It's been a busy string of weeks for Lower Queen Anne dining destination Book Bindery. In addition to completing construction on a greenhouse addition, the restaurant welcomed a new pastry chef, Laura Pyles. The Woodinville native arrived slightly more than a month ago from Bastille, where she served as pastry chef since the popular French bistro opened in 2009.
Since stepping in at Book Bindery, Pyles, 28, has already introduced an entirely new dessert menu that includes a frozen butterscotch parfait, chocolate olive oil torte, coconut rice flour cake and...fancy churros! Pyles is also baking all the restaurant's bread in-house; previously Book Bindery got its bread from Dahlia Bakery, where Pyles coincidentally worked in the pastry kitchen before moving to Bastille.
After several years of being limited to French desserts, Pyles says "it's nice to all of a sudden be free of that box." Book Bindery chef Shaun McCrain's cuisine draws from a range of influences and "doesn't have a distinct definition other than being refined food," and Pyles says she's glad to follow suit.
Though her new menu is indeed refined (even the churros come with a chili-chocolate pot de creme), Pyles says she likes desserts and flavors that evoke a feeling of nostalgia, namely flavors like butterscotch, strawberries, oatmeal, rice krispies and malted milk balls. "I think dessert is meant to make you feel like a kid again," she says. "The adult in you orders a steak, but it's the kid that wants dessert."
Before the restaurant's new pastry chef arrived, creative consultant and man-of-many-proverbial-hats Patric Gabre-Kidan oversaw the dessert menu along with is many other responsibilities. The dessert menu will change seasonally and Pyles promises to get "further out of the box" in her subsequent menus.
· Book Bindery [Website]
· All Previous Book Bindery Coverage on Eater Seattle [-ESEA-]
[Photo courtesy of Laura Pyles]