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Dec 20, 2007 12:08 PM

New French Patisserie in Jackson Heights

I just finished reading on another forum about the opening tomorrow of a new French patisserie to be located within the Waldbaum's mall off 77th Street and 31st Ave. in Jackson Heights. This seems rather an odd location, given the fact there there isn't much foot traffic in the area, but I suppose if the produced product is good, the masses will come. The website says that one of its pastry chefs is the former executive pastry chef from the Waldorf, Jean-Claude Perennou, and the other is a former sous pastry chef also from the Waldorf. The sample pastry photos on the website look very intricate and delicious. I look forward to another nice addition to the neighborhood, although I do wish it was closer to my home! Maybe it's best that it's not!

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  1. Sandrina, thanks for posting. Looks fantastic. Website mentions the heart of Jackson Heights but it's really East Elmhurst but who cares since it is walkable from JH's. It shouldn't have much of an impact on Ledy's. The plus is a large parking lot for those who have cars. Lots of traffic at Waldbaum's which helps. Most likely a lower rent than 37th Ave and no competition. I'm sure they did a Marketing Study before making such a large investment. I truly wish them success.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Mike V

      At first I thought it seemed like an odd location too, but it must be a huge plus that there is a parking lot there. this will likely attract many more people with cars, and especially people who plan to pick up cakes and things that are harder or more fragile to carry. It's possible too that they plan to do less walk-in business and more large orders that will be picked up or delivered.

      I also read about it a few weeks ago on a JH forum but it wasn't til yesterday that I actually clicked on the link and saw how promising it looks! I was ready to dismiss it for just being in that Waldbaums location as I never found anything over there to draw me in.

      1. re: seneca

        They're also advertising "fresh coffee and delicate donuts". A nice change from Dunkin! LOL! I drove by the mini-mall early this morning on my way to the Grand Central Parkway, and happened to notice that the place seems big and has large windows that extend out, almost cafe ish looking. I was able to see the large windows from the road on 77th Street.

        1. re: sandrina

          Another plus is that East Elmhurst is a very upscale attractive neighborhood with hundreds of fine homes with incomes to match. I enjoy walking through this area (versus Elmhurst) to Bed Bath & Beyond and the newly opened Home Depot next door. Absolutely no problem parking and again no competition. Next door is a large office complex (former Bulova Watch Company) and nearby is the large Lexington School for the Deaf with a large staff. I now have more reason to walk to this Mall which also has a decent Chinese Restaurant which I frequent for lunch. This is a major addition to this area.

          1. re: Mike V

            the chinese place -- JJ Garden -- is more than decent in my book (excellent seafood and some really good, seemingly homemade chicken dumplings in addition to the usual pork and veggie). good pizza in the center as well (i think it's called 'original rosa's') . looking forward to trying the patisserie!

    2. Just tried the croissants at the new patisserie and they were great. I had a chocolate, a cheese and a plain and all three were delicious, light and flaky and really buttery. It's about ten blocks away from us, but my son was so pleased, he says he is willing to walk over there tomorrow morning to pick up breakfast. This from a boy who is rarely anxious to walk four blocks to Expresso 77.

      15 Replies
      1. re: pynchoff

        What time did you go? I went there around 11am, but I don't think I saw any croissants. It seemed like their pear tart/pie was quite popular, but I myself got their hot chocolate and small mousse cake ($15). I actually prefer their hot chocolate over Espresso 77, plus I love the huge parking lot. The mousse cake was good, a nice distribution of cake and mousse and it wasn't too sweet.

        1. re: sharonj

          Do they have space to sit around there and read while drinking/eating? Or is it a take-out only kind of place?

          1. re: jennsch

            There are many, many tables as well as a counter that runs along the front of the store. I like the fact the you buy from the cashier and then take your things and sit down, unlike places where you have to be served to take a seat.

          2. re: sharonj

            Any comments on the coffee being served? Would love to enjoy a good cup of coffee along with the pastry.

