallops or freshly baked pastries for breakfast. I decided on the apple cake. The entire top of the cake is crammed with cinnamon and sugar coated apples. The top provides a perfect amount of moisture to balance the flavor of the cake. The textural experience of having soft apples and firmer cake in every single bite is exceptional.
All three of these pastries provide different examples of the exciting seasonal menu changes that provide us with the bounty of fall produce. While the end of summer might be bittersweet, at least the pastries we get to eat are completely sweet!
In this article:
• Montclair Bread Company
16 Label St.,
• Gina’s Bakery
110 Walnut St.
• Café Giotto
42 Church St.,