French Native Brings Pastry Expertise to Pittsburgh

Plus, a second Tamari site opens in Warrendale and a local chocolatier creates perfect cordials.

French native brings pastry expertise to Pittsburgh

In 2010, Fabien Moreau opened La Gourmandine, a bakery and patisserie in Lawrenceville that rivals any you’d find on the Left Bank. He trained in Paris at LeNotre, one of the world’s most prestigious pastry schools. But if you think that makes him fancy or affected, think again.
Pittsburgh has gained a true gem in this down-to-earth baker whose main goal seems to be recreating his favorite childhood treats.
"I don’t try to do a big showcase or something crazy — I prefer to focus on the classic flavors," he says. By this, he means plain, almond and chocolate croissants (and, yes, these are the flaky, buttery, delicious and totally authentic versions you’ve been searching for) and brioche, as well as traditional desserts like lemon tarts and easy-pleasers like chouquette, which are little bowls of choux pastry sprinkled with sugar.

"The chouquette cost 30 cents apiece, and I just love to see the kids come in and buy four for a snack," Moreau says. "It reminds me of being young."

For more on La Gourmandine, check out its mention in our Top Bakeries feature.

(Fabien Moreau at La Gourmandine, 4605 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Info: 412/682-2210,
—Kate Chynoweth, PM Food Editor

Second Tamari site now serving Asian-fusion fare

Any restaurant can serve sushi and small plates. Not all are like Tamari, though. The eatery, which is favored for its creative cuisine, has garnered a wealth of praise for consistently providing superior dining experiences. Which is precisely why folks who live in the northern 'burbs should be ecstatic right about now: Allen Chen officially opened the doors of his Warrendale location. For now, patrons can only stop in for dinner, but lunch service will likely be added in the future.

(Tamari, 701 Warrendale Village Drive, Warrendale. Hours: Mon.-Thurs.,4-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 4-11 p.m.; Sun., 4-9 p.m. Info: 724/933-3155,
—Kristina Martin, PM Associate Editor

Local chocolatier creates perfect cordials

It’s a given: There are last-minute shoppers among us. And while Valentine’s Day nears closer, you still need to buy a gift for your sweetie. Look no further than a box of strawberry cordials (twice coated in chocolate!) from Pollak’s Candies, a third-generation local candy company. The subtly sweet and juicy best-sellers are made daily and offer the perfect amount of indulgence.

(Pollak’s Candies, 36 Prospect St., Etna, 412/781-7972; 311 Pittsburgh Mills Circle, Tarentum, 724/275-1042)

Categories: PGHeats