            1. re: sharonj

              My son walked over there around 3:00.

            2. re: pynchoff

              We went there Saturday around noon. The place seemed to have good business. There were shelves full of breads behind the counter, cakes in the display case, and cookie jars full of cookies on top of the display case. On one side of the counter were apple pies, pear tarts, pecan pies, panettones and stollens. There were also rainbow cookies in a jar -- is this French or Italian? (But I guess this doesn't matter, as panettones and stollens are definitely not French either.)

              Inside the refrigerated case were chocolate cakes, yule logs, some kind of cake decorated with sliced fruits, and this coconut cake that we were told had a pineapple filling. The top shelf of the refrigerated display case was still empty. We hope secretly that it will soon be filling with our favorite French pastries -- millefueille, opera, macarons, etc. They were also giving out samples of their chocolate mousse cake, which was really tasty and not too sweet.

              On the other side of the cash register were more delicious goodies -- muffins (lemon, bluberry and something else), croissants (plant and pain au chocolat), almond cakes, cheese danishes, etc. The cheese danish appeared to be very popular, as there were only three of these left.

              We ordered a lemon muffin, a cheese danish, and a pain au chocolate, together with a cup of coffee and capuccino. The lemon muffin was light, moist, and citrousy, but it paled in comparison to the cheese danish, which was flaky on the outside, and moist and pleasant on the inside when I bit into the lightly sweet cheese. The pain au chocolat was everything you would expect to find in a neighborhood patisserie in Paris - light, flaky, buttery, with not too much chocolate but enough to make you happy. The coffee was good too, and the capuccino very tasty -- the espresso was not bitter at all. I also noticed that they have a large selection of teas from Harney & Sons, a tea company in Connecticut. The man behind the counter (apparently one of the partners) said that he was friends with the guy at Harney & Sons. I did not have the opportunity to try any (having already ordered my cappuccino), but I have heard that the Tropical Green is a great flavor -- one that I haven't yet seen anywhere else in NYC except at Cannelle.

              We were delighted by the experience, and decided to extend our Cannelle experience by bringing home a specimen of their French baguette. It was perfect at midnight with a little cheese. We'll be coming back.

              See my flickr album for photos:

              1. re: Arete

                Here's one of my photos...
                (Sorry - the photo function didn't work, and I don't know how to delete it...)

                1. re: Arete

                  I echo Arete's words. I stopped by this morning for a cup of coffee and also enjoyed a bran muffin. It actually tasted like bran and not cake mix! It also didn't feel like I had ingested a brick. The muffin was light and moist with a delicate cinnamon/bran flavor and had raisins. My husband had the cheese danish and loved it. Croissants seem to be very popular, as they had a large assortment available, and more were being brought out. By the way, they also have bagels and offer regular, vegetable and salmon cream cheeses. Hooray...they can toast the bagels! Breads offered include French baguettes, Italian loaves, semolina with and without seeds. The pastries and cakes are eye candy, as they are beautifully prepared and presented; very upscale looking. Pricing is very affordable in comparison to a place like Lety's, which I find a bit on the pricey side. I counted 10 tables that seat 2 each and tables can be joined to accomodate larger parties, comfy padded chairs at each table and a counter along the large window with 5 stools. The coffee seems to be regular drip, and they also offer lattes and espresso. This is definitely a place worthwhile taking a detour for. My husband briefly chatted with Mr. Perennou who was quite busy bringing out more trays of deliciousness. He said they just opened on Friday and within the next few weeks they should have a prepared listing of all their offerings. He was very pleasant. The manager seems to have a keen eye for detail, as he was very preoccupied making sure that presentation in the display cases was just right.

