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La Pâtisserie des rêves par Philippe Conticini

olivierb Sep 1, 2009 05:27 AM

So, Conticini opened his new shop rue du Bac to the public today.
Being close to the shop, I went around 1pm. Unfortunately it was too late as most of the individual cakes were already gone. I had already eaten anyway so I just got a tarte Tatin. It was perfectly delicious, with a very thick layer of very soft apples that almost melted in the mouth, placed on a fantastic and fresh puff pastry. They also give you a (relatively) big pot of whipped mascarpone which has hints of lemon and vanilla. Very good, once again.
As a Norman, I may prefer the tarte Tatin with more caramelized apples, but regardless on how it should be named, this first taste of Conticini's pastry was very promising. I'll go back later this week to sample a broader range of what he has to offer.

The shop in itself is quite original. No big display with cakes aligned next to each other. Instead, there's a round table in the center of the shop, and one sample of each cake is displayed under glass bells. The cakes are ordered to the staff, and then come directly out of the kitchen.

It's expensive, of course (it's Paris, its rue du Bac, it's a reknown chef) but not as much as I feared: around 4,5EUR-5EUR for individual ones and around 25EUR for what probably are 6-person cakes.

Conticini was actually here. He was delighted about how much he sold, and chatted with the customers.

I also took the leaflet with me, so if anyone wants to know what is offered at the shop, I can write the list down!

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  1. souphie RE: olivierb Sep 1, 2009 06:35 AM

    Haha, I beat you there! And still you posted before me.

    In my opinion, you got the best with the Tatin. The whipped mascarpone with it is with lime, I think. It is very different from a traditional tatin, or from the one Conticini used to have at Peltier, and I think it works magically with the cream.

    The next best think, maybe even better, was the Paris-Brest. It had nothing special (except maybe the concentrated praliné in the middle) but was impossible for me not to finish.

    I also tasted the chocolate éclair, the lemon meringue tart, the kouign-amann and two pastries called "Le Pain Gourmand à la vanille" and "la Folie", a brioche feuilletée that has a brilliant bergamot custard, but too little of it.

    Honestly, I think of Conticini as a major genius, and while that tasting was very good, it felt short of my expectations. I'll be back for the Paris Brest and the Saint Honoré, but that's it.

    Also I really did not think it was expensive -- it's the same price as any average bakery in town, and much classier. Four cakes and three viennese pastries cost me 25e, fancy packaging included.

    Speaking of which, one major innnovation in the packaging: they have little bits holding the cakes inside the box!

    I'll have some pics for you in a few minutes.

    9 Replies
    1. re: souphie
      souphie RE: souphie Sep 1, 2009 06:55 AM

      There you go: http://picasaweb.google.fr/ZeJulot/La...

      1. re: souphie
        ChefJune RE: souphie Sep 1, 2009 07:07 AM

        Oh my word! You are making me very hungry. Those pictures are SO descriptive.

        1. re: ChefJune
          souphie RE: ChefJune Sep 1, 2009 09:23 AM

          It does kick the ass of Financier.

          1. re: souphie
            ChefJune RE: souphie Sep 1, 2009 10:16 AM

            It probably kicks the a$$ of every patisserie in New York. We're not known for great cakes! (especially since Payard closed).

            1. re: souphie
              Delucacheesemonger RE: souphie Sep 2, 2009 06:48 AM

              Never felt that Financier had an ass to be kicked, very meh.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                souphie RE: Delucacheesemonger Sep 2, 2009 09:34 AM

                What's wrong with you?

              2. re: souphie
                dietndesire RE: souphie Sep 3, 2009 11:58 AM

                Financier, sad.
                Genin, yes, how close is Conticini to it?
                That is a good bar to use. Or maybe the bar to use.

            2. re: souphie
              Dodo RE: souphie Sep 1, 2009 07:10 AM

              Oh my God, this looks just too good.

              However, I hope he makes tartes au citron non meringuées!

            3. re: souphie
              olivierb RE: souphie Sep 1, 2009 07:27 AM

              I knew you would probably have bought half of the store this morning!
              I was particularly angry with our CEO planning a lunch with us on that particular day, as I would have loved getting there earlier and trying other things, but your comment on being disappointed makes me regret it a bit less.

