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Are there any authentic French patisseries in the city?

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foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 06:15 AM

I'm trying to study the art in my home cooking but I have nothing to compare my results to.

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  1. zuriga1 RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 06:23 AM

    Dumas was my favourite patisserie years ago, but I think they have closed. There's Payard.

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      italianagambino RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 06:28 AM

      Patisserie Claude
      187 W 4th
      Madeleine Patisserie
      128 W 23rd St
      www.madeleinesmadison.com/
      La Bergamote
      169 9th Ave
      Marquet Patisserie
      15 E 12th St

      21 Replies
      1. re: italianagambino
        LeahBaila RE: italianagambino Jan 13, 2009 06:45 AM

        Not a fan of Marquet...everything I had was dried out.
        Second the rec for Payard.

        www.thelunchbelle.com

        1. re: italianagambino
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          foodsmith RE: italianagambino Jan 13, 2009 07:02 AM

          Thx, are any of these considered authentic and worth traveling to?

          1. re: foodsmith
            choco_lab38 RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 07:15 AM

            See for yourself:
            http://www.payard.com/subcategory.php

            IMHO, Payard is definitely worth a trip. I recently visited for dinner and had an excellent, authentic cassoulet. They also seat for high tea at 4 in the afternoon. the front of the establishment is a cafe area and you can purchase pastries and breads there (and sit and eat them, if you can find an empty seat--but it's been packed tight any time I've gone).
            Francois Payard, the owner, is a very well-known and respected pastry chef--from France. It doesn't get more authentic than that. When I was there last, he was walking around, chatting with patrons. If he's there when you visit, perhaps you can ask for some tips!

            1. re: foodsmith
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              sugartoof RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 09:39 PM

              Depends what you're looking for....I'd say no, personally. If you were after something specific like a macaroon, or a croissant, you might get a different answer.
              Certain items are passable, but over all our French bakeries aren't too solid at the moment. Most of it just looks good in the case.

              1. re: sugartoof
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                foodsmith RE: sugartoof Jan 13, 2009 09:51 PM

                Very interesting. What is it about the greater whole of these places that falls short? I don't want to try to copy the wrong thing :)

                1. re: foodsmith
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                  dietndesire RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 04:05 AM

                  If you replicate Payard, you will be doing quite well. It is not the most ornate, intricate work but the quality is there. I mention this since I am not sure, exactly, what you seek.
                  I have not gone to Dousoeur but everywhere else can be skipped.
                  Too bad J Torres does not work his personal magic on the little wonders.

                  NYC ain't Paris when it comes to patisseries, that is a certainty.

                  1. re: foodsmith
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                    sugartoof RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 09:47 AM

                    Well you're hearing dry, and doughy come up as adjectives here...I'd say the thing most do wrong is chintz out on the butter, and other expensive ingredients to cut corners. The quality has declined over the past three years, I'd say, with a few once great bakeries just averaging so so these days. In other words, there's less difference in the results, from the proper technique you expect of a french bakery, then some of the crappy chains. Au Bon Pain might turn out a better croissant on any given day then some of the others mentioned. Yikes.

                    Payard's offerings strike me as very pretty but dull to the taste. They didn't satisfy me, and seemed to lack soul, and richness in my opinion.

                    1. re: sugartoof
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                      foodsmith RE: sugartoof Jan 14, 2009 11:02 AM

                      What kind of quality butter should I be using? I buy organic unsalted butter at Whole Foods. I also buy cultured unsalted butter, but I only use that for savory cooking. Is there some other kind I should be buying for French pastries?

                      1. re: foodsmith
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                        sugartoof RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 01:51 PM

                        Oh I honestly wouldn't be the one to ask, but a good butter can make or break a pastry. Bakers usually experiment until they find a butter they trust and like working with. The problems I mention stem more from cutting the butter down for cost reasons then the quality of the butter itself. There are many high end butters out there, and the European stuff would probably make a big difference.

