There’s no mistaking the bakery; even from a couple of blocks away one can see the large gold letters of “Patis Bakery” emblazoned against an inky black background. However, what may not be discernible from afar is the relaxing environment behind those large glass doors. As I opened those doors, I felt the peacefulness—the gentle classical music and aroma of fresh pastries relaxed me like nothing had before. The white, spacious interior was lined with tempting glass displays of croissants, eclairs, macarons, bread, egg sandwiches and countless other French-American delicacies, courtesy of Chef Moses Wendel and French Pastry Chef Khalil Debira.
The cashier welcomed me with a smile and, upon request, immediately recommended some of her favorite desserts. I chose a couple, and was quite surprised to see how reasonable the prices were for such a high-end kosher bakery. Regardless, I wouldn’t have thought twice about spending more on this food; everything was delicious.
In stark contrast to its sophisticated baked goods, Patis stays true to its homey and relaxing ambience with comfortable grey couches and plush chairs. As I took a seat, I wanted nothing more than to dig in. The croissant was perfectly crisp with laminated layers of buttery dough. I almost regret not indulging in the flavored versions of the flaky pastry—the chocolate one looked amazing. Next in line was the lemon-strawberry tart, which was finished with an ethereal sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar. The crust’s buttery richness wonderfully offset the tartness of the lemon custard. The pecan pie sticky bun was easily the star of the show; with the same crispiness of a croissant, it was draped with a layer of chopped candied pecans, adding a delicious caramel flavor and textural element. Even after polishing off these desserts, I still managed to take a bite of Patis’ famous Kalamata olive sourdough bread.
Opened last year, Patis Bakery is the brainchild of Chef Wendell, a renowned kosher chef who had formerly started the Pardes restaurant in Brooklyn. Assisted by other illustrious chefs, he has been able to provide Jewish communities with delicious products within the strict confines of kashrut. Indeed, there are two kitchens respectively responsible for pareve and chalav Yisroel options. Patis’ main location is in Lyndhurst; however, several more have opened up in places like Flatbush and Cedarhurst.
With an easygoing and welcoming atmosphere, this bakery has been a showstopper. Still in its infancy, Patis will undoubtedly grow and garner much attention from communities in New Jersey and Brooklyn. Chef Wendel’s bakery surely has my attention and I will definitely return for seconds.
By Josh Gindi
Josh Gindi is a rising senior at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston and is interning at The Jewish Link this summer.