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French Macaroons

b
billszoka Jan 27, 2011 11:55 AM

I will be hitting town in a few weeks and wondering where to find the best one's in town. Thanks!

  1. LeahBaila Jan 27, 2011 12:00 PM

    My favorites:
    Ceci Cela Patisserie
    Eat My Chocolate

    3 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila
      s
      sugartoof Jan 27, 2011 10:46 PM

      Eat My Chocolate? Really?

      I liked their flavored chocolates a great deal but found their attempt at Macaroons a comical failure. I think I tried a caramel flavor, but there was no actual flavor profile.

      The disgusting buttercream filling was essentially whipped butter added between a fairly misshaped attempt at oversized cookies, all without any noticeable sugar...and to make matters worse, the overpowering butter, tasted bitter and off.

      It looked and tasted as if someone who didn't know how to bake them was giving it a shot, couldn't pull off the recipe, and had not tasted one themselves before putting them for sale.

      Madeleine, and Bouchon, are the best I've had in NY.

      1. re: sugartoof
        LeahBaila Jan 28, 2011 04:26 AM

        Yep, really enjoyed the chocolate one I had @ EMC. I could care less about how a macaron looks, as long as it tastes good.

        1. re: LeahBaila
          s
          sugartoof Jan 28, 2011 11:06 AM

          Normally agree about the look, but in this case the unrefined looking macaroon was an indication of the taste. I'm sure remembering to add sugar on subsequent batches helps.

    2. h
      H Manning Jan 27, 2011 12:01 PM

      La Maison du Chocolat makes the best macarons.

      If you want a wider selection of flavors, try Patisserie Madeleine (but let the macarons come to room temperature before eating).

      -----
      La Maison du Chocolat
      30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

      6 Replies
      1. re: H Manning
        LeahBaila Jan 27, 2011 12:10 PM

        Room temp? I don't recall chilled macarons at PM.

        1. re: LeahBaila
          h
          H Manning Jan 27, 2011 12:30 PM

          The macarons at PM are usually chilled, at least that's been my experience.

          Seconding Ceci Cela, btw. Where is Eat My Chocolate?

          -----
          Ceci-Cela
          55 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

          1. re: H Manning
            LeahBaila Jan 27, 2011 12:42 PM

            Interesting!
            "Eat My Chocolate" is in Nolita - I stumbled upon it, randomly, one day and really enjoyed their overstuffed macarons: http://www.yelp.com/biz/eat-my-chocol....

            1. re: H Manning
              Miss Needle Jan 27, 2011 01:05 PM

              It's always been chilled in my experience as well. Agree with you that you must bring it to room temp. Otherwise it's not worth it.

              Bisous Ciao has been good as well. But my all time favorite in NYC area is Itzy Bitzy Patisserie. Sadly, you can't find them in a storefront anymore. But she does do delivery to Manhattan on Saturdays by delivery guy. And she does mail order as well. Closest I've found to Pierre Herme (which is my gold standard).

              http://www.itzybitzypatisserie.com/sh...

              -----
              Bisous Ciao
              101 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

              1. re: H Manning
                k
                kathryn Jan 27, 2011 02:31 PM

                Madeleine aka La Maison du Macaron or whatever it is they are calling themselves these days definitely has their macarons at fridge temperature.

                -----
                La Maison du Macaron
                132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

            2. re: H Manning
              k
              kathryn Jan 27, 2011 02:30 PM

              2nd La Maison and Patisserie Madeleine/La Maison du Macaron.

            3. ellenost Jan 27, 2011 12:36 PM

              The best French macarons are at Bisous Ciao on the LES. I class them as the best I've had outside of Laduree in Paris. Bisous Ciao has fantastic flavors and are very fresh.

              -----
              Bisous Ciao
              101 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

              2 Replies
              1. re: ellenost
                k
                kathryn Jan 27, 2011 02:32 PM

                Here's a report, it sounds lovely!

                http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/1...

                1. re: kathryn
                  ellenost Jan 27, 2011 03:09 PM

                  Thanks kathryn! I loved the caramel, gianduja, masala spiced chai, and lemon. They do have flower flavored macarons; the rose did taste like rose, but it was too perfumy for me.

              2. e
                edwardspk Jan 27, 2011 12:38 PM

                La Maison du Macaron also has good macarons.

                -----
                La Maison du Macaron
                132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                1. m
                  michelleats Jan 27, 2011 12:47 PM

                  La Maison du Macaron (formerly Madeleine) in Chelsea makes some of the best macarons I've had. The texture is perfect: crispy on the outside, soft and light and chewy on the inside. There's a nice "foot" on the cookie part and a good amount of rise, combined with the perfect proportion of filling for my tastes.