                        1. re: sugartoof
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                          sugartoof RE: sugartoof Jan 15, 2009 08:53 PM

                          Also just to add....I've found Trader Joe's branded butter to be really nice, and of course, budget friendly.... but it can be difficult to work with when baking. It's important to follow the recipe to the dot on butter. If it says room temp, it really will make a difference if it's not, and once butter melts, it changes properties.

                    2. re: foodsmith
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                      dietndesire RE: foodsmith Jan 15, 2009 03:44 AM

                      Actually, I do not find Payard's vienoisserie overwrought with beauty like some shops(not in US). His choco work is great, overall, in terms of taste.. Not that I like everything that is offered. In fact, there are 2 items that I do not in particular(important ones). I do not like overly sweetened desserts and it would not be proper for the type of desserts available there to be extra heavy. I think they are about right given their size. I cannot taste soul, perhaps they could be richer but couldn't we all.
                      As for butter, there are many as has been said. For a reference, check some food sites, in particular one that contains the word "SAVE" to begin. I am trying to convey info without getting this post deleted by the watchdogs. If you figure out the site, it has a great gallery or list of butters, somewhere.
                      And as was stated, great butter is definitely much more expensive than Land O Lakes, unfortunately.

                      1. re: dietndesire
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                        foodsmith RE: dietndesire Jan 15, 2009 06:22 AM

                        Wait this is bizarre. There is a food site that has a gallery of butters that would be helpful to people here on Chowhound, but you're not allowed to mention this site? Am I following you right? I am not aware of any food site with the word SAVE. Is this site a food shopping site as opposed to a food lovers community, and hence you're not allowed to post links to e-commerce sites, due to protecting Chowhound's advertising interests? If that's the case I think this would be an OK exception.

                        1. re: foodsmith
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                          sugartoof RE: foodsmith Jan 15, 2009 11:56 AM

                          Maybe they meant for you to try adding the letter's U and R to the above word.

                          1. re: foodsmith
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                            dietndesire RE: foodsmith Jan 15, 2009 05:25 PM

                            Listen to sugartoof above me.
                            Anyway, go to galleries, then choose Ultimate, it is in there, 30 selections.
                            Also, now you can go to a good resource in general instead of the lemming fest of garbage that is most places.

                          2. re: dietndesire
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                            racer x RE: dietndesire Jan 15, 2009 07:35 AM

                            There is a discussion of butters at
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568138

                            1. re: dietndesire
                              E Eto RE: dietndesire Jan 15, 2009 07:13 PM

                              Is this what you're referring to?
                              http://www.saveur.com/article/Mise-en...

                      2. re: italianagambino
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                        RGR RE: italianagambino Jan 13, 2009 07:10 AM

                        italianagambino,

                        Madeleine Patisserie does not have a website. The link you have provided is for a Madeleine's Patisserie (note the apostrophe "s") in Madison, Wisconsin.

                        1. re: RGR
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                          italianagambino RE: RGR Jan 13, 2009 07:38 AM

                          ok, my fault....im sure you can google it and figure it out.

                          1. re: italianagambino
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                            RGR RE: italianagambino Jan 13, 2009 08:46 AM

                            Google will not turn up a website for Madeleine Patisserie because, as I mentioned, they do not have a website.

                          2. re: RGR
                            bigjeff RE: RGR Jan 15, 2009 11:40 AM

                            madeleine is delicious! not sure how authentic or whatnot, but their almond croissant (even the mini) is crazy delicious and more than satisfying.

                          3. re: italianagambino
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                            wheatfields RE: italianagambino Jan 19, 2009 06:19 AM

                            Agree -- Patisserie Claude (Pablo's place) -- My favorites -- the very light and crispy plain croissants - fresh out of the oven (3 feet from counter) in the morning (I find the pain au chocolate a little too sweet and don't often eat almond croissants), unmatchably delicious coffee eclair with not too sweet filling and slightly sweeter frosting, small assortment of very small pretty and delicious cookies good for parties. The little quiches are nourishing and tasty (good ingredients) if not pretty.

