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Nadege Patisserie is Bad

Well their not yet ready for prime time and may never be. I stopped in this morning for a latte, a couple macarons and a croisssant with my Hubby.

The latte was too weak and barely warm. Macarons were too thin shelled, one was mucky, the other was gloppy, neither were fresh! and the croissant was small, expensive, unbuttery, unflakey, dry and no chew.

Even worse was the service. They didn't ask my hubby or I why we didnt drink our $4 lattes in the glass mug after staring at it, they took 10 minutes to cash me out and after asking how it was, and I told them the truth, they just said "ok", without even an offer to replace the coffee.

They seem to be more about the concept, the design and the spectacle (white glove service :/ ) than the food or service. I Wish I loved this place but I don't. And based on the smirk of the managers face when I was cashing out I dont see much reason to retrurn.

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  1. i was expecting that i would have given this place a bit more time before going in but they've been baking for a couple weeks now so perhaps they're already comfortable with what they're putting out.

    i ordered one rose macaron and a chocolate brioche. overall... ok but not sure i'd visit again... and its right in my usual paths.

    the macaron had a thicker shell than i like and while it could have been a touch more crisp it was certainly fine. what bothered me what that the cookie itself was quite thin and almost seemed hollowed out. the "foot" wasn't really a foot so much as a fringe hanging off of the main dome. it even confuses me how it would bake up this way. there was too much filling to make up for the lack of chewy cookie interior and it threw off the balance quite a bit. they did look quite lovely, perfectly smooth domes though a touch too matte. i felt the flavour was quite nice for the rose but it was mostly in the filling and that the sweetness was where i would ideally like it to be. sweet but not too much so until the final last bites.

    the brioche was nicely studded with bits of chocolate so that it wasn't overwhelmed and well distributed. it was nicely buttery on the exterior but i felt the interior is where it lacked. it was too dry and missing any distinct flavours of egginess or sweetness. it was almost more bun like i would say.

    the macarons are made daily and they were out of croissants when i went in but had a new batch being made. i will add that as a caveat, though i didn't try one i'm not too sure i would be tempted too. they had a stuffed version (rectangular shape) with a banana coconut filling but the pastry just looked so deflated and lacking any layers that it really wasn't tempting, especially considering how small it was for $3.50.

    lastly, the space is quite nice though it does remind me of the multitudes of japanese/french bakeries in tokyo but with less attention to detail. the lighting was poor and i nearly mistook it for being closed because it was so dark. there certainly is quite a bit of promise in the space but it just wasn't friendly, more sterile at the moment.

    edit: the macaron was also surprisingly cold as if it had be refrigerated for quite a while rather than freshly made that day.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pinstripeprincess

      Pinstripeprincess: the macarons had to be cold, otherwise it would have fallen apart. I know a macaron is supposed to be delicate, but at least construct them to withstand a bit of travel! I picked several up from Nadege and got into the car towards Liberty Village. By the time I grabbed a cup of coffee, the filling was melting, or should I say practically liquefying, and taking some of the almond meringe one with it. I actually managed to clumsily consume a single wasabi graperuit but I literally had to SLURP the other three from the plastic bag (they were $2 each! I couldn't let it go to waste!). For the record, both Laduree and Pierre Herme macarons survived a plane ride, walking to/from work, being removed and then subsequently placed back into the fridge, and a car ride from College to Queens Quay.

      However, here were my general impressions of the macaron prior to its metamorphosis into goop:
      - the cookie was too thin (thinner than Laduree or PH's)
      - the shell was smooth but as pinstripeprincess indicated, not crisp enough
      - underdeveloped feet
      - minimal air pockets though! And definitely not chewy...but...if it was chewy it wouldn't have fallen apart...
      - for the wasabi grapefruit: grapefruit flavour was successfully imparted, but wasabi was barely perceivable
      - for the cosmopolitan: I have concluded that vodka is a flavour that does not belong in a macaron.