            4. a
              AGM_Cape_Cod RE: olivierb Sep 1, 2009 07:15 AM

              Thank you both. I really appreciate how you have suffered to get us the latest information on La Pâtisserie des rêves par Philippe Conticini.

              2 Replies
              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                souphie RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Sep 1, 2009 09:19 AM

                we live to serve

                1. re: souphie
                  AGM_Cape_Cod RE: souphie Sep 1, 2009 09:23 AM

                  My heart bleeds for you. You have such tough service.

              2. PhilD RE: olivierb Sep 1, 2009 11:23 PM

                I missed it, and I was in rue du Bac yesterday as well...!
                I will visit later this week - sounds great.

                6 Replies
                1. re: PhilD
                  souphie RE: PhilD Sep 2, 2009 05:34 AM

                  You know what else is really good? Des Gateaux et du Pain:

                  1. re: souphie
                    olivierb RE: souphie Sep 2, 2009 08:13 AM

                    I think I'll have to go back to this place one day, because I went once to try many different things and it was, well... not bad but very average to my taste: either overly complicated or too sweet, and the bread (baguette) wasn't good.

                    1. re: olivierb
                      souphie RE: olivierb Sep 2, 2009 09:34 AM

                      Their pastry are indeed too sweet for me. But it should not be a problem for the Hermé fan, as this is not as sweet.

                      You know what else is better? Génin

                      1. re: souphie
                        Nancy S. RE: souphie Sep 2, 2009 10:21 AM

                        I ate several of their tarts and other pastries in July and was very much impressed. Indeed, this was my favorite shop, whereas last year Pain du Sucre was my preference. Also, I think their pastries are a lot less sweet than Gerard Mulot or Secco.

                        1. re: souphie
                          ChefJune RE: souphie Sep 2, 2009 10:38 AM

                          <You know what else is better? Génin>

                          Isn't he the Chocolate Maestro?

                          1. re: ChefJune
                            olivierb RE: ChefJune Sep 2, 2009 11:37 AM

                            He's the everything maestro, as far as I'm concerned!

                  2. PhilD RE: olivierb Sep 3, 2009 12:10 AM

                    We popped in yesterday. My advice is don't go yet. It was very crowded and lots of cakes are not available, they have tempting samples under the domes but our server explained these are not on sale yet and they would not be in stock for week, thus we settled for our third choice a orange tart. It was good, a fine pastry with a orange creme brulee filling.

                    I thought the serving system was poor. Clearly a case of form over function. A server takes your order on a handheld, you pay another person, a third selects the cake from the storeroom, and a fourth gets and packs the cake. This isn't a quick process.

                    But my main beef is the packaging. One small tart arrived in a large box, this was then placed in a thick glossy cardboard carrier bag (far better quality that Hermes!), we then got two sets of picnic cutlery (high quality plastic knife, fork and spoon) and two linen like napkins. I love good packaging, I love high quality, I love great service and attention to detail. But I abhor waste, and this was wasteful, pretentious and not necessary.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: PhilD
                      souphie RE: PhilD Sep 3, 2009 04:25 AM

                      I agree that service is poor, but I think the reason it's so long is because they actually make your cake on order. If not, they're even worse than I think.

                      I disagree about your assessment of the packaging: it's the first time I get pastry that don't arrive somewhat crushed at my home, so I find it pretty efficient. The disposable fabric towels are indeed a waste, but they're cute.

                      1. re: souphie
                        PhilD RE: souphie Sep 3, 2009 09:35 AM

                        I was peeking into the back of the shop and they had trays of cakes ready to go, thus I don't think they are made to order.

                        1. re: PhilD
                          souphie RE: PhilD Sep 3, 2009 11:38 AM

                          well then, they really suck.

                          1. re: souphie
                            olivierb RE: souphie Sep 3, 2009 01:02 PM

                            Yup, that's only fridges and one guy packing the cake.
                            Tried the Eclair au Café today. OK, it's good, but not much more. I'll still go with a Génin éclair every day.

