Aiming to conquer your taste buds

Bonaparte Breads offers authentic French fare at Savage Mill

Restaurant profile

September 20, 2001|By Jody Vilschick | Jody Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Named after Napoleon Bonaparte, Bonaparte Breads recalls a time when a family-size loaf of bread cost 60 francs. Loaves of Bonaparte walnut, rosemary-lemon, quatre fruits (with apricots, golden raisins, almonds and prunes) or olive Kalamata bread cost from $3 to $7 at this authentic French bakery.

The Lefilliatre family, which owns the bakery-restaurant, has a long history with breads -Bonaparte Breads has operated since 1788 in Paris, where it sits on the Seine's Left Bank.

Lefilliatre family members opened the business in Savage Mill in 1996. "We visited Savage Mill to see the antiques in 1995 and met the owner of Savage Mill," Caroline Lefilliatre says. "We were looking for a place to open up a bakery - we wanted to come to the United States - and we liked the space he showed us."

After opening in the mill, the Lefilliatres expanded to another location in Baltimore in August 2000. "We realized we were drawing quite a few customers from Baltimore," she says. "It seemed logical to open a new location in Fells Point."

In addition to a variety of breads and tempting pastries, Bonaparte Breads also serves lunch. "Our menu is small, but authentic," Lefilliatre says. "You would find the same menu in any cafe along the streets of Paris."

All of Bonaparte's sandwiches are served on freshly baked baguette Bonaparte, the shop's signature bread, and include duck rillette with cornichons (pickles); garlic sausage with butter and cornichons; ham with Swiss cheese and tomatoes; prosciutto with butter and cornichons; turkey with Swiss cheese and tomatoes; fresh mozzarella with fresh basil, tomatoes and olive oil; and fresh mozzarella and prosciutto with fresh basil and olive oil.

If a salad is more your style, you can choose from salade du Burger (various cheeses with apple, grapes, lettuce greens and baguette Bonaparte), salade du Cochonnaille (two types of French pate, garlic sausage, ham, prosciutto, cornichons, mayonnaise and baguette Bonaparte), or salade du jardin (with lettuce, tomatoes, celery, boiled eggs and radishes served with a French vinaigrette).

A quiche du jour includes sun-dried tomato quiche and salmon quiche. For dessert, there are plenty of pastries, which are prepared daily at the Baltimore location. Among the regular offerings are fruit tortes and other delicacies.

When you enter Bonaparte Breads, you can't help but notice the Napoleon memorabilia, including a Napoleon bust in one corner and a military uniform hanging in another. "That's the original uniform of Napoleon himself," Lefilliatre says. "It came into our family when Napoleon visited Normandy at the end of the 18th century and had an affair, as he was wont to do, with my great-great-great-grandmother."

Lefilliatre says that her father, Pierre, looks so much like Napoleon that he frequently is asked to portray the emperor in parades and other festive events.

Bonaparte Breads

Where: Historic Savage Mill, Spinning Building, 8600 Foundry St., Savage, 410-880-0858

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Prices: Lunch $5.50 to $7.95

Credit cards: Visa (for amounts greater than $20)

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