Art on the Plate: PB Boulangerie Bistro

Cape Cod Life  /  Annual Life 2020 /

Writer: Elizabeth Shaw / Photographer: Teagan Anne 

Nestled in the corner of Lecount Hollow Road and Route 6, PB Boulangerie shines like a bright yellow homing beacon for those looking for the highest quality French patisseries and breads as well as classic French bistro cuisine. Started by Chef Philippe Rispoli in 2009, PB Boulangerie has earned itself an almost cult like following on the Cape and for good reason. Rispoli has brought his Michelin Star skills to Wellfleet and the community is better off (and filled with amazing food) because of it.

Rispoli, a French native, started his journey studying in France before joining teams of Michelin Starred restaurants in Lyons and Cannes, before moving to the United States and finally earning his own Michelin Star for his work at the Daniel Boulud Brasserie at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. He then decided it was time to open his own restaurant. After visiting Cape Cod for vacation, Rispoli had to choose between Wellfleet and Los Angeles for a restaurant location, ultimately ending up on the Cape. “Cape Cod is a beautiful region for the seafood, the fish, and the people,” Rispoli says of his decision to land on the Cape. “What makes a restaurant and being a chef is the people who come inside the restaurant.” Rispoli’s main focus when opening PB was the quality of the food and providing customers with only the best when it comes to French pastries and cuisine. “We wanted to create a neighborhood here, somewhere really convivial, open morning through the night, and making sure we don’t cut corners on the quality of the products.” And Rispoli and his team have done just that. With its wide open dining room, sunroom, outdoor seating, and open kitchen and bakers oven up front, everyone who visits feels welcome to sit and enjoy. “These past ten years we’ve gotten a following of customers who come in and you realize you’re making something they really like,” says Rispoli. “I enjoy being here everyday, running my business everyday and working with my people.”

“I just want people to come in, and feel like they’re at home.” -Philippe Rispoli

While the name Boulangerie puts the focus on the baked goods, specifically the incredible bread, the Bistro at PB has become a go to for brunches, lunches and date nights. Everything in the bistro is made from scratch with a focus on fresh, high quality ingredients. Pictured above is the Slow Poached Cod Fish, which features smashed yukon gold potatoes, braised leek, and little neck clams in a lemon-clam jus. The potatoes are roasted until soft, then smashed to create a perfect bed for the fish and clams. Rispoli says the key to cooking the perfect piece of fish is to remove the fish from heat just before it’s cooked, as it will continue to cook in its own heat, so that when it is delivered to the table, it is perfectly flaky and delicious. While a hearty meal with fish, potatoes and clams, the lemon-clam jus and braised leek lighten the dish to a refreshing yet filling meal.

When you hear the words “French patisserie,” images of crusty breads, flaky pastries and mouthwatering desserts spring to mind, and PB Boulangerie’s Patisserie provides just that. If you’ve been dreaming of pursuing french bakeries and eating the best France has to offer, the good news is, you only have to drive to Wellfleet! Step into PB Boulangerie’s Patisserie line and be transported to a cozy chic Paris bakery, with rows of endless breads, pastries glowing behind glass cases, and the flakiest croissants this side of the Atlantic has to offer.

Pastry Chef Michel Bentz has been perfecting his craft since the age of 15. After receiving his pastry certificate and other accolades from Maison Portelada in France, he became a certified pastry chef at 17. He managed various bakeries in France before he wanted a change and moved to Cape Cod and PB Boulangerie. For the past few years, Bentz has been providing customers with the highest quality French patisseries. 

Being a French pastry chef sounds idyllic and picturesque, but the reality is a little less lovely. In the summer, Bentz is up and working at PB, prepping the croissant pastry around midnight. But in the slower winter months, his schedule is a little more relaxed, so he arrives closer to 2 a.m. And the menu is always evolving as Bentz and his team create new pastries and breads for the changing seasons or if Bentz comes up with something new to create. Bentz says a new creation will usually take a little over a week or two from inception to putting it out for customers to try. 

French pastries are known for their beauty and elegance, and Bentz’s creations are no different. But, Bentz believes the looks go beyond just how the pastries look in the case. “I think customers can see the love that goes into our pastry,” he says. That love and passion for pastry shines through in every confection created at PB Boulangerie. While the croissants are the most popular pastry, the Tarte au Citron cannot be missed, with its crumbly, butter crust and creamy, bright lemon curd filling, and the large macarons will brighten up any day. Bread choices range from classic baguettes to savory breads, like the bacon and cheese bread, to sweet breads, like the white chocolate bread. 

Pictured above is the almond croissant filled with a frangipane and topped with toasted almonds. While croissant dough is used as a base for many pastries, classics like the plain, almond and chocolate croissant are consistent crowd pleasers.

“I love making people happy. When people see the pastries and they say, ‘Oh it’s so beautiful,’ it’s very nice to hear.” 

PB Boulangerie

15 Lecount Hollow Road, South Wellfleet


Find more Art on the Plates here!

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw is a former assistant editor, photographer & videographer for Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Elizabeth spent many summers on the Cape, before she and her family moved down full time in 2016. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island as a double major in Writing & Rhetoric and Film Media, and started at Cape Cod Life the following fall. In her free time, she takes as many pictures of her dog, Watson, as possible, in between beach trips.