                          4. Ora RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 07:15 AM

                            Not really a true french patissiere, there is Silver Moon on the UWS. They do have serviceable baguettes etc. http://silvermoonbakery.com/
                            It is not a perfect example for your testing project, but it cam serve as a useful comparision, maybe.

                            1. k
                              kerokaeru RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 07:28 AM

                              Dousoeur de Paris is a new place I have not tried but would like to. It has good reviews on Yelp, Serious Eats, and the NY Times. Has anyone tried it yet?

                              652 10th Ave
                              (between 45th St & 46th St)
                              New York, NY 10036

                              (212) 315-4543

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: kerokaeru
                                Miss Needle RE: kerokaeru Jan 13, 2009 09:34 AM

                                I haven't been there but I did pass by it, and it definitely looked like an authentic French patisserie, complete with a macaron tree in the window. Looks pretty charming in there.

                                1. re: kerokaeru
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                                  rmw102176 RE: kerokaeru Jan 16, 2009 12:21 PM

                                  Yes, tried it today and so happy I fell upon it after tacos at that crazy mexican deli...perfect macarons and really charming place.

                                  1. re: rmw102176
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                                    kathryn RE: rmw102176 Jan 17, 2009 06:32 PM

                                    How do they compare to Madeleine Patisserie or La Maison du Chocolat's macarons?

                                    1. re: kathryn
                                      Miss Needle RE: kathryn Mar 8, 2009 04:41 PM

                                      I haven't had the macarons there, but just had some desserts today. The room is very pretty, but it's not necessarily a place where I feel like lounging for some reason. Perhaps it's the powder blue room.

                                      It's kind of odd. Every time I've passed by, there's nobody working out there in the front, and today was no exception. You're in a small room not knowing what to do. Is it waiter service? Do you just order your stuff and seat yourself? Eventually somebody came out, and I told her I wanted a couple of pastries from the fridge case and that we were going to sit down. We got a mocha cake and some French pastry composed of a couple of hazelnut caramel-filled cream puffs. They were good, but way too cold as it came straight from the fridge, which blunted the taste a bit. And the pastry from the puffs were a bit soggy as I think they were in the fridge for a while. It was a bit expensive as the bill was about $15 for two TINY pieces of pastry. When I left, I noticed that there was a tiny menu posted in a bottom corner outside. Turns out that they've also got a selection of savory items. I really wish that the menu was more prominent, and that there would be somebody always outside to greet you and let you know what the deal is.

                                  2. re: kerokaeru
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                                    mahler5 RE: kerokaeru Mar 15, 2009 12:41 PM

                                    While the pastries I tried were delicious, they were teensy (definitely smaller than I ever received in France) and way too expensive.

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                                    normalheightsfoodie RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 09:51 AM

                                    This was in the NYT on WED. I live in San Diego, so I can not vouch for it, but it sounds good.

                                    Good Luck.

                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/din...

                                    Dousoeur is at 652 10th Avenue (46th Street), (212) 315-4543.

                                    1. l
                                      Lucia RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 11:10 AM

                                      Patisserie Claude, Financier, La Bergamote, Madeleine, Payard.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Lucia
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                                        foodsmith RE: Lucia Jan 13, 2009 11:40 AM

                                        Thanks to you and everyone for all these great responses. I have a lot of places to now try and compare.

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                                        stuartlafonda RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 11:41 AM

                                        I love some of the things at Ceci Cela and they could not be more authentic.

                                        http://www.cecicelanyc.com/

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: stuartlafonda
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                                          Pan RE: stuartlafonda Jan 13, 2009 06:52 PM

                                          I'm not that impressed with them. The mini eclairs I got there last time were OK but kind of dry and struck me as inferior to most ordinary neighborhood patisseries in most any French town or city. I think I liked some of their tarts better, though, when I got some quite a while ago. Don't get me wrong; I'd still consider getting something there if I were in the area (probably a tart), but I wouldn't recommend a special trip.

