Eclair de Lune Bakery
1049 40 Avenue Northwest
I first caught wind of Eclair de Lune when I went to Debra’s Chocolates for the first time (Debra’s is now Epiphanie Chocolate on 11th Street SW). I didn’t realize there was a bakery on Northmount – in fact, I didnt even realize Northmount Drive intersected with 40th Avenue (they both run east-west except for this one stretch). It boggled the mind a bit, but i finally found it. A small, north facing bakery with a simple sign – Eclair de Lune.
The interior of Eclair de Lune is small – barely fits their displays. A cooler, a coffee station, and a few display cases. Most of the space is filled to the brim with pastries and baked goods. There are constantly people baking in the back. Facilities look tight, but they make due.
The owner/chef Phillipe Poncet is passionate about what he does. In many conversations with him, he is always willing to take the time out of his busy day to talk shop. He takes his time, does things right. Of course, this can create certain issues. Everything takes longer. Facilities are cramped – his ability to output large amounts of baked goods is limited. This is great for the consumer, but I am concerned about his profitability. Hopefully his dedication proves beneficial in the long run.
In comparison, one of Calgary’s other high end bakeries, Manuel Latruwe, has gotten mass production down to an art form.
Of the many baked goods, many of which are quite good, there are a few standouts. The regular croissant is great – buttery, flaky, yet not slick with greasy, phenomenal flavour and texture. It may be the best in the city – I like it better than Manuel Latruwe, and it’s a bit cheaper to boot. In fact, everything there is very reasonably priced.
The cheese croissant is loaded with cheese flavour. It’s great if you like cheese (and who doesnt!?)! There have been some negative reports on the chocolate croissant – not being a fan, i’ve never tried. But im passing it on.
While the namesake Eclair is definitely excellent, my favorite items on the menu are the turnovers. Mushroom in particular. These triangles of flaky, buttery pastry are loaded with a decadent mushroom filling. The smell, and the taste is the perfect earthy essence of mushroom, and rich creamy goodness. Nice contrast of soft filling with flaky crust, these are amazing flavour delivery vehicles. There is no baked good i like better in Calgary than these.
All told, Eclair de Lune is an excellent addition to the Calgary scene, and probably deserves a lot more attention than it gets. In an awkward location, I’m never surprised when told of the bakery, friend’s mention “seen it, but not sure what it was”. But for me, with an owner that cares, some really nice end product, and great prices, it’s a winning recipe. Eclair de Lune is worthy of your support. Don’t let a Calgary treasure slip away because there wasn’t enough support for a great business. In a culinary landscape dotted with chains, there are too few of these to begin with.