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Madeleine on 23rd btw 7th and 6th ave

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This is a French pastry shop with those special moist, dark and flat almond croissants, but firmer, drier, puffy plain croissants, and haven't-try-but-looks pretty-good chocolate croissants. They serve Lavazza coffee, and have a few comfy couches and chairs for sit down, though not with waitperson service.

I just so happen to walk by and was drawn in for no particular reason that I knew of until I came face to face with a complete collection of the French Macarons! There must have been about 20 varieties. I only got 4 to go, and can't remember all the names: Agrume, Verge...? I must have been in an "orange" mood because they almost all had some sort of either mandarin orange, or other citrus, or orange liquor in them.

While they weren't as ethereally delicate as Kee's on Thompson street, Madelein's verison has some refreshing center filling. Worth checking out again.

Hope to get to sit down for coffee next time...I didn't catch the exact address, vaguely remembered to be either 119 or 120 (I know, those are opposite sides of street...) It's kitty corner from Tekserve, and is next door to the Vintage clothes shop.

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  1. Address is 123.
    The owner/ baker is formerly of the French Oven in the Chelsea Market.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Stuffed Monkey

      Just to clarify, it's 128 W 23rd, not 123.

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      La Maison du Macaron
      132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

    2. Does Kee's make macarons? I've never seen them there - do tell! Just finished sharing some Madeleine macarons with my husband - loved Agrume - the mandarin orange one, I think.

      7 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        Yes, Kee's do make macarons but I don't find them as good as Madeline's, imho.

        Here's my post on them (if you want read just about Kee's, scroll down):
        http://thewanderingeater.wordpress.co...

        1. re: MMRuth

          I'm going to have to do some comparison between Kee's and Madeleine's to be sure. ..but yes, I was pleasantly surprised that Kee's made maracons when I walked into the shop after a long absence. Judging from memory, I remember Kee's Macarons were lighter than Madelein's. Kee's had a very clean finish both in the cookie part and in the filling, and just made me want more. The amount of filling was also just right so that I didn't get this extra sweetness at the end...which to some may be preferred.

          Madelein's macarons are more robust compared to Kee's. Also very good, but I can barely finish one at a time, The Agrume is very good, though. So are some of the other flavors that stirred up some vague memories from I'm not sure when or where, but pleasant, nevertheless.

          1. re: HLing

            Thanks! I guess I've not been to Kee's as recently as I'd thought!

            1. re: MMRuth

              I went by today - the woman working in the shop (not Kee) told me that they have the macarons sporadically, but that one can call ahead to check. Some of the flavors sound wonderful - rosewater lychee, lavender, key lime, kaffir lime, mint mocha ... photos in the link below:

              http://www.keeschocolates.com/mac.html

              1. re: MMRuth

                Drool! Thank you for that delicious link! No need to call ahead--if no macarons are present, the shatteringly crisp chocolate coating of the truffles is more than adequate consolation! And treats at Grandaisy bakery, and the delicious fruit topped yogurt at the yogurt place...Sheesh, I need to get down there soon!

                Thanks, too, HLing, for the great Madeleine recommendation!

                1. re: rose water

                  Agreed ... the truffles are fantastic - my favorites are actually the nut ones - almond, pistachio and pine nut.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    The pine nut one is indeed very, very good. And the creme brulee is their signature, also good. My current favorite might be the basalmic vinegar. Or smoked salt. Mmmm.

        2. I went to Madeleine this weekend after hearing comparisons to Laduree in another thread. There is very little comparison. I think the actual comparison is to Magnolia or those other cupcake joints. These macorons are big and stuffed with way too much butter cream icing that is entirely too sweet and lacking all subtlety. I imagine if you like Magnolia et. al. you'll like them, but if you find those places vile beneficiaries of the malignant influence of Sex and the City, take a pass.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jasmurph

            I agree that they are not as "refined" as those at Laduree, but still thought they were delicious. One or two do go a long way though.

            1. re: jasmurph

              I agree. Fauchon has closed and that was my go-to place for macaroons. I swoon when I think of them. I was excited that Madeleine's opened and carried macaroons. Yes, they are bigger and denser than fauchon or laduree but they passed. My boyfriend and I would sit on the bench outside and enjoy them. However, last Saturday, we got an assortment and thought we were going to be sick. None of the different flavors came through. We felt like we were eating a hunk of solid fat between two soft cookies. No flavor. Even though they are denser than Fauchon and Laduree, these were just too heavy and had no air or lightness to them whatsoever. Macaroons are pricey so it felt crushing to eat these bad macaroons that had no taste despite the flavor and felt like Crisco in your mouth. I hope this was a off day?....

            2. The best in the world, IMHO, are at Pierre Herme in Paris. How do these compare ?

              6 Replies
              1. re: JohnBoy

                Pierre Herme macarons are blessed by a macaron god (or his apprentices at least)! Anyways, I don't think Madeline macarons are on the same level at all to PH. It's just better than the average macaron you'll find in NYC.

                http://thewanderingeater.wordpress.com

                1. re: JohnBoy

                  That would make sense, since he used to be at laduree. Comparison? none. I think these ones have coconut in the shell. seriously.

                  1. re: JohnBoy

                    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that Pierre Herme's macarons are king! It seems that most people consider Laduree the benchmark. But Pierre Herme blows Laduree away. Pierre Herme's are delicate, crisp, rich, light, chewy, aromatic and full of flavor! He makes life worth living!

