Ever since Salt Lake Magazine named La Bonne Vie, a bakery that I had never heard of, as the best bakery in their 2012 dining awards back in February, I’ve been anxious to try the French-style bakery in the Grand America hotel. The problem is that I don’t visit hotels that often, so making a stop at the Grand was always out of the way. So after Sunday brunch last week I decided a dedicated walk to the bakery was in order.
|La Bonne Vie, voted the best bakery in Salt Lake City.|
The Grand America hotel itself is a beautiful wonderment, so starting off the trek to the bakery with a walk through the hotel lobby already sets the bakery up to be quite amazing. The bakery is nestled in the Grand Shops of the hotel, its large windows displaying the immaculate gardens like a backdrop of green wonderland.
|La Bonne Vie’s case of goodies.|
The shop is brightly lit and full of whimsical colors, creating a fairytale-like atmosphere. Or maybe I was so excited to finally be at La Bonne Vie that it seemed a bit like a fantasy. The shop has a delightful range of macarons in different flavors–all bright colors, matching the decor, of course–as well as tarts, cookies, miniature cupcakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, gelato and miscellaneous gifts. Let me tell you, choosing only one treat out of the display case was not an easy feat.
|The chocolate s’more tart.|
I’m not much of a fan of s’mores. Let me backtrack a bit before you bite my head off. The components of s’mores–rich chocolate, fluffy marshmallow, and crunchy graham–are wonderful, separately and together as a team. But campfire s’mores turn an otherwise happy camper (me) into a sticky, melty mess (me: not so happy). I even struggled with this gourmet s’more. But La Bonne Vie has solved this dilemma with a s’more tart (which you know I love tarts): all the loveliness of a s’more without the gooey mess. (And it’s much more appropriate to eat with a fork, which is practically a requirement I have for all foods.)
The s’more tart was delicately rich with a good, hearty tart crust, all topped off with a cloud of marshmallow. The halo of marshmallowness never became overpowering; the balance of the marshmallow/chocolate stayed equal until the last bite. Well done, La Bonne Vie, well done indeed.
|Both sides of the Chocolate Caramel Gateau.|
Meagan got the Chocolate Caramel Gateax. When we asked the lady behind the counter what it was, she described a chocolate cake with a hint of caramel covered in a rich chocolate frosting. Less than a split second later, Meagan exclaimed “Sold!” The caramel flavor was incredibly subtle, barely even a hint of it could be tasted, but it added a bit of depth to the light chocolate cake. The richness was exclusively the responsibility of the frosting, which did get to be a little overwhelming so it’d be a good choice to share. The pink sparkle didn’t add any flavor, but made a pretty galaxy on the dessert.
|All of the treats came in the cutest boxes!|
We also got a box of macarons (because how can I resist macarons?) that we shared later that night with friends. La Bonne Vie had flavors I had never seen before, like blueberry and passionfruit, but I chose lemon, salted caramel and espresso. Mine was a little stale in the texture and the shell flaked apart a bit, but was the only one of the five to do so, so I assume it was a fluke.
La Bonne Vie, which means the good life, is definitely worth a detour to the Grand America hotel. I’m already drooling at the thought of trying the rest of their treats and all of the macaron flavors.