      As for the viennoiserie, overall I thought they were a slightly soggy and oily and were not flaky enough. I did not try the cakes, but at least they LOOK spectacular.

      1. re: gijoeanne

        interesting explanation for the terribly cold cookies.... it really makes me curious about their method and recipe. i hadn't a chance to try herme in paris and ended up getting a small pack in tokyo... their's were hardly what i called cold and they offered me a complimentary ice packet and appropriate macaron packaging to keep them ideal for 2-4 hours but still... not as cold as the nadege ones! and certainly not liquified!

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          The reason why Herme can do what he does with his macarons is because they contain stabilizers and extra 'ingredients'.

    2. So I popped in as I was walking buy and almost fell on the floor laughing! I had to buy a croissant and a danish thing they had JUST to show people how awfully bad they were.. It look like someone litterally had been sitting on them! the croissant was as thin as a cookie! and not much bigger. The danish was the same.. I give this place 4 months.. I should have taken a picture before I through them in the garbage...

      6 Replies
      1. re: OnDaGo

        You threw the pastries away? Were they inedible?

        I went in to take a look this weekend but wasn't tempted by anything. I found the sterile display unappealing. Little pastry corpses on a white embalming slab. Also no prices on anything, if I recall correctly? (I could be wrong on this point). I hate having to ask the price.

          1. re: dxs

            'liitle pastry corpses on a white embalming slab" - hilarious! you couldn't be more accurate - i went in there on the weekend as well, and walked out after a quick look around.. i can't imagine sitting down for a coffee in there - it feels dead. cold, unwelcoming... frankly, unappetizing.

            1. re: Kasia

              Yes - I was only in there a few minutes, but a couple of other people walked in then walked straight out. I felt bad for the counter staff. It's strange, because they've obviously put a lot of work and thought into it, but something has been lost in translation.

              I do plan on trying the pastries at some point. And who knows, maybe the owners will tweak the formula a little - stark economic reality may force some compromising of principles.

              1. re: dxs

                What principles? The croissants, danishes and macarons are NOTHING like they are supposed to be they would be thrown in the trash in France...

            2. re: dxs

              When I went, they had prices displayed, and they were pricey! Cakes were $6 each, which is even more expensive than places like Rahier. The "croissants" (quotation marks because I think that is what they were intended to be) were over $3 each.

          2. I find it annoying to read through 11 posts with some interest, and no address given.

            Fortunately someone has done the leg work for us in Chow links.

            Nadege Patisserie
            780 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

            1. I really wish you guys would give them some time before you bash them. Seriously, it's bad economic times and retaurants, bakeries, patisseries are suffering. They're taking a big chance in opening a place like this in Toronto and you should at least let them work out the kinks before you start flaming them. They've only been open for like a week! Show some support.

              19 Replies
              1. re: j6p

                they've actually been baking for a few weeks, i've seen them working diligently in the back during their construction.

                after some unpleasant pastries they were directly asked if this was to be their standard and gave absolute postive confirmation without any concern about what the patron thought of the experience. on top of that any negative postings online seem to bring about an onslaught of aggressive attacking schills from the management of the bakery (and i can prove they are the management).

                i felt my review was fair and clearly stated that they were still very very new, but after this "service" experience i feel no need to give them the benefit of the doubt.

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  There is now a favourable review on Martini Boys penned by "PinStripePrincess's Review".

                  1. re: Teep

                    just saw that as well
                    is that really you vanessa?

                    1. re: j6p

                      I think it's safe to say anyone who reads this board regularly knows that the MartiniBoys comment was not written by our pinstripeprincess. "Stop fussing about the macarons..." Seriously??? Stuff like this makes me appreciate the mods here...

                      1. re: Wahooty

                        *ding ding ding* correct! not me! made even more hilarious by the fact that i was already commenting there using my real name.

                        i'm so obsessed with macarons i'll even eat the crappy ones in hopes i'm finding some miraculous discovery.

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          ...made even more amusing by the fact that if you know that comment is a shill, the owners (or friends thereof) are telling you to stop expecting them to be good at what they previously claimed would be one of their specialties.