                                          1. re: Pan
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                                            stuartlafonda RE: Pan Jan 14, 2009 09:19 AM

                                            The chocolate almond croissant is marvelous as is the round cherry tart. They make a terrific cheese danish that is decidedly un French and one of the best I have ever had.Is the place better then "an ordinary neighborhood patisserie in most any French town or city"? I don't know as I have not spent enough time in France to render such an opinion but the place has the right look and feel, the Chef certainly has the backround and most importantly he makes some tasty things. I am nearby very often so I don't have to make a trip, but if I was looking to sample the goods at an NYC French patisserie I would have it on my list.

                                        2. r
                                          RCC RE: foodsmith Jan 13, 2009 12:59 PM

                                          Inasmuch as I terribly like Patisserie Claude's (or Pablo's?) baked goods, I have a hard time classifying his baked goods as authentic - simply because the texture are much more dense and, in some regards doughy, than what I would consider authentic French.

                                          I think Balthazar provides some patisseries that are more authentic.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: RCC
                                            Ora RE: RCC Jan 14, 2009 06:56 AM

                                            I agree regarding the assessment of Claude.

                                          2. LeahBaila RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 04:15 AM

                                            Tisserie makes some decent pastries, as well. Not everything is traditionally French, but I've been impressed by their products.

                                            www.thelunchbelle.com

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: LeahBaila
                                              Miss Needle RE: LeahBaila Jan 14, 2009 10:09 AM

                                              I actually thought Tisserie was pretty bad. But it doesn't really matter as it's closed.

                                              1. re: Miss Needle
                                                LeahBaila RE: Miss Needle Jan 14, 2009 10:30 AM

                                                They're not closed...Just moving to a new location in Soho.

                                                www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                1. re: LeahBaila
                                                  Miss Needle RE: LeahBaila Jan 14, 2009 10:44 AM

                                                  Oh, interesting. I did not know that. Thanks for the info.

                                                  Well, for the OP, IMHO, I really don't think Tisserie is in the same league as the other pastry shops listed here. The pastries look a lot better than they taste. While not quite Au Bon Pain quality, it's not too far from it either.

                                                  1. re: Miss Needle
                                                    LeahBaila RE: Miss Needle Jan 14, 2009 10:57 AM

                                                    You're welcome.
                                                    Agreed...that's why I told the OP that they're not all very traditional.

                                                    www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                    1. re: Miss Needle
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                                                      sugartoof RE: Miss Needle Jan 14, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                      The brownie pie was supposed to have been good. Not exactly french though.
                                                      It wasn't a high end pastry shop by any means though. I think the new store will be inside a clothing store by the way.

                                                      1. re: sugartoof
                                                        vvvindaloo RE: sugartoof Jan 15, 2009 01:19 PM

                                                        Somehow I am under the impression that Tisserie is a Japanese chain. Does anyone know?

                                                        EDIT: ok, I did my own research- they're Venezuelan.

                                                        Anyway, just to throw in my 2 cents, I think the best answer is that the OP is likely to have the best results by researching (the lists in this thread are a good place to start) where people tend to go for what product. For example, Claude's for croissant. Payard for gateau. Madeleine for macaron. And so on.

                                                        1. re: vvvindaloo
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                                                          foodsmith RE: vvvindaloo Jan 15, 2009 02:10 PM

                                                          Great idea. I'll go back and read through the thread and update my OP with a list cross referencing the pastry to the location. Folks if you haven't already said why you like a certain place, please leave a comment saying which pastry you thought was canonically represented.

                                              2. x
                                                xigua RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 04:39 AM

                                                Petrossian Bakery does a very credible job with pastries and cakes.
                                                www.orderinny.wordpress.com

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: xigua
                                                  waxyjax RE: xigua Jan 14, 2009 07:40 AM

                                                  also a fan of bergamote. if you're in brooklyn you should check out almondine--definitely as good as what i've had in france.

                                                  1. re: xigua
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                                                    Pan RE: xigua Jan 14, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                    It's been a while (perhaps 2 years or so), but while I found their croissants excellent, I was very unimpressed with other stuff. I'm trying to remember if I got a chausson aux pommes; it was some kind of tart (perhaps pear rather than apple), and it did absolutely nothing for me.