                  1. re: sandrina

                    we stopped by sunday afternoon for pastries and coffee. on the whole, we're very glad to have a new cafe in the neighborhood. the prices are very good and the quality seems good too. the coffee is really good and more fairly priced than espresso77, (where the prices are actually higher than manhattan for a cafe latte, which i quite frankly think is ridiculous.) we had a nice chat with one of the owners/managers and gave him our feedback, which we hope will be heeded.

                    basically, the place is nice but lacks any personal ambiance/atmosphere/charm. right now, with the very bright lights, blaring fm pop music and impersonal decorations, it feels more like a suburban mall starbucks kind of place. they have really nice marble tables and plenty of room, but the music is way too loud and way too sappy/lame. (the workers might like it that way, but i don't think anyone else does.) the result is that no one hangs out or even sits down. people come it and order and split immediately afterwards. if they could somehow manage to create a nice, personal, unique atmosphere that matched the care they put into their food, then i think it would be so much better and more successful. the manager said that they might eventually expand and add more lunch type options, but it wasn't really clear if a homey, more cafe like vibe was part of their vision. they seem more focussed on a kind of wholesale cake and pastry business, which is too bad, because i think that they could clearly do both, given the amount of space they have in the front room. they obviously have a huge kitchen in the back and are very focussed on their wholesale business. but why not take the effort to create a really nice cafe out front? all it would need is some better lighting, decorations, photos, pictures, and please, for god's sake, turn the music down or better yet, put on some better music. then people will hang out, order more and it wouldn't be so sterile.

                    1. re: joekarten

                      Thanks for the excellent message especially the LOUD music. Absolutely no excuse for this. Yes, it's for the employees. I've complained often about loud music in restaurants. I plan to visit late next week and may print a copy of your message for the owners unless you object. If I owned a restaurant or cafe, I would welcome constructive criticism. Your message is filled with good recommendations. I mentioned to the owner of City Cafe (coffee shop)
                      on 78th St & 37th Ave that does little business at night that they should dim the lights, place little candles on each table and play soft music. No investment here except 10 cent candles so why not give it a try and see if it works. This was a year ago and they never followed this advise. Of course they also would need experienced waitstaff who know English like they have in Jahn's up the Street.

                      1. re: joekarten

                        When we stopped by in the AM, the music that was playing in the background was lite spanish/folkloric acoustic pop at all, and just loud enough to be heard but not overbearing. Maybe the time of day will dictate the music that is played. Also, every seat in the place was occupied, even the stools by the window and there was plenty of takeout going on as well. With respect to the ambiance, I don't think this is the type of place to go sit with your favorite book. I think because of its size, it may get too loud in there completely eliminating any coziness factor. This is a place to go for coffee/tea, a pastry, read your morning paper perhaps, and then go on your way. Also, I think it's too soon to draw conclusions on decor. The place just opened on Friday and therefore, that leaves a lot of time left for upgrades on look.

                        1. re: sandrina

                          I went Sunday morning around 10:00. There was no loud music playing though I agree about the lighting. The croissants were all excellent, as were the pastries we sampled. The coffee,unfortunately was not very good. It was rather weak. The bread was okay, but not what I had hoped for. The bagels, on the hand, were fairly good. All in all, a somewhat mixed bag, but as sandrina said, they only just opened. I think the potential is there, and as I mentioned, the croissants and french pastries are really good.

                          1. re: pynchoff

                            I went at 12:30 today. The cheese danish and bran muffin were both outstanding and very reasonably priced. The Espresso was beyond dreadful. I took one sip and handed it back. It was weak and tasted like it was prepared yesterday and reheated (but it wasn't). I could make it much better in my $10 Espresso coffee maker and I let the owner know this. He kindly refunded the $2. I also took home a excellent loaf of Italian Bread. It was well worth the 15 minute walk through a pleasant neighborhood. No loud music playing.

                            1. re: Mike V

                              I went today at 5 pm with my mom and we really liked it. The pasteries were beautifully presented, the music was very low and hardly noticable and the seating was comfortable. Spacious, clean and affordable and very tasty from what we tasted. We tried the coffee and the tea a chocolate chip cookie and italian bread. All was great. We plan to go back early in the day and try more pasteries etc. By the way the service is very friendly.