                          (BTW, pinstripe, should you ever find yourself in Chabichou and tempted by the bags of mini-macarons, save your money. Awful. I've never even had truly good ones, and even I was disappointed.)

                          1. re: Wahooty

                            ha, i think they're trying to cover their tracks even if it ended up being self deprecating.

                            ah.. i still need to make it there and thanks for the warning. i'm becoming more suspicious i'll admit....

                            1. re: pinstripeprincess

                              I had the lemon ones. Filling way too sweet and hard as a rock. Completely dried out. Eight dollars and way too many calories of my life I'll never get back.

                              1. re: Wahooty

                                so months later i forgot this warning and while there grabbing a baguette thought i might as well test out a macaron. they had only one chocolate raspberry flavour i believe and rather than bags of small ones they were average size and individually wrapped up in saran. odd.

                                anyway... they were underdone at the very least.... the exterior shell was thin but the interior was dense, wet and thin. but what bothered me the most was the pairing with a chocolate ganache that was rock hard. very unpleasant textural experience. i'll also note that the shells varied in smoothness and did look thin so i should have known better but c'est la vie.

                                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                  D'oh! Although it's interesting to hear that they vary in their approach to badness - mine definitely weren't underdone. Overdone/stale was more like it...but the rock hard filling seems to be the common denominator. Have you had the ones from the girl at SLM yet? Those were actually quite good the one time I tried them.

                                  1. re: Wahooty

                                    i asked them how old they were and the answer was about 2 days... it was made all the more disappointing because the lady at the cash mentioned how she had one the day before and it was amazing. what an over sell!

                                    as for the lemon tree patisserie macarons... i want to love them. she's a sweet girl and news that she had no qualms with tossing a bad batch made me more excited. unfortunately mine were hollow shelled which is a rather big problem for me. the flavours were good though and the fillings were fine but that empty cookie... i contacted her afterwards and she just chalked it up to variances in batches which removed a lot of confidence. i will probably try them again just to be sure. i did however grab some thuet ones afterwards and will have to admit that if given some "marination" time as suggested by estufarian, they can be very good but still not quite hitting that perfect mark (one problem being a rather thick outer shell).

                                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                      On a recent visit to Belgium I was able to try several versions and discovered that my 'perfect' version had a 'very light' meringue biscuit - sort of crumbled into very small pieces in the mouth, followed by a sort of 'al dente' chew to give a very different 'second' sensation. Also (and this is the larger sin) it should NOT be too sweet - excessive sweetness doesn't allow the other flavours to come through.
                                      Although my 'best effort in Toronto' is still Thuet, the cookie is not as light as those I had in Europe (or Japan).

                                      For the record, the best were from Wittamer. To see examples link to this blog (from 2008 - better picture than Wittamer website)


                2. re: j6p

                  These are not just kids off the street here is their petigree:

                  "Having held the illustrious position in London of assistant Executive Pastry Chef at Michelin star adorned restaurant, Hakkasan, Nourian knows how to please with her pastries. In fact, she is such a perfectionist, worried that she would not be able to properly train Torontonian pastry chefs, she had to bring her right hand woman – Laur Larrose, who also worked at Hakkasan – with her. "

                  If she is such a perfectionis then she should not open her doors until she is ready. It is not like a restaurant where food is cooked to order.. They cook their products when they want, how they want and what they want.. if a batch does not come out of the oven right it is not like you have a table waiting for them.. you just dump them in the garbage and start again. They do not have to worry about waiters, bussboys, bartenders. they just have to put out half decent pastries on a shelf...

                  I could see your argument if it was inconsistient with the majority good but some bad.. but this place is just not good at any price let alone the prices they charge... And the sooner they realize that the better for them!