                  The best flavors I've tried were the lychee/rose (pink with gold), orange/praline/white chocolate (orange with nuts), caramel fleur de sel (brown) and melon/almond/lavender (pinkish orange).

                  They are sold from refrigerated cases, so make sure you let them come to room temperature before you eat them. Otherwise, the texture might be off.

                  By the way, there are some good older threads on the subject you might want to take a look at:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/481795
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/331328

                  -----
                  La Maison du Macaron
                  132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: michelleats
                    kelea Jan 27, 2011 01:22 PM

                    I agree with La Maison du Macaron. It is delicious!! I loved the caramel fleur de sel which i'm always searching for.

                    -----
                    La Maison du Macaron
                    132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                    1. re: michelleats
                      m
                      michelleats Jan 27, 2011 07:34 PM

                      A few pictures of the (very aesthetic) La Maison du Macaron macarons here: http://www.girleatscity.com/2011/01/l...

                      -----
                      La Maison du Macaron
                      132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                    2. t
                      tldmatrix Jan 27, 2011 03:13 PM

                      bouchon bakery
                      http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tldmatrix
                        k
                        kathryn Jan 27, 2011 03:19 PM

                        Bouchon's are very hit or miss. Some flavors are good, others are too sweet. And some have a decent texture, while others are too moist/gummy. Very odd.

                      2. j
                        jester99 Jan 28, 2011 07:09 AM

                        Bisous Ciao is a great place. Their seasonal flavors right now are great and I am a fan of their masala chai. I think they may have some newer flavors for the valentine day.

                        -----
                        Bisous Ciao
                        101 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

                        1. j
                          jec8c Jan 28, 2011 11:02 AM

                          francois payard patisserie on houston

                          -----
                          Francois Payard Bakery
                          116 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jec8c
                            i
                            InfoMofo Apr 28, 2011 10:34 AM

                            how did I miss that Payard had opened a new location!

                            I was truly crushed when their UES location closed- I will have to check this out- thank you!

                            1. re: InfoMofo
                              l
                              Lau Apr 28, 2011 11:20 AM

                              oh i need to try them there, i forgot that place isnt that far from where i live

                          2. l
                            linus500 Jan 28, 2011 04:59 PM

                            La Maison du Macaron on 23rd St has good macarons, and a great variety in flavors. Payard on Houston are delicious as well, but I only recall seeing very large ones there. La Maison's are smaller (but not cheap).
                            Do not go to Bouchon Bakery for macarons. They have fantastic pistachio cherry brioche and bouchons, but I've been pretty disappointed by everything else I've had there. I've given their macarons plenty of chances, but I vowed after the last one that that would be it. They often taste stale.

                            -----
                            Bouchon Bakery
                            10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                            La Maison du Macaron
                            132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                            1. l
                              Lau Jan 28, 2011 07:37 PM

                              i think bisous ciao is the best

                              here's my review:http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/740899

                              1. m
                                michelleats Jan 31, 2011 09:33 PM

                                I didn't think Bouchon Bakery's macarons were terrible at all. Some were a bit dense and / or overfilled (contrary to reports of underfilling I've read on this board).

                                (This is an excerpt from http://www.girleatscity.com/2011/02/b... :)

                                Flavors change a bit by season, but the ones that are on offer all the time include the classic (vanilla), chocolate, coffee and pistachio. Currently, they also have orange creme and peanut butter and jelly flavors.

                                The quality of these macarons varied a lot. I tried to conduct a relatively controlled experiment, whereby I brought all of them home, allowed them to come to room temperature, and then took one bite out of each macaron as I took notes. For greater nerd credibility, I even cleared my palate with sips of strong, Earl Grey tea in between bites.

                                Here are my not-very-scientific "findings":

                                Classic -- For some reason, I was expecting a completely unadulterated macaron with a light, delicate almond fragrance, but this macaron tasted fairly intensely of vanilla. The shell was a perfect texture, with a crisp, though not overly brittle outer shell. When you bit through the macaron, the "cookie" had a balanced density with just enough bite. The filling was creamy, intensely vanilla-y and a little too sweet, but the ratio of filling to shell was perfect. Even though this was the most humdrum of available flavors, it was also the most technically well-executed.

