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Cafe Madeleine rivals a Paris patisserie

Cannele, macaroons, croissants, and blueberry danish at Cafe Madeleine. Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/Globe Staff
Pastry chef Hana Quon and Frederic Robert. Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

The 5-month-old Cafe Madeleine in the South End bakes croissants ($2.75 to $4) that rival a Paris patisserie. Golden-brown, the crispy dough flakes perfectly into tissue-thin layers, while the tender interior is rich with high-fat Vermont butter. French master pastry chef Frederic Robert, 55, who is at the helm, worked for 25 years with renowned French chef Alain Ducasse in his Michelin-starred restaurants. The two coauthored a pastry cookbook that won a James Beard award in 2007. After seven years as executive pastry chef at Wynn Las Vegas resort, Robert spent a year at Wellfleet’s PB Boulangerie Bistro. “I always wanted to have my own place,” says the chef. He chose Boston to open a six-stool cafe, named for his artist mother, and offers classic French puff pastries, cookies, crunchy caneles made in mini fluted pans ($2.25 to $4), and fruit tarts with almond and vanilla pastry cream ($4.50 to $5.50 a slice). A signature dessert is a layer of chocolate cake, crunchy hazelnut spread, and chocolate mousse, glazed in dark chocolate ($4.50 a slice). Quiche, croque monsieur, sandwiches on Iggy’s bread, and salade Nicoise ($4.50 to $9.50) are among the lunch selections. Coffee drinks are made with beans from Philadelphia roaster La Colombe. Pastry chef Hana Quon, 28 (above, with Robert), bakes alongside Robert and manages the store and business, although Robert says, “I don’t like the word business. I just want to share my food with customers.” 517 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston, 857-239-8052,