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Walnut Creek Magazine

Ooh-la-la! San Francisco’s Maison Danel Delivers Parisian Salon de Thé Flair

Mar 01, 2020 03:25PM ● By Fran Miller

Photo, @EmilyMartinEvents


If European travel eludes, head to San Francisco’s new Maison Danel for the closest emulation possible to a true Parisian tea salon. This elegant and inviting patisserie, Viennoiserie, and salon de thé was inspired by the quintessential European tea salon experiences enjoyed by its founders, Danel and David de Betelu of the well-loved Baker Street Bistro in Cow Hollow.

“Maison Danel manifests nearly everything we love about French living,” said Danel, a classically trained French chef from Biarritz in southwest France’s culinary rich Basque Country. “It is chic yet relaxed with beautiful pastries, excellent food, great wine, locally roasted coffee, fine teas,and a vibrant urban environment. We wanted to bring an elevated salon experience to San Francisco, where one can enjoy table service without feeling rushed by people hovering about waiting to snatch the table.”

Architect Chris Sullivan collaborated with Danel and David on the concept and design of the 3,000 square foot space in which a grand, luminescent chandelier takes center stage, providing a whimsical contrast to he rusticity of an exposed brick wall. A bright blue leather banquette and Louis XVI chairs provide seating beneath a reflective stamped silver ceiling. Large picture windows illuminate the pastry-filled display cases. 

In addition to the bountiful Brioche à Tête, Chausson aux Pommes, Croissant aux Amandes, Pain aux Raisins, and seasonal sweet and savory tarts, the breakfast menu features Pain Perdu, organic yogurt, homemade granola, and a Viennoiserie basket with homemade jam and fresh butter, as well as locally roasted, Maison Danel-bespoke coffee, and of course, tea. Head Pastry Chef Adrien Chabot leads the baking team; born and raised in Paris, he apprenticed at the iconic Michelin-starred restaurant La Tour d’Argent before perfecting his craft at the Parisian gastronomic institution Dormant with the renowned Chef Louis Grondard. “I am delighted to bring to Maison Danel my obsession of using classic French techniques to create authentic flavors with the best natural ingredients,” said Chef Adrien. 

David and Danel de Betelu

Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.and features Oeufs en Cocotte (baked eggs in a personal casserole pot), Oeufs Benedicte, Oeufs Florentine, and Steak and Eggs. Croque Monsieur variations include the original homemade pain de mie with ham, cheese and béchamel sauce, Madame with a fried egg on top, Homard featuring lobster meat with truffle mayonnaise, or Dinde with turkey ham. Lunchtime favorites include onion soup, escargots, oysters, and larger entrees such as Steak Frites and Confit de Canard. The Vol-au-Vent of the day showcases puff pastry filled with the chef’s choice of the day and a Burger Maison Danel features a wagyu beef patty and truffle mayo.

Sweet endings include Lemon Tart Meringue, Éclair, Religieuse, Flan Mamiche, Mille-feuilles, Choux à la Crème, Saint Honoré, Puit d’Amour, Tarte aux Fraises, and assorted Macarons (chocolate, coffee, pistachio, rose, Earl Grey, passion fruit, lemon, matcha, vanilla, strawberry, raspberry, caramel). The Chocolat Madeleine features a pairing of hot chocolate and Madeleine cookies. 

The full-service Salon de Thé features haute tea service highlighting French pastries along with European and Asian teas. Guests may select from the Classique with finger sandwiches, viennoiserie and patisserie, the Royal featuring champagne, or the Napoleon with Caviar and Champagne.

Danel first started cooking and baking with his grandmother; after culinary school and formal training, he opened his first restaurant, Comme à la Maison in 1999 in his hometown. In 2009, he and husband David, a marketing consultant, moved to San Francisco and took over Baker Street Bistro. David has supported iconic brands including Sephora, Williams-Sonoma, Old Navy, and Target; his branding expertise is evident in Maison Danel’s classic logo and beautifully designed, high quality take-out packaging. 

"With Maison Danel, we want to make it easy to add a little French culture to your daily repertoire,” said David. 

That they have done. Maison Danel: c’est magnifique.

Maison Danel, 1030 Polk Street, San Francisco. Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday 

 Photos: Fran and Dan Miller, unless otherwise noted




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