                  1. re: OnDaGo

                    I havn't seen any post defending them. All I see is the bad reviews.
                    Yes, they've been baking for a couple of weeks but I think it might take longer than that to get it right. And really, a couple weeks? That's all you give them? Obviously noone of you guys work in the industry.
                    I don't think she claims to be a perfectionist, it's just the dude that wrote the article and we all know the article is inaccurate.
                    I have to say, I've been to the patisserie and took a look and walked back out but I wouldn't go on the net and start saying how bad it was and how you threw the pastry out and making jokes about laughing at them. I would go back in a month or so and see again before I make a call.

                    1. re: j6p

                      Come on!
                      They didn't hesitate to use their 'pedigree' in promoting the place. Michelin starred! Over here from Europe! Introducing innovative product (which, of course, wasn't - witness the HUNDREDS of previous posts on macarons) which wasn't available in New York (outright falsehood)!
                      If an experienced baker from a Michelin starred restaurant can't get it right pretty quickly, then I start questioning the value of that Michelin star.
                      The irony is that, knowing they came from Hakkasan, I wasn't really expecting much. The food there is competent, but I don't even recall the pastries.
                      Of course, the puff-piece on Martini Boys was so incompetent as to be laughable (as you mention).
                      And the response here earlier (since removed by moderators) from a first-time poster, saying similar things to you - but MUCH more aggressively (and casting aspersions on the early posters) didn't help their cause.
                      I actually partially agree with you - new ventures do, perhaps, need a little time to 'settle in'. But don't charge premium prices for a questionable product (which I haven't tried - but am familiar with other posts by the contributors so far, and I've not seen any evidence of 'axes to grind').

                      Why not have an 'opening special' with discount prices until the quality is consistent (presumably good). If I'm charged premium prices, then surely I'm entitled to comment.

                      1. re: j6p

                        all posts defending them have obviously been from management (ie a schill) and/or were so attacking (ie. a flame) and were recognized as such by CH mods that they were deleted as they should be. they were then copied over onto the martiniboys website for the most part if you want to take a look at them. they only lasted minutes at time here.

                        no, a couple weeks isn't a lot of time but in combination with atrocious service, i feel no need to return. if it were discounted as estufarian suggests and they were willing to hear customers opinions with a friendly smile, then well, i'd check back in a while. but they haven't and to be earnest, i get the feeling nadege herself doesn't know what's going on.

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          I think first of all, that this shows what I think most people know. That for every great european bakery/patisserie, there is a crappy one, and I know because I've seen/hired european patissiers and I've been confused at who taught them what they do and how they got away with it for so long. Nadege's first problem, and it's undefendable is serving product that is not to people's expectations. It doesn't matter how long they've been open, that should've just taken a day or two to get an oven and maybe a proofer sorted out.

                          Not a single person in the industry, except slackers, think that there is a warming up period where they are allowed to make mistakes. Not a single self-respecting baker. I'm going to try and check out Nadege today, but if it's terrible, than it's terrible. Every store owner knows that they have to open strong because first impressions can only be made once.

                          Also, it's going to be a problem if Macarons are going to be a new trend in the city. Very, very few can make them well, if at all. They are a highly skilled and labour heavy item to produce, so if it does swell, there will a lot of expensive little, terrible macarons around the city.

                        2. re: j6p

                          If you went to a new clothing store and bought a shirt.. got it home and one sleeve was 2 inches longer then the other would you say .. well they are just starting out they have to get used to the equipment .. I will just roll up the sleeve and say nothing?

                          At Pastry show is a retail store it is not a restaurant... in a restaurant things have to be done a la minute where you have new staff that make mistakes donet know the recipes. A pastry shop loads up all stock in the morning... so if the pastries are not right the baker should see that and not sell them.. And I am not talking about subtle things like the gloss on a macaron I am talking about a croissant that did not rise and is only a 1/2 inch thick and going back 4 days later and the croissants look the same.. Unless she is reinventing the croissant as a pancake there is something wrong..

                          I also find it interesting that in looking up this Michelen starred restaurant that she came from I find that it is a basement dim sum place with carts... and the online menus do not even list desserts on them.. Now I am not saying you cannot have good desserts in a chinese restaurant but Dim Sum does not make me think amazing pastries..

