Video may have killed the radio star in other parts of town, but the folks at Napoleon's took a look around at their increasingly automated bakery last winter and said to hell with it: They threw out the machines and instituted a hand-formed-only, traditional baking process that has resulted in sublimely tender brioches, crusty, airy levain breads--and, above all, luscious, buttery croissants. Baked just before the cafe opens in the morning, the plain version of these tender crescents sell out nearly every day, leaving patrons to fight for the golden dregs: raspberry, imported chocolate, almond, cream cheese, and ham-and-cheese.

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