                                                    1. re: Pan
                                                      waxyjax RE: Pan Jan 14, 2009 01:16 PM

                                                      hmm...chausson aux pommes are generally more like a turnover, which i haven't ever seen there. i have had their pear tart, and you're right--probably the most underwhelming items they have there. everything else i've had was quite delicious though.

                                                      1. re: waxyjax
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                                                        Pan RE: waxyjax Jan 14, 2009 01:20 PM

                                                        You're right; I suppose it couldn't have been a chausson and was probably their pear tart.

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                                                    xigua RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 01:30 PM

                                                    If you're doing chocolate based cakes, La Maison du Chocolat compares quite favorably too.
                                                    www.orderinny.wordpress.com

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                                                      orthorunner RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 07:16 PM

                                                      New place in Hell's Kitchen: Dousoeur Patisserie. Have only tried one thing, and it wasn't too exciting, but that's what I get for being a cheapskate. They did have some great artistry if nothing else. Run by 2 Parisian women (sisters?) 46th and 10th.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: orthorunner
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                                                        foodsmith RE: orthorunner Jan 14, 2009 08:43 PM

                                                        Interesting, I'm noticing a theme. A lot of places spend all their time making stuff look amazing but not taste amazing? Do you recall what you ate?

                                                        1. re: foodsmith
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                                                          orthorunner RE: foodsmith Jan 15, 2009 07:42 PM

                                                          She called it something that sounded like "cannoli" but it definitely wasn't that. A little like an amuse bouche version of chocolate souffle cake.
                                                          I think part of the reason it wasn't as good was that, being pre-wrapped, it probably isn't as fresh as the fancier things in the display case. I only had a few dollars with me (impulse buy!) so I was limited.... more reason to go back and try it out again!

                                                      2. r
                                                        racer x RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 09:39 PM

                                                        Cannelles Patisserie, Jackson Heights, Queens
                                                        http://cannellepatisserie.com/home.html

                                                        Petrossian Cafe, 7th Ave between 57th & 58th Sts
                                                        http://www.petrossian.com/Bakery-10.html

                                                        Financier Patisserie, several locations near Wall Street
                                                        http://www.financierpastries.com/inde...

                                                        Almondine, DUMBO Brooklyn
                                                        http://www.almondinebakery.com/

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: racer x
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                                                          brillat4savarin RE: racer x Jan 15, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                          Second Financier, specifically the Cedar St. location, for the croissants, which constitutte the Platonic ideal.

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                                                          racer x RE: foodsmith Jan 14, 2009 09:44 PM

                                                          Above 96th St in Manhattan there are also

                                                          La Tropezienne, 1st ave near 110th St

                                                          and

                                                          Patisserie des Ambassades, 8th ave bet 118th & 119th Sts
                                                          http://www.patisseriedesambassades.co...

                                                          (I haven't eaten at Patisserie des Ambassades, so can't vouch for the quality)

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                                                            STA1985CH RE: foodsmith Jan 15, 2009 12:46 PM

                                                            What about Bouchon?? Are the macaroons decent there?? any suggestions for some great macaroons??

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: STA1985CH
                                                              LeahBaila RE: STA1985CH Jan 15, 2009 12:52 PM

                                                              Yes, the macaroons are decent. They also carry the city's best pate de fruits. Good call on Bouchon, STA.

                                                              www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                              1. re: STA1985CH
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                                                                chocokitty RE: STA1985CH Jan 15, 2009 03:33 PM

                                                                Actually, the best macarons I've tasted so far that's recently out in NYC is by Itzy Bitzy Patisserie (link: http://www.itzybitzypatisserie.com/).

                                                                It's recently sold (as of the past weekend) in the Tafu (on 51st St off of Lexington Ave), if you're not willing to order 2 dozens through the aforementioned site.

