Margo Patisserie Café: Love in the Form of a Croissant

Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When I think of love on this particular Valentine’s Day 2011, I think of Margo Patisserie Café, situated on a dreamy block on Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The story of this place has all to do with love.

The love of baking and entertaining, the love of eating bona fide French baked goods and patisseries and the best love of all, the love between lovers known in French as L’amore. The love story of Margo Patisserie Café is about a wife Malgorzata Kozlowska, known as Margo at her patisserie, who was passionate about French baking and her husband Kris, who was passionate about his croissant, just like he used to eat in the city of love, Paris.

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Kris would seek out French made authenticity in the myriads of New York City patisseries, looking for the ‘one’ but had not found what he was looking for. The croissant had to be moist, airy and light yet at the same time savory, rich and robust, like a kiss.

Serendipitously Margo knew how to make ”˜the one’ croissant that her husband was searching for and Kris would even joke that they would have to open their own bakery and start baking croissants themselves. Margo then decided to put her graphic design career aside, follow her entrepreneurial instincts and satisfy her husband’s croissant cravings once and for all. So in the fateful spirit of love, Margo.

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Patisserie Café was born on May 3, 2010. Out front hangs a baby blue sign, painted by Kris himself, with cupids’ wings gracefully holding up the name Margo and holding up a K for Kris, which indeed is latent with love. On the inside you step into a sunny and poised patisserie with aromas of authentic French pastries that are truly, love at first bite. All the baked goods, the patisseries and the must-try mousses are made right in the Patisserie’s immaculately clean and well organized kitchen by Margo and her team.

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Margo has been baking since she was ten years old, learning European culinary traditions from her grandmother in Poland and refining her skills in France and the USA. Margo is essentially a self- taught baker and has always considered French pastries to be the best in the world. She has a well-appointed team at her patisserie, including head baker Jean-Francois from Toulouse, France.

Jean-Francois has been baking professionally since he was sixteen in two of his family’s French Patisseries in Toulouse. I had the pleasure of seeing Jean-Francois in action as he was preparing heart shaped raspberry mousse cakes for this Valentine’s season. I was immediately smitten by the way he so effervescently whipped the mousse by hand.   When he gave me a teaspoonful to try; it was so light and perfectly delectable that, let’s just say, it made me blush.

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The patisserie is fundamentally a family run business with Margo as the proprietor, her husband Kris as the inspiration and moral support and her son Bartek Dunin, who considers himself a “jack of all trades” at the Patisserie. On my last visit, Bartek had the baker hat on and was preparing dough for the baguettes and croissants and he even made me one of my favorites, the egg salad sandwich upon request.

Margo Patisserie Café is a traditional French Patisserie but with a significant hint of surprise and innovation, just as all good love and romance should be. Margo has a growing reputation for its mousse and Margo has noted that she has been introducing “the idea of mousse itself to her patrons and to people who may have never even thought of eating mousse as a dessert before”. The patisserie can make any type of flavored mousse, including exceptional flavors such as mango, cassis and the pear mousse, which is one of their most popular selling items.

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I have had quite a crush on Margo Patisserie Café since its opening. I have visited the patisserie four times and I have enjoyed Margo pastries on other occasions, at friends’ events and even at my own birthday party.   The crush is more like a love affair really, the place has made a lasting impression on my palate and I keep on wanting more.

I cannot stop thinking about the almond croissant, so rich and perfectly sweet and the orange brioche so creamy and light. Then there’s the chocolate and raspberry cake, which is a chocolate and raspberry flirtation that always rocks my chocolate fix. The unforgettable pear mousse, like a kiss from cupid, sprinkled with real gold flakes, so innocent yet so decadent. And finally my all time favorite at Margo Patisserie Café, the pear and brie sandwich on the classic baguette, which is like a symphony for the palate. Sweet, salty and wholesome, a lot like true love really.

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I am not the only one that is in love with the place either. Margo has quite a positive reputation on-line with the various culinary review sites and I have also spoken with some patrons face-to-face, like Piotr Redlinski, who is a regular at Margo, sometimes going there twice a day to fulfill his own croissant cravings, saying that “the croissants are to die for” or to snack on a rhubarb pie as he works away on his photography using the free Wi-Fi available.

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I also spoke to a first time visitor Julie Ann Nalty, who studied and lived in France and was impressed by “the extremely authentic French pastries, the delicious coffee, the friendly service and the calm and collected feel of the place”. Both the regular and the first time visitors that I spoke to at Margo Patisserie Café seemed taken with how authentic and fresh the pastries taste, and both agreed that they will keep on coming back for more. Once a visitor becomes a regular, then you know it must not only be good, but it must also be made with love.

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Margo Patisserie Cafe is a great place to meet someone new, to have a rendezvous or to dine alone and reflect on the wonders of love. The patisserie’s story, the aromas and the tastes inspire coziness and romance that are so fitting on a day such as Valentine’s. Love has been expressed in so many forms that have over the years become quite customary, like a card or flowers or even a diamond ring but at Margo Patisserie Café love is so demurely and uniquely expressed in the form of a croissant.

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Gosia Hatak is an educator for over ten years in the U.S. and abroad. She is a lover of languages, culture, humanitarian efforts – and travel. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She may be contacted at gosiah@mail.com.

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About Gosia Hatak: Single Mom Traveling

View all posts by Gosia Hatak: Single Mom Traveling
Gosia Hatak is an educator for over ten years in the U.S. and abroad. She is a lover of languages, culture, humanitarian efforts - and travel. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She may be contacted at gosiah@mail.com.