                    Just tried Madeline's this weekend -- the closest I've found to Pierre Herme, but not quite there. Madeline keeps their macaron in the fridge, so you need to have them sit out for a while to get the maximum effect. Madeline's is a bit clumsier, not as delicate and precious as Pierre Herme's, and you don't get the same burst of flavor. And some of the flavors just don't work. The best I've found were chocolate, praline and caramel. The more delicate flavors just didn't have the freshness and perfume-like quality that a macaron should have. But it's the best I've found in New York (though I haven't tried Kee's yet).

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      Have you tried La Maison's? I like La Maison just a little more than Madeleine, but Madeleine has more flavors and is more convenient for me.

                      I did find that my Madeleine macarons tasted better the next day, after being left out on the counter overnight.

                      My friends who are macaron CRAZY did this macaron crawl a while back:
                      http://www.roboppy.net/food/2007/04/t...

                      1. re: kathryn

                        I haven't done Maison yet -- I've been so focused on their chocolates and hot chocolate that I didn't realize they had macarons. I'm definitely there!

                        It was actually your friend's blog that led me to go to Madeleine. I think we've got the same taste in macarons as she's also a big Herme supporter.

                        1. re: Miss Needle

                          Just tried La Maison's madeleines yesterday. They were good, but I prefer Madeleine's as I find the texture a bit more delicate. La Maison does have very good ganache though. I still keep thinking about Pierre Herme!

                  2. So i finally got a chance to go by Madeleine's again this afternoon. Due to the recent disappointment in Bouchon's concord grape macaron (and the Nutter Butter), I didn't have it in me to taste another macaron.

                    Instead, I had a very good Ham and Cheese croissant...mainly because of the perfectly crisped cheese blisters on top of the croissant. That is one yummy and generously-sized, unsoggy and unlimp Ham & Cheese croissant!

                    I've also been wanting to have some Lavazza there. The Americano was nice and clean, and though I drank it black I could have sworn there was a round, creaminess to the coffee. Their tea selection is quite large, and not from tea bags either. The leaves are in black square tins with gold lettering perhpas? Someone probably knows the brand right off. The server makes the tea to order, spooning out loose leavs to put into these long and narrow tea filters, and use steamy hot water out of the espresso maker. Definitely hot enough for those dark teas.

                    I liked the vegetable quiche, though apparently not nearly as much as the lady before me, who ordered about 7 quichese to go, a return customer who knew what she wanted. I have my heart set on the Brie & Onion quiche for next time . Pobably not a combo you get at too many places.

                    I appreciated their mini chocolate croissants.. for $.95 it was just the right size for a nice sweet bite after the savory things. This dark chocolate croissant is the soft kind that has the eggy mixture baked on top, and I thought perhaps some finely chopped nuts in the croissant dough itself ? Not sure, but it's definitely nice and nutty flavored.

                    They also have the coconut macaroons that's more common than the other macarons. These are tiny and moist/wet. The coconut flakes seemed a bit stringy, but the flavor is alright.

                    1. This place is great. The delicious buttery macarons are fantastic--some are too sweet, others more subtle. The place is cozy and warm, with a few big couches. And the hot chocolate is out of this world--rich dark and chocolately, and barely sweet.

                      Thanks, as always, HLing, for pointing us to such deliciousness!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rose water

                        Thanks for the nice feed back, rose water, and for the tip about the hot chocolate!

                        Last time I was in there I had asked for an Americano, and was pleasantly surprised when the man confirmed what I had learned during my first trip to Europe as a "long" coffee, a term I had given up on when I returned to the US because people stared at me blankly when I asked. Then I would just ask for a shot or two of espresso and some hot water and put it together myself. ..then they tell me it's called an "Americano" here. How odd that the breakfast coffee in Italy is called "Americano" here.
                        Anyway, the man at Madeleine just uttered the word and then finally, after all these years, I knew that I hadn't heard it wrong in Europe! what's more that coffee was just as perfectly smooth and strong as my first cup in Milan!

                      2. I love it there. My fave is the Caramel Sea Salt macaron and the fruits ones too.
                        I did a comic about this place for The L Magazine which you can see here:
                        http://thelmagazine.com/lmag_blog/blo...

                        1. walked by the place this morning, looks so delicious! what was this place before it became this patiesserie, a thai restaurant maybe?

                          anyway, I'm not a fan of macarons but there were tons, I merely walked out with a most wondrous mini almond croissant; dense, crispy, filled with a deliciously grainy almond custard filling, just really nice; all fresh baked, with plenty of seating and plenty of people having baskets of pastry for sunday brekky. will def. make my way through the baked goods here slowly.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bigjeff

                            Agreed....I am lucky to live a few doors down from Madeleine. This space actually used to be an optical shop.....lucky to have more yummy food in the neighborhood..

                          2. I went back last night just before they close, and had the Ham and Cheese Croissant that I've been dreaming about for a while now. Happy to report that even at the end of the day, they were still the best in the city. Prices have gone up though. $4.50 now. Reading the post from 2 years ago, I can't believe that mini-croissants were $.95 they are now over $2. But, again, quality held up. I should have gotten some plain croissants before the man hid them and left as it was closing time. I got the last pistachio chocolate croissant instead. Delicious even the day after.
                            Hope it won't take another 2 years for me to go back....

                            -----
                            La Maison du Macaron
                            132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011