                    2. "Coffee was served as it is everywhere in Europe, ready to drink."

                      Well, hey. I'm packing up right now and heading over.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Pincus

                        I do so hate it when my coffee is served North American style, some assembly required.

                      2. First impressions - beautiful and elegant shop, noticeably new; had a latte with one cake and it was lovely, lunch selection was lean.
                        Have referred friends to visit. Give them a fair chance!

                        1. I say give them a chance! They have obviously put much time, passion and money into their shop and it is lovely. I tried the croissants on the weekend and I thought they were a great. No one makes a great living at this so independent businesses like Nadege need our support and a chance to win us over.

                          1. The shop it self is beautiful, very simplistic and modern, but I have to ditto pretty much everybody's comments and say that the products themselves are a joke. At the price that I payed, I expected something. 'Effort and hard work' doesn't mean jack if the result is lacking.
                            The croissants were flat and dense. It doesn't help that each product is displayed individually on a low, white showcase. It emphasized the size and shape of the product and makes them look even worse. The madeleines were awful(tasteless and soggy), and the macarons were disappointing. The cake I had was pretty, but the sake(im guessing) that they infused in the mousse killed the flavor of everything else. The insides basically tasted like a cheap chinese supermarket cake.
                            Honestly, I don't understand how they can send out and sell products when they're like that... do they even sample them?

                            1. After a lackluster mushy croissant and a bit too sweet but otherwise great ice latte at Clafouti this morning, I stumbled across Nadege. I stepped in for a peek, curious to check out the minimalist interior design but didn't purchase anything. I noticed two others did the exact same.

                              I wasn't hungry, so can't comment on the food per se. The space itself was interesting / modern, but yes, cold. Food was displayed very carefully, almost like museum pieces. The prices seemed high considering the small portions, though I am sure if presented differently would feel more reasonable. A small plastic box of Nadege gin and tonic marshmallows ran a clearly labeled $5... I was curious, but not quite curious enough to plunk down $5 for 5 cubes. Small sandwiches ran $6, which could be fine, but again as presented seemed exorbitant. Also, as I recall there was no where to sit inside, so this seems to be strictly fancy takeout. While I might swing by if in the neighborhood after winning the lottery and am feeling curious... I am in no rush.

                              Gosh, I miss the days when Jules on Mt. Pleasant served great food...

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: JonasBrand

                                The small sandwich was actually $7 and not that good. The ingredients seemed of high quality only there wasn't enough proscuitto or cheese, (though there was enough lettuce). T Their croissant that serves as bread isn't flaky or chewy or all that buttery tasting...

                                1. re: chocabot

                                  This place deserves a trip by, just to see how cheap, or luxuriant but small, they might be.

                                  Nadege Patisserie
                                  780 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                              2. I checked this place out today, and I have to say it was really good. I had the fig and porsut baked item, at $4.75 it was a steal. Fresh figs, high quality cheese and prosut.

                                Then, intrigued by that item, I moved on to the saussicon 7$ sandwhich on walnut and plum bread. It was lovely, maybe worth 5-6$ but if it's real saussicon you have to import it.

                                I would highly recommend this place for a quick snack. The pastries did seem a little flat however.

                                p.s. if it's any help, I lived in Lyon for a year so I know a thing or two about good french baked goods.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: gastronom

                                  I had that sandwich, a little lacking and dry. No need to import the cold cuts, we are seeing more and more local charcuterie around here in the last little while.

                                  1. re: Sui_Mai

                                    Where do you buy local saucisson?

                                    1. re: gastronom

                                      For hams, Cheese Boutique, not sure if they have a local saucisson. For eat-in, the Black Hoof and maybe Union.