                                                                Tina
                                                                http://thewanderingeater.com

                                                                1. re: chocokitty
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                                                                  ian9139 RE: chocokitty Jan 15, 2009 05:58 PM

                                                                  I have had a sort of obsession with macaron's lately, but have only been able to try them at Madeline patisserie (and la tulipe in westchester) since getting my first taste at 11 Madison park.

                                                                  I though Madeline's patisserie was good, but in my search for more macarons i came across Itzy Bitzy Patisserie, and read about Mitzy's class with Pierre Herme and first sale at the Brooklyn flea market.

                                                                  Its great to see that she is making great macarons and able to sell them at Tafu. I can not wait to try them!

                                                                2. re: STA1985CH
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                                                                  kathryn RE: STA1985CH Jan 17, 2009 06:36 PM

                                                                  Bouchon Bakery's's macrons are GIANT, and sometimes soggy, and oddly gummy. The texture seems all off. They are very hit or miss dependent upon how old they are (seasonal ones tend to be a little bit better). But the flavors just don't seem worth the effort of buying. Very disappointing, especially in comparison to MItzy's or La Maison or Madeleine Patisserie (after they warm up a bit).

                                                                3. j
                                                                  j.jessica.lee RE: foodsmith Jan 15, 2009 04:00 PM

                                                                  I just tried a pain au chocolat from Ceci Cela today and it was DISGUSTING! It was AWFUL. Dry, flavorless, and there was hardly any chocolate in it. Probably the worst pain au chocolat I've tasted. Maybe that was a fluke? I can't imagine that a patisserie with the reputation of Ceci Cela could make a pain au chocolat that badly.

                                                                  I also tried a Doughnut Plant yeasted chocolate covered doughnut and it was lackluster.

                                                                  I should just learn to stick with my favorite places.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: j.jessica.lee
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                                                                    Pan RE: j.jessica.lee Jan 16, 2009 06:18 AM

                                                                    What are your favorite places? By the way, I saw in another post that you're a professional violinist. I'm a professional flutist, and it's possible we might know each other.

                                                                    1. re: Pan
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                                                                      j.jessica.lee RE: Pan Jan 17, 2009 04:44 PM

                                                                      the music world being what it is, we probably do! although if you don't know me from my chowhound id (i should have chosen something not as revealing!), we might not.... are you in an orchestra?

                                                                      my favorite place is patisserie claude as far as french patisseries go. i adore the pain au chocolat and the apricot tarts. the pain aux raisins is also delicious!!! i also love bouchon bakery, but haven't tried their croissants yet. their macarons are definitely not on par with the rest of their stuff, though. i haven't tried payard, financier, madeleine, or la bergamote, though i did step into payard the other day. nothing looked that good to me and the whole atmosphere felt very impersonal and it kind of turned me off.

                                                                      apart from french patisseries, i have other favorites in the city for sweets in different categories. :)

                                                                      what are YOUR favorite places?

                                                                      1. re: j.jessica.lee
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                                                                        Pan RE: j.jessica.lee Jan 18, 2009 06:58 PM

                                                                        I honestly don't have French patissseries enough in this city to have clear favorites. Sadly, it's easier for me to find fault with the places I've tried.

                                                                        I'm a recitalist, chamber player, and orchestral freelancer (and I also play jazz.). I'm thinking it's possible we might have played a freelance gig together somewhere along the line. But you've gotta admit, there are a lot of violinists named Lee. :-)

                                                                        P.S. The URL for my website is on my profile.

                                                                    2. re: j.jessica.lee
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                                                                      sakura RE: j.jessica.lee Jan 16, 2009 11:23 AM

                                                                      I don't think it's a fluke. I think they just don't care. I just tried Ceci Cela a few days ago and will never return. I've been recluctant to go to Patisserie Claude since his retirement, so for this year's galette de rois I thought I'd check out Ceci Cela because they are near my office. CC didn't have any galettes up front, so they had to retrieve one in the back for me. I mistakenly thought this meant I would get a freshly baked galette. When I opened the box at home, I discovered that they gave me a cold and soggy cake straight out of the fridge. I didn't get the crispy, flaky almond goodness that I had been looking forward to. What a waste of $29.

