Maison Nico Reopens with New Pain Au Chocolat and Even More Choux

The freshly renovated epicerie reopens in Jackson Square this Wednesday, August 17, and the brioche and paté will soon return to Pastel and roll across the Bay Area.

A closeup of swirling brioche
Brioche feuilletee | Maison Nico 

After four months deprived of duck liver, get ready for some meaty pastry news: Maison Nico reopens following renovations this Wednesday, August 17. It’s the latest from Nicolas Delaroque, formerly the chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant, who’s now known for his serpentine brioche feuilletee and stunning paté en croute. Maison Nico first opened as a pandemic swivel in fall 2020, and closed temporarily in spring 2022, in order to renovate the kitchen. “The epicerie was a transformation that we made early during COVID, and the concept was very well received … ” Delaroque explains. “But we reached a point where the space was designed as a restaurant and we needed to modify it to make it more efficient.” It’s now reopening with a couple of exciting new menu items, starting with pain au chocolat, and even more oven power, so expect more choux. And the brioche and paté will be returning to Pastel soon, hopefully rolling across the entire Bay Area by fall.

The green storefront with pink bistro tables
Maison Nico

For customers stepping into the freshly renovated shop, there will be a few small but notable differences: There are fresh tiles on the floor. The square tables have been sanded into rounds for more of a cafe vibe. And a new communal table offers a seat for a quick coffee and croissant. More dramatic changes happened behind the scenes: They actually pushed out a wall, expanded the size of the kitchen, and rolled in a big rack oven. So upstairs, you can now sneak a peek at paté production for all the terrines, galettes, and savory pastries. While downstairs, they cleared out the wine cellar, and that’s where the viennoiserie magic happens, shuttling croissants, choux, and other sweets. Delaroque says it made all the difference for the team, who were previously running up and down stairs and squeezing around wine bottles.

A closeup of the swirling brioche
Brioche feuilletee | Maison Nico

On the menu this time around, the exciting new items are the croissants, starting with two flavors, classic beurre and pain au chocolat. By popular demand, there will be even more choux, so you might stand a shot at snagging one of the cream puffs that previously sold out within an hour of opening. Of course, the showstoppers are back, including that many-layered brioche feuilletee snaked with almond paste; the paté en croute stuffed with chicken and mushrooms; and the stunning duck pithivier that cheered many a sad pandemic holiday. Delaroque is also adding salads, to get a tangle of greens alongside paté, or a full Nicoise for lunch downtown. And he’s adding more jars of pickles, marmalade, and spices, true to the traditional concept of an epicerie or market.  

Maison Nico is only the latest plot twist for this adaptable chef. Nico originally opened in Laurel Heights in 2013, as an evening destination that earned one Michelin star. It moved downtown to the current space in Jackson Square in 2017, and still got rave reviews. The Delaroques hoped to step back and travel for a year, and announced they were entrusting the restaurant to chef Jordan Guevara in 2020, calling the interlude Gap Year at Nico. But when the pandemic hit, they returned early from France, iterated again, and launched Maison Nico as an epicerie in fall 2020. Altogether, Nicolas Delaroque has gone from a star chef serving many courses late into the night to baking brioche and paté in the bright light of day. “I really love what we do right now,” Delaroque says. “I would be lying if I said I don’t miss dinner service sometimes … but it’s good for us and our daughter, too. It allows me to be home at night and get to see her more.”

Maison Nico reopens at 710 Montgomery St this Wednesday, August 17, with hours from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, 9am to 4pm. And they plan to restart on Pastel soon, so stay tuned for the update on when the pastries will roll across the entire Bay Area.