                                2. I just thought I'd add that I tried a chocolate filled croissant from Nadege today, which is the first time I've eaten from there. I really enjoyed it...I thought it was better than Le Gourmand's croissants and I'm a big Le Gourmand fan. I know my cookies, brownies and cupcakes better when it comes to bakeries but I wouldn't kick a Nadege croissant out of bed for eating crackers.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: sarnya

                                    I went to Nadege today for the first time.
                                    The sterile pretentious modern decor would probably impress a lot of people. It doesn't impress me. It makes me want to gaurd my wallet. It also makes me second guess myself on thinking "am I too cheap for wanting to spend $5 on a half fresh pastry?". I'm all about spending more if it's absolutely delicious. The choices are not geared for the masses. Croissant with figs and items like that. Tons of Macaroons. These do nothing for me. Pretty yes, but meh to eat. White polished counter tops as large as a football field with under 10 items on it that are spaced out and looking shiny and dry.
                                    I had a Canelle I think they are called. Slightly burnt one biters with supposed custard inside. Too sweet. Not bad but not worth the price. I prefer the custard tarts in little Portugal by a landslide without the drama and yuppy appeal. If I lived down the street I would probably want to give it another shot but I would not go out of my way for it. Would I kick a Nadege pastry out of bed? No. Would I kick any pastry out of my bed. No.

                                    1. re: food face

                                      Very accurate description of Nadege, hard to believe the chef has such high qualifications given whats in there go online and type in Laduree to see what a pastry shop should look like.

                                  2. I stopped by Nadege a few weeks ago.

                                    I'm with those who don't care for the decor. Pastries were very pretty little baubles, but with all that white space I couldn't get the "embalming slab" comment out of my head. It's hilariously apt. Service was sweet and patient (bakery deliberations are tough work for me). I had two macarons, chocolate espresso and a rose water (or something like that... one was chocolate-cofee-y and one was pink and rose-y... please don't disregard my opinion just because I got the names wrong, waxingdeep). I quite liked the macs. They were crisp but soft, sweet but not cloying, and a nice size. Not inexpensive, but I'd stop in again if I had a craving while I was in the nabe. Two made for a very satisfying snack.

                                    1. Actually, this is one of my favourite places to get pastries. They're delicious whenever I go and the staff are extremely pleasant. I've been going since the summer of 2010 so perhaps the older posts have made them improve?

                                      Try them yourself- I recommend the deep fried custard (I think you get a deal if you buy 3), chocolate almond croissant, or any of the mini-cakes. The last few times I've gotten take away they have awesome containers to transport them in that don't result in messes.

                                      18 Replies
                                      1. re: newmrfoodie

                                        I love the salted caramel tart. Hate that they always give it to me in a baggie. I think their cakes look lovely, but I haven't tried any thing else but the tart and macarons.

                                        1. re: jlunar

                                          I love that tart too jlunar. I think the new to-go packaging is fairly recent (I saw it for the first time two weeks ago but hadn't been in a few months) and much more successful than the baggie.

                                          1. re: Manybears

                                            Thanks for the update! I probably just missed it. I went maybe a few weeks ago for macarons (for my macaron map) but couldn't resist getting the tart.

                                            http://www.foodpr0n.com -- food. is. love.

                                        2. re: newmrfoodie

                                          Food presentation is excellent but in terms of tast and food quality, they're more expensive but not better than other bakeries such as Rahier or a few others in mid-town Toronto.

                                          1. re: syoung

                                            They're the closest thing I've found to the patisseries in Paris. I've not found better. And trust me , I've been looking pretty hard! Ha.

                                            1. re: syoung

                                              Spot on. Nadege is form over function. Looks gorgeous, but taste and texture underwhelms.

                                              1. re: JonasBrand

                                                Then you'll also be under-whelmed by the pastry in Paris.

                                                1. re: justpete

                                                  I'm with Justpete. I've been going once every few months since it opened, and trying at least two of the cakes each time---I've also had 'rons on a half dozen occasions. It is far better than any other patisserie (not a fan of the croissants or sandwiches however) that I have ever been to in Toronto--with Rahier and highly uneven Thuet being my runners up. Utterly baffled by consistent bad reviews.

