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Jan 21, 2011 06:32 AM

American in Paris for 48 hours...must eats including pistachio financiers?

I'll be in Paris for 48 hours in June taking the Eurostar from London.
This is my second trip to Paris and last summer the highlights were:
Christian Constant, Noora and Eric Kayser.
Can anyone suggest another bistro comparable to Les Cocottes de Christian Constant, Lebanese food better than Noora for lunch and a place to purchase pistachio financiers other than Kayser?

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  1. don't know for sure if they make them, but Stohrer on rue Montorgeuil is definitely a patissier worth visiting.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      thank you. i will add this to my list!

      1. re: vielleanglaise

        Unfortunately, my French is not very good at all. I can read a menu but can not speak.
        I will look at LeFigaro.

        Do you have other patissers that you can recommend?

        WHat do you all think about Laduree, Angelina or Fauchon?

        1. re: fvande

          I you are talking about Angelina, the hot chocolate people, I think their patisseries are awful: too sweet, taste like clay.

          1. re: Busk

            Yes, so who do you recommend for pastries?
            I love Eric Kayser.

            Aren't their some smaller boutique patisseries too?

            1. re: fvande

              I have a Gerard Mulot close by, so that's my "go to" for nicer stuff.

            2. re: Busk

              "Like clay" is a good description. With Paris plaster added for texture.

            3. re: fvande

              The article contains a jpeg with all the addresses and all the info you need. I think they did their homework, all these pâtissiers are rather the old-fashioned type so they haven't given up on the financier. Avoid the trendy ones (except for Hugo et Victor if I believe the article).
              Laurent Bonneau (rue d'Auteuil), a much overlooked boulanger, makes great financiers also.

          2. Lebanese food better than Noura is easy to find. Noura is basically a good place but the quality depends on where they're located. And service is terrible everywhere. The pastries, which used to be the best Lebanese pastries in Paris, have gone downhill. Last time I was there they had nothing with almonds in it. Just cashews and peanuts aside from the mandatory pistachios. And they were gooey, with no taste of clarified butter.
            Now I think you'll be better off at Al Dar (avenue George-V and rue Frédéric-Sauton in the 5th) and, for pastries, at Chaam (rue Monge) which sells Syrian pastries.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Ptipois

              The welcome at Noura often leaves a lot to be desired too...But the rolled crèpe like pastries, filled with an orange blossom scented cream, and bathed in a light syrup (i should write menu descriptions) does anyone else sell them, preferably rive droite, towards the east?

              1. re: vielleanglaise

                Chaam sells only "dry" pastries, nougat and fruit cheeses. The dry pastries are delicious baklavas, kadaif, birds' nests, etc., made with walnuts, almonds and pistachios. Incredibly buttery and crispy. The pastries sold at Lebanese caterers like Noura are not exactly the same since they're made "fresh" regularly and are not for keeping. However I recommend Chaam for a unique pastry experience, there's nothing like them.
                I do like the rolled crêpe-like pastries at Noura, they're more like "entremets" and probably still made the right way. I must confess my ignorance regarding possible alternatives, especially rive droite where I can't think of any Lebanese place at all. Al Dar and Fakhr-el-Dine make decent pastries.

                I am not a fan of sticky, sugary Algerian pastries that made La Bague de Kenza successful, but I really love the tiny, delicate Tunisian pastries from Masmoudi. They began by opening a small shop on boulevard Saint-Germain near Saint-Michel and now they are beginning to open counters in department stores. I think there is one at Lafayette Gourmet. Try anything with almonds in them.

                La Grande Mosquée... I've leaved next door to it for decades and if I have never ever seen the restaurant improve, at least the pastries are definitely better now than they were before. Still I find them a little on the heavy side.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  Too bad about the crepe like things.

                  Quite agree about the Mosquee. I resent paying for a mint tea similar to the one the Kabil guy across the street from me makes, but at 3 times the price. Ditto the pastries.

                  The decor, and the birds flying around are nice though.

              2. re: Ptipois

                Or at the Mosque. You know, "of Paris" behind the Natural History museum in the 5th.

                1. re: Busk

                  If you want other options - l'Atlas, the Moroccan place on blvd St Germain has opened a take-away place a few doors down and seemed to have both savory and sweet. Haven't tried it though.... Was at the mosque last year and they had beautiful looking pastries.

                  1. re: Gman

                    I have heard great things about Hugo et Victor. Has anyone been? DO you know what I should try there?

                    And why does Noura have such terrible service?
                    Yes, I want to try L'Atlas on this trip! Thanks for the recommendation.

                    1. re: fvande

                      Yes, do try L'Atlas, it is quite good. I love the restaurant, and if the take-away food is of the same quality, that should be interesting indeed.

                2. re: Ptipois

                  Looking for French food comparable to Christian Constant,
                  Lebanese food for lunch better than Noura (why is there service so horrible; I agree),
                  and a place for financiers as good as Kayser.
                  Is it worth it for me to return to Laduree or Fauchon?

                  I don't care much for Lebanese desserts but love kebab, shwarma and mezas.

                  1. re: fvande

                    Shawarma is good at Al Dar. Particularly the chicken chawarma, which is one thing Noura also does well.
                    Oh I almost forgot, there is a good Lebanese restaurant on the right bank, rue de la Banque actually: Liza. A modern, lounge-like place, a bit expensive but really good food.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      Thank you! LAtlas, Al Dar and Liza all sounds great.