Cozy cafe in a restored Worcester mill building
BirchTree Bread Co. opened in a restored mill building in Worcester’s Canal District, called Crompton Place. The bakery-cafe seats 50, but feels cozy. Owner and baker Robert Fecteau filled the space with upholstered booths, train station benches, and a cushy old sofa. An upright piano sits in one corner, his grandmother’s dining table in another. “The marble counter was steps from a building on Main Street,” says Fecteau, who was a chef at Four Seasons Hotel Boston and Ames Boston Hotel. Later, he learned to make bread in San Francisco bakeries, including Tartine Bakery & Cafe with renowned bread baker Chad Robertson. Fecteau’s naturally leavened, deeply flavored, mahogany loaves are crafted from freshly milled, organic grains from Upinngil Farm in Gill. A rustic herb loaf is studded with Kalamata olives; golden raisins add a sweet contrast to a coriander-spiced round; a country bread’s crust is crackly with an interior soft as velvet ($6 to $6.50). The cafe also sells buttery croissants, scones, and muffins ($3.50 to $5). Coffee comes from Worcester roaster Acoustic Java. For lunch,there are seasonal salads ($4.50 to $7) and the grilled sandwiches ($8 to $9.50) layer meats with New England cheeses. You could live on this bread alone. BirchTree Bread Co., 138 Green St., Worcester, 774-243-6944, or at farmers’ markets. For a schedule go to www.birchtreebreadcompany.com .