                                                  1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                                                  609 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                                                  1. re: mstacey42

                                                    I think people are generally more angry about the prices than the food itself - but quality like they have doesn't come cheap. I agree on the sandwiches - but they do in a pinch. The Almond croissant is pretty delicious though - maybe give it another try?

                                                    1. re: justpete

                                                      I don't think that's the case at all. I finally got to try some of their macarons this weekend and I was totally underwhelmed. I would happily pay double the price per macaron if they were close to the quality of what I've had in Paris. Nothing in Canada compares to what one can get at say Laudree.

                                                      1. re: JennaBean

                                                        I usually stick to Pierre Herme or Laduree, I haven't had Gerard Mulot... but I'll have to try it next time. It's not as good as in Paris - but I wouldn't expect them to be - however they are still quite delicious, and the best I've found in Canada so far. The Salted Caramel and Rasberry-Chocolate Macaron are excellent - perhaps they had an off day when you attended. Their other pastries (namely, their almond croissant) are excellent as well.

                                                        1. re: justpete

                                                          I had the almond croissant as well the day I went and it was delish! I would go back for one of those babies for sure! Tres yum!

                                                          1. re: justpete

                                                            Oh and try one with the crumble on it. Yum yum yum! Not traditional but still amazing!

                                                  2. re: JonasBrand

                                                    I must agree with Jonas Brand. I was there on Monday for the first time and was utterly disappointed. Their butter croissants were horrible. There was nothing flaky or buttery about them. I felt like I was eating a bun rather than a croissant

                                                    1. re: kwass

                                                      How odd. Admittedly I haven't been there for a couple of months, but I find it hard to believe they would have fallen so far from grace. I usually almost have to wipe the butter from my chin.

                                                      1. re: justpete

                                                        Do they have multiple pastry chefs? One might be more skilled than the other?

                                                        1. re: Pincus

                                                          Good question. I know that Nadege is the first name of the Pastry Chef. She's from France. I don't know whether she supervises or what the deal is.

                                                          After reading all the negative reviews of late, I have to admit - I did go back last week. Although the salted caramel macaron was still as delicious, I don't think the Rasberry or Chocolate macarons were quite as good. It was missing a ... je ne sais quoi... they may have switched their chocolate, I'm not certain - but I admit, I was a little disappointed. Some of the macaron also seemed smaller than previoius.

                                                          The almond croissants, though? Still incredible.

                                                  3. re: syoung

                                                    I go there occasionally and have found the croissants consistently excellent, and certainly the best bet in that neighbourhood. (Clafouti had good croissants years ago, but theirs have long since degenerated into heavy, soggy crescent rolls.) At the end of last summer there was an absolutely FANTASTIC pain aux abricots. The price for these breakfasty pastries seems comparable to Thuet et al. Have also tried the sandwiches and all have been tasty. Surprised by the number of recent bad experiences.

                                                    While I find the fancier pastries unappealing in style and nearly unaffordable in price, I was treated to a complicated Valentine's mousse construction last week that was delicious. Probably wouldn't have spent $7 on it myself though!

                                                2. Finally broke down and tried this place. I had been avoiding it because of the plethora of 'fake' reviews on this and other sites (only some of which were removed). If reviews are ‘planted’ what potential does that show for ‘honest ingredients’?

                                                  The thing that finally convinced me was the rave reviews for the salted caramel tart. AmuseGirl is a salted caramel addict and with Valentine’s Day approaching – how could I go wrong? – her favourite pastry/dessert of all-time was a salted caramel tart purchased in Tokyo from Henri Le Roux (which unfortunately was not stocked at their only Paris outlet). On reflection I can’t think of anything I would prefer to that either. And, being there, a few macarons (salted caramel for her; chestnut, and rose, for me). Roughly $15.00 in total.