              2. Sandrina and all others, I want to thank you for posting about Cannelle. I went yesterday and I"M INLOVE.
                Now, let me get this clear - it's no Payard or Pierre Herme but it'a wonderful shop that I wish I had closer to my home.
                I got a baguette - in my opinion one of the best in the city, if not the best. The crumb is airy and delicate, with a well formed crust that doesn't require shark teeth to bite into.
                Also we tried the croissant (may well be the best in the city from what I tried so far and definitely the closest to a Parisian croissant), the chocolate croissant, the cheese danish and we got some pastries for later in the evening: the chocolate eclair, the jivara lactee and something (forgot the first word) praline. Everything was outstanding. Not earth shattering but made with a certain finesse and much above many (most, dare I say) french pastry shops in Manhattan.
                Pastries are $2 and $2.75, cakes $15-16 for small and $20 for large. I didn't even care how much the croissants were.

                My only complain is that I wish I had them in close proximity, maybe replacing La Marjolaine (which I don't hate, I've been a great supporter but it's been blown to bits by Cannelle). With their opening hours and the location they're at I don't know how often I'll get to visit, although I'll be definitely making efforts.
                Some pictures here, for anyone who cares. I wish I took a picture of the baguette, too.

                6 Replies
                1. re: RedVelvet

                  Thanks for the great photos, I must get there asap!! Too bad, it's not in Forest Hills!

                  1. re: RedVelvet

                    I stopped by earlier today, and was lucky enough to get a chocolate croissant from the batch that had recently been removed from the oven. It was buttery, flakey and the chocolate was warm and deliciously rich tasting.

                    We purchased the large pineapple coconut macaroon cake for our New Year's Eve gathering. All our guests raved about it and commented on how delicious the fresh pineapple filling was. I have yet to be disappointed with any of their pastries.

                    1. re: sandrina

                      Thanks for the info! The pictures that Arete and RedVelvet posted were so alluring ....Is this place close to any particular subway stop (I hope?)

                      By the way, do they make "canel├ęs"?

                      1. re: HLing

                        Funny, I was just telling my husband that I didn't notice any caneles but then again, my eyes were glued to the pastry fridge LOL
                        That's the thing with getting there, it's quite a trek and much easier by car. I can't figure any other way by train but the 7 to 74th St stop and then a good 8-9 blocks walk or the Q47 bus (I had to look it up on the MTA bus map) or, there's apparently a Q66 bus running along Northern Blvd. - Cannelle is 2 blocks N from Northern, in a strip mall corner of 77th St and 31st Ave. HTH.

                        1. re: RedVelvet

                          Seems like a very poor location for such a great looking place. This should be on 37th Avenue not 31st Avenue.

                          1. re: spanishfish

                            their real focus seems to be wholesale, not retail, sales. their kitchen is set up for large commercial volume and catering. the retail/walk-in business seems to be secondary to them. that probably explains the location.

                  2. This place looks/sounds mouth watering. I have just one question. I'm currently looking for some brioche. Has anyone seen brioche, large or individual, among their offerings?


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: JH Jill

                      They had brioche when I visited two weeks ago. I didn't have it. I ordered the cheese danish, bran muffin and a loaf of bread. It was all very good and reasonably priced. I plan to return very soon. I hope they've improved on the espresso & coffee. What an enormous plus for the area. It so much easier to reach (20 minute walk) than the French Pastry Shop on Stillman & 48th St in Sunnyside.

                      1. re: JH Jill

                        They had brioche a few days ago...that was prior to New Year's Eve when I happened to notice it. If you're going to trek on over there just for the brioche, I would call to ask before going. Like someone else posted, there primary business seems to be large scale, so smaller items may be harder had, particularly on weekdays I would assume. Their website should have the phone number.

                        1. re: JH Jill

                          I had a brioche roll at Espresso 77 -- they served it with the soup -- maybe they also sell them separately?