By Jamie Swinnerton
By Mark Antonation
By Lori Midson
By Jonathan Shikes
By Amber Taufen
By Cafe Society
By Juliet Wittman
By Jonathan Shikes
Les Delices occupies what could be the most inconvenient location on Leetsdale, but on its best days, this is the best-smelling spot in the entire city of Denver. Walking into the warm, bright, well-scrubbed interior of the little pastry shop -- which is decorated almost exclusively with the diplômesand certificats de travail earned by owners Alexandre and Christelle Donat -- is like walking into another world: one of pure sensation, of cream and sugar, fine flour, yeast and butter and salt.
The menu (such as it is) reads like poetry, like love: brioche and charlotte, tuiles, meringuette, merveilleux and fruits tartellet. In a box above the bakery case are piles of croissants and a jar of meringues; below are simple boxes of beautiful, handmade almond macaroons, Linzer tortes, apple tartes gran-mère, the hands-down greatest citron key lime tarts ever made (sweet and sour, perfectly custardy, the pâte au choux dough glazed with sugar syrup), black-and-white Napoleons with just a delicate crackle, éclairs with a chocolate glaze so dark, light can't escape.
If you're lucky (or early), there might still be bread left on the rack by the door when you arrive: real French baguette, bâtard and pain de mie. And if you ask nicely, Christelle might show you the cakes lurking in the back. The après-opera jaconde sponge cake with ganache, buttercream and coffee syrup, the Frasier with moussiline cream and strawberries, the pièces montéesfor weddings and the forest noire that will be the death of me one day: chocolate sponge with Italian cherry whipped cream, chocolate whipped cream and Kirsch cherry syrup.
If you're a freak for French pastry, this is your heaven. And if you're not, you should be.