                                Coffee -- This had only a faint coffee flavor. Again, the shell was nicely crispy on the outside, without being brittle, and the inside was soft and chewy, not overly dense. Filling ratio was good, not overwhelming. It was pleasant to eat and well-made, but not mind-blowing.

                                Chocolate -- The flavor was excellent -- very rich and chocolatey, with a tinge of darkness, bitterness, which helped balance the intense sweetness of the filling. The cookie portion was fine, though a bit too flat. The filling was very dense, almost like a ganache or frosting, and completely overwhelmed the flavor and texture of the shell.

                                Pistachio -- In terms of flavor, the pistachio was my favorite: mellow, nutty, true to the name. I caught a whiff of coconut in there, as well. The filling was creamy and pleasantly light in texture, but very sweet. The cookie was a just a wee bit too dense.

                                Orange creme -- Again, I enjoyed the flavors -- lightly orange, more intensely lemony from the filling -- but the shell was very dry. The outer layer shattered when I bit into it, and there wasn't enough chew. The filling, which I think included a lemon jelly-like center with vanilla creme, was a good, creamy texture, but there was too much of it. The filling overpowered the shell in terms of both flavor and quantity.

                                Peanut Butter and Jelly -- This is a seasonal offering and I bet I would've liked it a lot if I actually loved peanut butter. As it was, I enjoyed the faintly grapey shell, which had a nice, crisp outside, but little rise or chew. The sticky peanut butter and grape jelly fillings were too dense for my tastes and completely overwhelmed the more delicate flavor of the shell.

                                I read complaints somewhere that Buchon Bakery doesn't fill its macarons enough. Either things have changed or these critics really, really, really like their fillings. If anything, I thought some macarons were overfilled for the type of filling. (The chocolate and PB&J macarons would have been more balanced and enjoyable had they had less of their very dense fillings.

                                )

                                All that said, Buchon still makes a good macaron. It's not a Chowhound favorite, I've noticed, but perhaps its critics ought to give it another try.

                                -----
                                Bouchon Bakery
                                10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: michelleats
                                  u
                                  uwsister Feb 1, 2011 05:45 PM

                                  I go to Bouchon Bakery fairly often as I'm addicted to their grilled cheese & tomato soup combo and it's one of my favorite places for lunch - I gotta say though there's something off about their macarons. The flavor is fine, but I have a problem with the texture. I can't exactly pinpoint what it is - but I think "gummy" as someone mentioned above might be one of the factors.

                                  1. re: uwsister
                                    ellenost Feb 2, 2011 05:14 AM

                                    uwister,

                                    If you get to the LES, you should try Bisous Ciao--definitely never gummy.

                                    1. re: ellenost
                                      l
                                      Lau Feb 2, 2011 05:51 AM

                                      agreed bisous ciao is excellent

                                      1. re: ellenost
                                        u
                                        uwsister Feb 2, 2011 01:31 PM

                                        I definitely will! Did they open recently? The name is not familiar.

                                        1. re: uwsister
                                          ellenost Feb 2, 2011 01:33 PM

                                          I believe they opened right before Labor Day.

                                  2. p
                                    Pookipichu Feb 2, 2011 01:53 PM

                                    Kee's makes wonderful macaroons. I've had them side by side with Maison du Chocolat and prefer Kee's. Not all flavors are equal and they need to come to room temperature for full enjoyment.

                                    Bouchon's macaroons can be too soft, inconsistent in quality.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Pookipichu
                                      k
                                      kathryn Feb 2, 2011 01:55 PM

                                      I haven't had Kee's in a while, but my recollection was that they were too crispy and airy so they basically shattered on the first bite. Is this still true?

                                      1. re: kathryn
                                        p
                                        Pookipichu Feb 2, 2011 02:03 PM

                                        Yes I've had that experience, I feel the macaroons sometimes dry out (especially the mini-macaroons). But other times they've been wonderful. Sometimes she will have a fresh batch and they're really lovely.

                                        I try to go earlier in the day as you have the best flavor selection. That being said, I still give the edge to Kee's because I've tried Bouchon several times and the texture of their macaroons have almost been mushy. As for Maison du Chocolat, I find them to be underwhelming, competent but lacking the vibrancy of Laduree. Also, the last time I was there (for Macaroon Day) their chocolates were chaulky in texture and barely a notch above Jacques Torres' mass market confections. I feel they are coasting on their name recognition and moneyed business types.

                                    2. f
                                      fala125 Feb 8, 2011 12:32 PM

                                      I was super disappointed with Bisous Ciao's macarons. They were not even baked on the inside, like baked long enough for the foot to form and that was it. I got 7 macarons and they were all like that, just gross. I don't want to be eating unbaked macaron batter. Soft, yes, unbaked and gooey in a sticky way not at all.