                                                                      1. re: sakura
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                                                                        Will4Food RE: sakura Jan 16, 2009 11:28 AM

                                                                        Try Canelle in Jackson Heights. Authentic and affordable.

                                                                        1. re: sakura
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                                                                          j.jessica.lee RE: sakura Jan 17, 2009 04:46 PM

                                                                          sakura, yes, claude did retire, but he's back and i'm not sure whether it's for good or just for fun. i saw him last week and i stepped in today for a pain aux raisins and there he was in the back as usual! when i saw him last week, i wasn't sure if i was hallucinating or not, but it really was him!

                                                                      2. r
                                                                        rmw102176 RE: foodsmith Jan 16, 2009 12:08 PM

                                                                        Yes! Payard, of course, but just discovered a tiny patisserie in Hell's Kitchen called Dousoeur de Paris, on Tenth Ave near 47th st.. Owned by two parisian sisters, just had crispy, fluffy macarons and delish chocolat chaud. Three tables only, croque monsieurs, ets. VERY charming and special.

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                                                                          trixareforkids RE: foodsmith Jan 17, 2009 09:47 AM

                                                                          Payard, Petrossian, Bouchon

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                                                                            preppie foodie RE: foodsmith Jan 20, 2009 09:58 AM

                                                                            another vote for Payard. Pastries/display most like expensive French patisseries. They also make a mean croque monsieur and some of the best macaroons I'vehad in NY. Francois Payard also published a great and surprisingly easy dessert cookbook. I've made several tartes and they've all come out perfectly. You could easily order it on Amazon or take a trip there and see for yourself.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: preppie foodie
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                                                                              foodsmith RE: preppie foodie Jan 20, 2009 10:39 AM

                                                                              I think I just saw that book in the library. Is it about chocolate and pastries? Is there a gateau mille inside with green tea cream? If so, impressive book.

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                                                                                preppie foodie RE: foodsmith Jan 21, 2009 10:15 AM

                                                                                to foodsmith
                                                                                I think that might be a more recent book. The one I have has a yellow striped cover and something chocolatey on the cover.

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                                                                              wintermute2.0 RE: foodsmith Jan 20, 2009 11:21 AM

                                                                              Sorry to hijack thread, but is there anything in midtown east?

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: wintermute2.0
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                                                                                RCC RE: wintermute2.0 Jan 20, 2009 11:26 AM

                                                                                Caffe Martier along 2nd Ave near 53rd Street.
                                                                                they serve baked goods from Balthazar.

                                                                                1. re: wintermute2.0
                                                                                  Miss Needle RE: wintermute2.0 Jan 20, 2009 02:40 PM

                                                                                  Mitzy's macarons can now be found at Tafu. I haven't had Mitzy's, but if they are half as good as Pierre Herme's, they are definitely worth getting.

                                                                                  http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/0...

                                                                                  There are macarons at the HSBC bank on 5th Ave near Lord and Taylors. But I didn't like them at all. The truffles, while not a French pastry, should not be missed. You can also find some french desserts at Corrado Bakery at the market at Grand Central Terminal. And there's a branch of Le Pain Quotidien near Bryant Park.

                                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle
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                                                                                    racer x RE: Miss Needle Jan 20, 2009 03:02 PM

                                                                                    Corrado's pastries suck. (And I've tried them at several of their shops.)
                                                                                    They look good, but do not taste anywhere near as good as they look.

                                                                                    Payard's used to be a favorite, but on my most recent few visits, the tastes have been off (which is why I did not list them in my earlier post). Not sure what the story there is.

                                                                                    1. re: racer x
                                                                                      Miss Needle RE: racer x Jan 20, 2009 03:10 PM

                                                                                      I think it depends on what you get as it seems that Corrado doesn't bake all of their stuff but just carries items from other bakeries such as Balthazar and Bouley. I haven't had too many pastries there -- the only one that I remember is a lemon tart and apple turnover, and both have been fine IMO. Probably not the best bakery in NYC, but there aren't too many choices in Midtown East.

