Pastry Pilgrimage in Paris - suggestions?
I plan on spending an entire day stuffing my face with the best sweets Paris has to offer. All I know so far is that I plan on returning to Patisserie Mulot and trying out Poilane's breads and sable bretons. Any suggestions would be welcome. Where should I go and what are the "don't miss" items there?
two ideas that had to be recommended to me because I wouldn't have picked them myself, based on their looks:
- the strawberry tarts at Laduree >> they are so ugly, with the little seedy strawberries, but oooooh, ooooh, so good.
- the plain, mini financiers at Kayser's -- they look boring, but they are rich and delicious.
oh, and the Apricot tartes (on puff pastry, not the tartlettes) at Paul -- the apricots taste so apricotty and sweet even in the middle of winter. The red fruit version is good too.
I didn't mention Marcolini, since for me, it's a chocolatier and not a pastry shop.
However, he's on Hévin's level, if not higher. Be prepared for prices that make you faint.
http://www.marcolini.be/ Site is down right now.
Anyway, Hévin's shop on Rue Vavin (at the Lux Gardens end) is another possibility too.
His ice cream is pretty good to, at least, personally, I like it a lot better than Amorino (almost opposite Hévin's shop on Rue Vavin). And then, you have Ch. Constant not far away (as mentioned above on Rue d'Assas).
Not sure what's that rave about Nutella. I can't stand it and do avoid it just like PB (which isn't as popular in Europe as it is in the US, etc.).
Dodo hit about all of the highlights, but a few others:
- millefeuille: laurent duchene on rue wurtz
- there's a now-common chocolate cake with a wafer (feuilletine) base. the feuilletine base is absolutely addictive and i think the thickest layer is at pascal pinaud on rue monge.
- chocolates, ice-creams and patisserie: christian constant on rue d'assas
- more on ice-creams: there was a wave of them a few years back that supplemented old berthillon on the ile st louis. i'm not sure which ones remain, but those in close range that i recall include amorino just a few doors down on ile st louis, octave on rue mouffetard, calabrese near montparnasse, bac a glaces on rue du bac. if you're a fan of the sour-frozen yogurt craze that's rife on the coasts now, most of these places are old hands at yogurt ice-cream. definitely try pistachio here too, and the chocolate sorbets - they taste far more real than comparable flavours in the us
- chocolatiers: these transport themselves better to the states, but as Dodo says, jean-paul hevin could stand for just pure heaven (his boutique on rue de la motte picquet in the 7e is bigger but a little less accessible unless you're seeing invalides etc). there's also pierre marcolini in the rue de seine, multiple outposts of the aesthetically appealing la maison du chocolat and richart, but those are in ny as well. cacao et chocolat on the ile st louis isn't stunning but not bad either
- 1er: but if you do go to jph's boutique on rue st honore in the 1er, a little further east nearer the eglise st roch is the michel cluizel store. la maison du chocolat.
- also in the tuileries area are a few japanese patisseries, which would be an interesting counterpoint if you're curious and tired of creme patissiere, and dacquoises - toraya on rue st florentin is a bit finer than minamoto kitchoan in the madeleine square
- on a tangent, you'll love the crepes all along on rue mouffetard. always ask for more nutella! who knows, they might just give it to you.
Pain de Sucre 14 r Rambuteau 75003 PARIS 01 45 74 68 92
is worth a visit. It is only a few minutes walk from the Pompidou Center. They make some incredibly imaginative tartes and cake, particularly delicious if you like pistachio and fruit. They are also one of the few retail places to sell Jacques Genin caramels. Their lemon tartes are very good too, particularly if you want some finger food pastry for your stroll through the Marais.
I like the cookies and breads at Jean Luc Poujouran's boulangerie in the 7th. better than Poilane's.
The Kugelhopf and Madeleines at Lerch in the 5th,
Would you want to sign up for an afternoon pastry demo class at LCB or Ecole Ritz?
I'm guessing Dorie Greenspan's web site would have some great suggestions for pastry not to miss, as well as Patricia Wells'.
i'm taking my 15 yr old daughter in april (thank god, she EATS, tho she is as skinny as a starving model). just picked up a book called "paris by pastry" --stalking the sweet life on the streets of paris, buy joyce slayton mitchell.
it looks like a fun read for the plane, with recipes, stories and many, many patisserie suggestions. i got it off the shelf at borders--it's a small publisher (jones books, madison, wi), but you should be able to find it online. have fun, and please post your findings...
>> Don't underestimate small no-name neighbourhood patisseries.
>> Bascially, every neighbourhood has at least one good patisserie.
Very true! To find the best of the neighborhood patisseries, look for the word "artisanale" on the sign or the window - that means they hand-craft high quality pastries (unlike some other places that treat the pastries and bread like a huge commercial bakery).
I wish I could provide some specific recommendations, but I haven't been to Paris for 3 or 4 years. (I do remember a very nice bakery in the 14th arr., across the street from Le Moulin Vert.) But here's a blog with lots of recommendations:
Enjoy yourself, and please eat some chouquettes for me!
I may be wrong about this but I thought "Artisanale" only applied to the bread baked on the premises i.e. it is prepared from scratch on the premises rather than the half cooked frozen factory bread that is simply finished on the premises which will be found in non-Arisanale Boulangeries. Thus it may be wrong to conclude that the pastries/cakes are also made on the premises and not bought in.
I suspect the quality of a cake/pastry is far more easily discerned by simply looking at it. Unlike bread when a crusty exterior can hide a doughy mush. Thus it is more important with bread to have a signal it is good.
I second the recommendation to check out Davids blog - he does tours of Paris chocolate shops and Pâtisseries but I understand he is back in the US soon for a stint of cooking demos so may not have any when you are over.
Good point - I think you're right. I guess I was assuming that if an "artisanale" place made their bread on site, they would do the same for the pastries, too. I suppose that word is no guarantee, but I've never had a bad pastry at a place with great bread. Perhaps I'm just lucky! Or perhaps my sample size is too small - I don't eat enough pastries when I'm in Paris.
The most famous don't miss are certainly Ladurée's macarons.
At Mulot, I really like the tarte au citron, his croissants and fruit tartes.
Also, Pierre Hermé's pastries. Lines can be long though.
Jean-Paul Hévin's salon de thé on 231, Rue St. Honore, 1st arr., is pure heaven.
Dalloyau is pretty good as well. Different branches all over the city.
Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki, 35, Rue de Vaugirard, 6th arr.
Don't underestimate small no-name neighbourhood patisseries. Bascially, every neighbourhood has at least one good patisserie. Prices there are often a lot lower.
In the 7th arr., I recommend the patisserie Jean Millet 103, Rue Saint-Dominique.
BTW, you'll find lots of cafés (mainly in the Saint-Germain area) that use Poilane's bread for their sandwiches, croque-monsieurs or hot chèvre toasts.
Same with the famous Berthillon ice creams, incidentally, which can be found a bit all over Paris.