Amandine Bakeshop is Officially Open

The long-awaited Capitol Hill bakery from Sara Naftaly takes pastries to a new level

No one can stop talking about Amandine Bakeshop, Sara Naftaly’s long-awaited spot on Capitol Hill’s Chophouse Row.

Building delays resulted in the former Le Gourmand pastry chef opening this sweet, mauve-wallpapered streetside café a year behind schedule. As a result, many of us are now making up for lost treats time.

Giant, saucer-like macarons ($3–$4) should be your top priority, especially the chewy, gooey dark chocolate brownie version (extra cocoa powder yields the soft, dense quality). I could write sonnets about the way Naftaly’s twice-baked, hand-rolled pistachio croissants ($4.75) ooze with pistachio marzipan cream the color of spring’s first leaves. And traditional English breads, such as the malt loaf ($5), an aged bread made with malted wheat, sultanas and Zante currants, are not something you’ll find at other fine Seattle bakeries.

Naftaly uses only the finest ingredients and has been playing with flavors long enough to know what enchants—the blood orange and black pepper macaron, for instance—and her gift extends to savory delights. Pizzete, tartlettes and bastele, dreamy Corsican-style turnovers, are what I’m talking about now. Capitol Hill, 1424 11th Ave.; 206.948.2097;