Since I tried my last almond croissant in Paul bakery I got more lucky. I found Orloffsky hleb (Орлоffский хлеб) bakery on Novyy Arbat by chance. It is not very visible, so I'd probably never know about if I didn't pass by. I knew I had to try their pastry as soon as I entered.
A lady behind the bakery counter offered to help me. It is hard to explain, but she felt very unusual. There was a lot of personal attention and dignity in her manner of talking. First I got attracted by very good looking French and Italian bread. Then I saw the sweet pastry and got a very proper looking almond croissant and a cherry and almond roll. Taking away my pretty paper bag I saw the bakery had several small tables, where smiling and relaxed people were drinking tea from white teapots.
The Orloffsky hleb croissant turned out amazing. Certainly the best I tried in Moscow so far. Very close to the Paris and Fontainebleau tradition: crispy, with lots of heavy and soft almond cream inside. To add to that, it is huge. I'd definitely share one with a friend.
I liked the cherry and almond roll was something new for me. It was also made of puff pastry, rolled with almond cream (similar to the one in the croissant) and sour cherries giving contrast to its sweetness.
Next time I came to Orloffsky hleb bakery with my mom for a cup of tea (I just couldn't help thinking about these white teapots). We got a pie with cheese and broccoli which tasted fine to me.
My mom got a piece of Tarte tatin. This I didn't like as much. It was too different from my favorite version, though she seemed quite happy with it.
I also noticed they offer Crepe Suzette, which I'm going to try next time. All in all, I feel very rich to have such a beautiful source of French pastry right across the street. I just have to keep an eye on my body weight now.
Related posts and pages:
Moscow cafes and bakeries guide
More posts about Moscow cafes and bakeries
Petits sablés (French butter cookies)
Picture perfect Tarte Tatin