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                                                                                        RCC RE: Miss Needle Jan 20, 2009 03:24 PM

                                                                                        I shop at GC Market almost every Saturday as I live nearby. We like Balthazar and Bouley baked products, and so what particular items at Corrado comes from Balthazar and Bouley?

                                                                                        1. re: RCC
                                                                                          Miss Needle RE: RCC Jan 21, 2009 06:53 AM

                                                                                          Unfortunately, I don't make it a habit of eating pastries due to some gluten issues (except for macarons which are generally gluten-free). So I wouldn't be able to tell you what came from what. Sometimes Corrado labels their sourcing of pastries. I would ask the people working there.

                                                                                          btw, I just remembered I haven't had the lemon tart but the lemon square.

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                                                                                  amedemonet RE: foodsmith Jan 21, 2009 08:47 AM

                                                                                  Everyone knows about Payard, so I'll mention Financier, 3 locations in the Wall St area. it's a Laduree copycat. There is a post on it at http://spooninandforkin.com, or Lady M in the Upper East. Financier is much better than both.

                                                                                  http://spoonandforkin.com

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: amedemonet
                                                                                    Peter Cuce RE: amedemonet Jan 21, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                                                    I do like Financier for some stuff, but I don't think I'd ever compare them to Laduree. I'm not sure what the basis of comparison is besides the fact that they're both French patisseries.
                                                                                    Lady M's chestnut mille crepe (http://www.flickr.com/photos/aranciap...) is out of this world. The service can be a bit snooty (or just plain bad) sometimes, and the one latte I had there was subpar even though they use a pretty good bean, but their cakes are wonderful.
                                                                                    I haven't been to Petrossian in a while, but it used to be a favorite of mine, notwithstanding the strange cafe area layout and generally poor service. However, some of their pastries are on offer at the La Colombe Cafe on Church St and I've found them to be just as good as I remembered.
                                                                                    http://projectlatte.com

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                                                                                      rmw102176 RE: amedemonet Mar 4, 2009 07:03 PM

                                                                                      Financier is more like a Euro starbucks. It has good coffee (unlike 'Bucks) and the pastries are fine enough, but it's not Laduree. I do like it, though, for coffee when I'm in the neighborhood.

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                                                                                        foodwhisperer RE: rmw102176 Mar 8, 2009 04:45 PM

                                                                                        Speaking of Financier,,,, well not exactly,,, the financiers at Ceci Cela are awesome. Is the pastry authentic French? I guess it is. The chef is from France, and the pastry is delicious.

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                                                                                          racer x RE: rmw102176 Mar 15, 2009 10:42 AM

                                                                                          Oh please. Starbucks wishes they served pastries that good.

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                                                                                        chocolatechip RE: foodsmith Mar 15, 2009 02:04 PM

                                                                                        Ceci Cela is my favorite authentic French Patisserie. The best Croissants and lots of other yummy items!

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                                                                                          joannabar RE: foodsmith Sep 1, 2009 08:41 AM

                                                                                          This is probably old news for this thread; Payard closed at the end of June 2009. As I haven't seen it posted, I thought I'd do it myself...now I continue my quest for a great coffee eclair. I've tried making them, but while I had a good shell and filling, I just couldn't get that glaze right. Has anyone tried to make coffee, or for that matter, chocolate eclairs? I just need the glaze part!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: joannabar
                                                                                            ChefJune RE: joannabar Sep 1, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                                                            Financiere is good for New YOrk. Payard was better, but is no more.

                                                                                            Imho, hasn't been a really good French pastry shop since Jean Kahn closed Les Friandises.

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                                                                                              racer x RE: ChefJune Sep 1, 2009 12:34 PM

                                                                                              I tend to prefer some of Financier's little cakes over those that Payard used to have.

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                                                                                            fm1963 RE: foodsmith Sep 1, 2009 05:30 PM

                                                                                            Bouley Bakery in Tribeca. My favorite is their puff pastry with pistachio cream and fresh raspberries. It is proof that God exists.

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