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

fvande Jan 21, 2011 06:32 AM

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?

  1. sunshine842 Jan 21, 2011 12:59 PM

    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
      fvande Jan 21, 2011 03:21 PM

      thank you. i will add this to my list!

    2. v
      vielleanglaise Jan 21, 2011 02:19 PM

      How's your French?


      6 Replies
      1. re: vielleanglaise
        fvande Jan 21, 2011 03:21 PM

        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
          Busk Jan 21, 2011 06:09 PM

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

          1. re: Busk
            fvande Jan 21, 2011 06:18 PM

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

            Aren't their some smaller boutique patisseries too?

            1. re: fvande
              Busk Jan 21, 2011 08:28 PM

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

            2. re: Busk
              Ptipois Jan 22, 2011 12:25 AM

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

            3. re: fvande
              Ptipois Jan 22, 2011 12:24 AM

              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. p
            Ptipois Jan 22, 2011 12:30 AM

            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
              vielleanglaise Jan 22, 2011 03:53 AM

              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
                Ptipois Jan 22, 2011 11:26 AM

                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
                  vielleanglaise Jan 22, 2011 02:01 PM

                  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
                Busk Jan 22, 2011 04:30 AM

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

                1. re: Busk
                  Gman Jan 22, 2011 05:29 AM

                  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
                    fvande Jan 22, 2011 07:30 AM

                    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
                      Ptipois Jan 22, 2011 11:28 AM

                      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
                  fvande Jan 22, 2011 07:32 AM

                  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
                    Ptipois Jan 22, 2011 11:30 AM

                    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
                      fvande Jan 23, 2011 02:12 PM

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

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