No green beer on St. Paddy’s yesterday for me. Instead I took a turn through the south end of Sebastopol to check out the three-month new Sfoglia that I first read about on Fiesta Market’s website.
Patrick Lum, Fiesta’s Chefs from the Hood
Owner/chef Lum is also the pastry chef at Sassafras, and his resume includes other Michael Hirschberg ventures as well as Downtown Bakery in Healdsburg.
Michele Anna Jordan, Press Democrat, on Sfoglia
The no-name bakery sign posted by the roadway for so generic-sounding “espresso, pastries, panini” offers no inkling of the southern Italian gems to be found here. Tucked into the nook at the entrance of the Sebastopol Antique Society collective, Sfoglia has the spot formerly occupied by La Dolce V chocolatier. While still intimate, the cozy space has taken on an airier and sunnier southern personality. Lum’s sister and niece were helping out, and attention from family members made the experience even more warm and welcoming.
Image of sfogliatelle and cannolo
Stepping up to the counter, the multi-layered, golden brown sfogliatelle displayed on the pedestal drew my immediate attention. But then I saw the glass canister filled with cannoli shells ($3 each) and ordered one for immediate consumption. Filled to order with barely sweetened ricotta dotted with orange zest, the bubbly-surfaced cannolo shattered with crackly freshness with each bite. When another customer marveled that non-Sicilians could make such great cannoli, I overheard Lum’s sister joke with him that they’re just like fried won tons!
I also had the hot chocolate ($2.55), 16 ounces served in a wide café au lait cup. Made with my choice of whole milk, the Belgian chocolate had a pleasing tone but this was more like faint chocolate milk. However, the near butter-like whipped cream squiggled on top was heavenly.
One of the sfogliatelle ($2.50 each) went home with me. It ended up as a post-midnight snack. The very thin, hand-pulled layers had that distinctive brittle crispness around the corners of the pastry horn, but had started to dull towards the middle, likely due to the holding time. The sfogliatella filling was about the same as the cannoli’s but with an eggy richness and baked texture. Still quite good, I’m sure it would have been better earlier in the day. Can’t wait to stop by some morning for a fresh batch of this Neopolitan specialty.
Heather Irwin, PD’s BiteClub, on Sfoglia
Sfoglia Italian Bakery & Cafe
@ Sebstopol Antique Society
2661 Gravenstein Hwy., Suite H
Open daily, 10 to 5