                                      Orsay's pastry department is making some interesting macarons now (they are on Lex and 75th St.) Though they aren't a shop, you can, as far as I know, go in and have some coffee and ask for a macaron plate. Madeleine/La Maison du Macaron on 23rd has decent macarons. I would stay away from Macaron Cafe - total waste of money. Don't bother with MadMacs found in Dean and Deluca - they are chalky.

                                      Bouchon's are alright, their buttercream is too heavy on the butter for my taste and lacking in the actual flavor that they are supposed to be. I've let them sit out for a good 45 mins to come to room temp and they are still icy butter cold on the inside.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: fala125
                                        Jess321 Feb 8, 2011 02:53 PM

                                        I used to LOVE Bisous Ciao, but my last visit unfortunately was similar to yours-none of them were good. Which was such a bummer, and a very big disappointment because my sister was in town visiting and had just gotten back from Paris and I promised her that these would stack up to Laduree (which they used to, in my opinion!). I figured it was just that one time when I was with her that they weren't good, but I just haven't been interested in going back since then to confirm this.

                                        -----
                                        Bisous Ciao
                                        101 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

                                        1. re: Jess321
                                          l
                                          Lau Feb 9, 2011 05:21 AM

                                          really? have they changed? hmmm i was going there all the time, but i kind of overdid it and got sick of macarons for a while. ill try them again soon to see if it has changed. ive never had any there that i thought were underbaked; they were def better than madeleine, but its possible they've gone downhill

                                          1. re: Lau
                                            l
                                            Lau Apr 28, 2011 07:46 AM

                                            btw i went back in a few times and tried them again and you must have had an off day or something b/c they tasted exactly the same

                                            1. re: Lau
                                              ellenost Apr 28, 2011 07:54 AM

                                              Thanks for going back to try them again (I know it was a tough assignment :-)). Glad to hear that that macarons at Bisous Ciao are still great. Any new flavors?

                                              -----
                                              Bisous Ciao
                                              101 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

                                              1. re: ellenost
                                                l
                                                Lau Apr 28, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                well i was being lazy b/c i literally live like 1 block away haha, but i wanted to try it a few times before i made any judgments.

                                                to answer your question they had a few new flavors when i was there although i didnt try any of them. they seem to have some staples and then a few flavors that are always switching around, i still really like that place....the LES is becoming a better and better food neighborhood which is great for me haha

                                                1. re: Lau
                                                  ellenost Apr 28, 2011 08:59 AM

                                                  Lucky you! You have some amazing food places so close by; I'm jealous!

                                      2. v
                                        Vindy Apr 28, 2011 05:42 AM

                                        Bosie Tea Parlor in the West Village has the chef from Laduree and their macarons are as good as the ones from Paris!

                                        -----
                                        Bosie Tea Parlor
                                        10 Morton St, New York, NY 10014

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Vindy
                                          k
                                          kathryn Apr 28, 2011 09:07 AM

                                          Which ones did you try? I really liked the Isaphan one I had this weekend.

                                          1. re: kathryn
                                            f
                                            Ffromsaopaulo Apr 29, 2011 07:50 AM

                                            Yesterday I had rose, lavender and salted caramel macarons at Bisous Ciao; they were all great.

                                            -----
                                            Bisous Ciao
                                            101 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

                                            1. re: Ffromsaopaulo
                                              ellenost Apr 29, 2011 08:32 AM

                                              My favorite macaron at Bisous Ciao is the salted caramel; thrilled to hear they still have it on the menu.

                                            2. re: kathryn
                                              v
                                              Vindy May 1, 2011 06:19 PM

                                              I had the Salted Caramel and the Passion fruit, but they all looked great.

                                              1. re: Vindy
                                                f
                                                Ffromsaopaulo May 2, 2011 02:46 PM

                                                After reading Vindy and kathryn's comments on Bosie Tea Parlor, I went there last friday.
                                                At first I just asked the rose and the salted caramel ones. I was thrilled by them! So I had the pistachio, then vanilla and finally the jasmin, which was the best in my opinion. They really taste as the ones I tried at Laduree.
                                                It was very busy when we arrived. A guy who seemed the manager (maybe one of the owners) apologized and said they'll probably have some stools at the counter. Unfortunately I won't be able to check so soon as I have already got home.

                                                -----
                                                Bosie Tea Parlor
                                                10 Morton St, New York, NY 10014

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