                                                  But the proof is in the eating – my two macarons were eaten same day and were ‘not quite right’. The almond flavour was dominant to the point of masking the flavour of the filling, but I guess that shows authentic ingredients were used. The footing was good but the disappointment came in the texture which almost seemed slightly damp – not ‘crumbly’ like a fresh macaron, but also not chewy which usually means day-old (to me – and I actually prefer that consistency). Just ‘damp’ ! And I noticed that these were the smallest versions I’ve seen in Toronto (OK I’m sure someone can refute this, but they are definitely smaller than those made for commercial sale in other retailers). And AmuseGirl’s reaction? – here we are a few days after Feb 14th and 1 of the 2 is still ‘lying around’. One was enough.

                                                  But that wasn’t the main course – the salted caramel tart was the REAL objective. Oh Dear! Almost total disaster – the only redeeming factor was the film of burned caramel through the centre which was very good – but the rest was not particularly exciting – we didn’t even finish it between two of us (although we did destroy it to get at the burned caramel film). The crust was passable but the main part (80%?) seemed to be a caramel flavoured cream cheese (at best). Maybe a slightly whipped cream cheese – I used to get a brick of caramel cream-cheese (I though it was Kraft Philadelphia, but they’re not showing that product) – and that was both better and cheaper.

                                                  Fortunately, I hopped the street car and the salted chocolate caramels from Soma salvaged my reputation!

                                                  And my intention here is not to malign any genuine reviewers of Nadege – if I didn’t respect those, I still wouldn’t have ventured there – but my Valentine’s wish for you is an opportunity to try the Henri le Roux salted caramel tart.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: estufarian

                                                    Oof! I'm glad that your day wasn't ruined, at least. I GUESS it's okay for us hounds to like different things. I do hope your Valentine's wish comes true someday though :-)

                                                  2. While I don't know if they use silicone molds or not, the white tops are not a definite indicator of their use. One can slather sufficient butter or beeswax to brown the tops to get the desired crispiness, though I find that approach will often yield overly burnt caneles.

                                                    Having discovered and devoured tons of caneles in Paris when I was working there, I never once came across mini-sized ones as at Nadege. I must say though that they are usually tremendous: crispy on the outside and soft and custardy on the inside.

                                                    On the rare occasion I've found them to be a bit soggy, but I think that's a function of their freshness. I'm pretty sure they make them several times per day, if you get the oldest ones you risk some sogginess. I'd suggest you give them another try.

                                                    Having said that, I haven't been terribly impressed with the macarons or pain au chocolats at Nadege. In the former case they're usually too dense and imbalanced and in the latter case I would echo kwass's comment that they're often like biting into a bun or dinner roll.

                                                    EDIT: It seems the negative review I responded to has been deleted. All the same, I hope this is helpful.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: vidkid

                                                      Thanks for posting vidkid! I have been wanting to try some good canale and looks like Nadege is worth a trip. I agree with you about their macarons and pastries, so wasn't really keen on visiting if their canales were along the same lines...

                                                      1. re: vidkid

                                                        My review was removed because I mentioned Pusateri's as a past source of Macarons which were good. I still say Nadege is not worth visiting at least for the Canelles, or coffee which was passable. The Bicerin at Soma however wow! Best $5 you'll ever spend.

                                                        1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                                        1. re: TheDewster

                                                          Where did Pusateri's get the macarons from? As far as I knew they didn't bake their wares themselves but brought them in from assorted sources.

                                                          1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                                          1. re: Full tummy

                                                            They told me but I forget call them they will tell you.

                                                            1. re: TheDewster

                                                              I was really just trying to make the point that there's no such thing as Pusateri's macarons. And, the supplier they use now may be different from what you've had before there, though only you will be able to answer that question.

                                                              1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

                                                              1. re: Full tummy

                                                                Gotcha good as of a month ago. Check out Laduree's website to see the inventors stores in Paris WOW www.laduree.fr/en/scene

                                                                1. re: TheDewster

                                                                  Tried the cannelés, recently. Sadly, they tasted as if they'd been sitting there for a few days, hard and chewy. Couldn't eat them. $6 in the trash, brilliant.