                            1. re: olivierb
                              Aleta RE: olivierb Sep 5, 2009 12:01 PM

                              We're stopping in Paris in December on the way back from Egypt. One whole day will be devoted to food shopping. Could anyone please tell us the current hours of operation at La Patisserie des Reves? I want to make sure we get there at the right time to snatch up some of these delicious pastries.

                              1. re: Aleta
                                Dodo RE: Aleta Oct 11, 2009 01:12 AM

                                Conticini was on the news on France 2 channel last night making a millefeuille. I guess I just have to go to his shop which by the way I thought looked very stylish. Otherwise, I'll be vising le Salon du Chocolat this coming week. Can't wait.

                                1. re: Dodo
                                  souphie RE: Dodo Oct 11, 2009 08:31 AM

                                  Beware that he only does millefeuille on sundays. And yes, all food lovers have to go at least once, they're likely to go again, even if, like me, they have reservations.

                                  1. re: souphie
                                    olivierb RE: souphie Oct 12, 2009 06:16 AM

                                    I've now tried most of their pastries, and, to be honest, if it wasn't so convenient for me to go there, I don't think I would go back often.

                                    I find it quite hard to pin down why exactly, but all in all, and while I appreciate the efforts he put into revisiting some timeless classics, I'd say Conticini pastry essentially caters to almost bestial cravings. When I don't have them, I can't help being underwhelmed.

                                    Then again I'm a Genin fanboy, and they could not be more different, apart from the fact they both have a very classical repertoire.

                                    1. re: olivierb
                                      Delucacheesemonger RE: olivierb Oct 12, 2009 06:53 AM

                                      Tried three things, call me a cretin, but took a bite of each and then skipped the rest. On the other hand did you ever look at the perfect zillions of slices in his too sweet tarte tatin,

                                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                        Dodo RE: Delucacheesemonger Nov 18, 2009 09:55 PM

                                        Paris Breakfasts has some superb photos of Conticini's patisseries on her blog (November 18, 2009).

                                        1. re: Dodo
                                          souphie RE: Dodo Nov 18, 2009 10:51 PM

                                          Those saleswomen are really something.

                    2. souphie RE: olivierb Jun 15, 2010 01:52 PM

                      Today I tried their new coffee moka. It was utter perfection, pure classicism. Don't go if you're not hungry. But man, that was awesome. That and the Paris-Brest, maybe the sunday millefeuille and the tarte tatin -- they're just perfect.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: souphie
                        yvonnez RE: souphie Jul 18, 2010 05:50 PM

                        I really want to go to Patisserie des reves - but is it closed in August?

                        1. re: yvonnez
                          souphie RE: yvonnez Jul 19, 2010 05:07 AM

                          We should call them and ask (not today, since this is monday). But my guess would be yes because 1- They have two store and 2- It's their first year.

                          1. re: souphie
                            Nancy S. RE: souphie Jul 19, 2010 06:32 AM

                            If it's any clue, on the website, there is a list of fruits of each month, and every month is represented except August!

                        2. re: souphie
                          olivierb RE: souphie Jul 19, 2010 11:08 AM

                          Haven't had the chance (or, to put it bluntly, did not bother) to try the millefeuille there. How is it exactly?
                          I think I had gone tired of the shop after going several times a week until I tried everything, but maybe it's time for me to go back!

                          1. re: olivierb
                            souphie RE: olivierb Jul 19, 2010 11:50 AM

                            It's become much better than at opening time. The chausson aux pommes, the clafoutis, the moka, are true musts. The brioche feuilletée is pretty delicious. The Paris-Brest is irresisitible but I owe it to the truth to recognize that their pate à chou is not at the highest standard (unlike Génin, héhé). I recommend eating the filling, with a spoon. It's actually much better. As for fruit tarts, this was never what you'd go to Conticini for.

                            1. re: souphie
                              olivierb RE: souphie Jul 19, 2010 12:29 PM

                              Good to hear! But did you try the millefeuille?
                              Re: eating the Paris Brest filling with a spoon, I don't know if that's really how I want to enjoy Conticini's pastry. I see it more like something that caters to certain cravings, like: "me hungry, me want (good) pastry, lots of it". Oops, now I've said it...

                              1. re: olivierb
                                souphie RE: olivierb Jul 19, 2010 12:32 PM

                                Just try. It's better.

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