If you're keeping count, you know we're closing in on the conclusion of our Favorite Dishes list. That means there are precious few slots remaining for the hall-of-famers which absolutely must be mentioned, lest we undermine the list's credibility and forever wreck our reputations as sane and sentient eaters.
Chief among those dishes is the twice-baked almond croissant at Bakery Noveau, which has long stood as a pinnacle of local pastry. The croissant is, above all, sweet: It has the distinction of being the only dish on this list I was unable to finish when I first encountered it. But its sweetness is complicated: The buttery croissant's been put through the baked goods equivalent of a wringer, having been soaked in simple syrup, filled with goopy almond cream, and returned to the oven with slivered nuts on top.
What emerges is a visually complex pastry with honeycomb innards and textures to thrill the city's most obtuse tongues. It's alternately crispy and flaky, chewy and soft. The croissant reverberates with almond flavors, but it's the scads of butter and sugar that have launched it to the top of Seattle eaters' lists of favorite dishes - including ours.