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Thierry Busset's New Place is Open (Review)

Thierry Busset is a very well known pastry chef (West, Cin Cin) who has recently opened a very high end Chocolaterie and Pattiserie on Alberni Street (Between Burrard and Thurlow). I happened to be walking by today and they opened the door and said we are open for business (soft launch).

My impressions:

Overall this place is impressive. The coffee was excellent (had both an espresso and an Americano. The croissant was very good (second only to the croissants at the Bakery on Granville Island). I had a salami sandwich with cheese and pesto on a baguette for lunch. Great sandwich the only problem was that they used mild orange cheddar (I would have expected something white and aged).

I also bought some Macaroons for the office which were amazing.

This place will be a popular fixture in town... let me know what you think of it...

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  1. Huge French pastry fan- used to live in Montreal, traveled to Paris all the time. I can appreciate excellent French pastry.
    I am so disappointed in Thierry Busset's Patisserie.

    Got there as soon as they opened this morning- everything looked fabulous. I picked up a croissant and raisin brioche, took them home and... they were both dry as dust. Seriously- for the price they charge, I not only expect good, I expect superlative.
    The brioche was at least a little soft in places, but the croissant tasted three days old. I binned them both. Sad to say, I've had better croissants at airports.

    The chokkies and macaroons did look fantastic, but they probably won't pull me back in unless I'm literally walking past. Someone please try the baked goods again in a few days & let me know if today was just a fluke?

    2 Replies
    1. re: majordomo

      Sadly, I had a similarly bad croissant this week but didn't want to rush to judgement. I did have a good slice of carmelized apple tart, although I would have preferred more carmelization. Not inexpensive, so they will need to start delivering pretty quick.

      I walk by regularly so I'll stop in again and report back.

      1. re: Anne M

        The croissant was pretty bad when I had it too. Disappointing considering the price.

    2. Stopped by today and enjoyed a yummy sandwich made with whole-wheat bagette that was delicious: crispy crust, soft inside. We had the "Primavera" with a delightful goat cheese, and roasted zuccini + red peppers. Delighted in each bite.

      Then the chocolate succe cake: the hard chocolate exterior was a deep rich wonderous flavor. The hazelnut maringue + chocolate mousse interior was wonderful, but I would have preferred a bit more hazelnut flavor coming thru. But I'd enjoy it again.

      My macchiato was beautifully presented. And really good -- but admittedly my palette prefers a strong dark French roast. And the coffee drinks are quite reasonably priced.

      And the Macarons looked amazing -- will be sure to give them a try real soon.

      1. Received a box of seven macarons as a hostess gift this evening. Despite ingesting cake already, felt it my Houndish responsibility to at least sample a couple, purely for research purposes y'understand. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a rich filling that wasn't as sweet as some I've sampled. Not a lot of the designated fruit flavour (blackberry and raspberry respectively) though, until you bite into the whole berry hidden inside! I've never had that in a macaron before. I don't know much about macarons but these were most pleasing.

        1. Went by last week for late desserts and drinks with friends. We shared two pastries - a chocolate-mousse cake and a lime-(mousse?) cake. Both were light, not too sweet and tasty (though not transcendent).

          I also bought some citrus madeleines and macarons. My limited experience with madeleines leads me to expect them to be light, airy and moist (I am thinking of DB Bistro's version). Thierry's version seemed more like mini lemon pound cakes. I don't know what classic macarons are supposed to be like, but I really enjoyed these, finding them not too sweet, light and moist with a nice amount of chewiness... not like some that crumble in your mouth. I'll be back for more of these!

          2 Replies
          1. re: twinkienic

            Regarding Thierry Busset.............since I am a Macaron freek.........I had my daughter bring me 2 dozen down yesterday, (I live in WA). First she went at 10 am and they said they were sold out of 7 of the varieties........they boast 15. So she bought two ea of the ones they had. When I tried one I was very disappointed. Nothing like what I have had other places. They were coming apart......and this is because there is not enough ganache between the layers. In all they had a sparse amount and the flavors were not that flavorful. THey were also very dry.Very disappointing.

            Notte's Bon Ton has better ones, but without unusual flavorings, just a basic.

            The best that I have had were at Honore Bakery in Seattle. The flavors were "alive" especially the jalapeno, but that is a matter of taste. The other flavors were wonderful and plenty of ganache between layers.

            But Thierry's are $1.75 CDN and Honore's are $2.00 or $2.50 U.S. can't remember. Their toasted coconut and sea salt and their lavenders were my favorites.

            Macarons are very difficult to make but one should not skimp on ingreients which I believe Thierry did. Now as for other pastries..........................have no idea good or bad as the Macarons are all I tasted.

            1. re: salukilady

              Agree with you on the macarons. I was very disappointed. They possess a texture akin to staleness, this despite the fact that I saw them come out of the kitchen twenty minutes earlier. Overbaked perhaps?

          2. Talker 32 you mention Macaroons at Thierry. There are Macaroons and Macarons. Two different pastries............very different. Macaroons are mostly made up of coconut and Macarons are little french egg white pastries with ganache in between. I take it you are talking about the Macarons.

                1. re: fmed

                  Ha ha ha...I thought I was the only one who noticed that she kept talking macaroons on the website review. Honestly, as a food reviewer, she should know better.

                  1. re: fmed

                    Yeah, I was assuming it was an editorial thing, but it still hasn't been fixed. Mia needs a remedial trip to Rue de Rivoli

                    1. re: Anne M

                      Yeah. Mia Stainsby is more knowledgable than that. I too assumed that it was a junior copy editor that did a spellcheck. (I would hope!)

                      1. re: fmed

                        Not to Mia bash as I quite enjoy her writeups but I have noticed since she started doing the blog that this type of error is quite frequent. I'm guessing it's the complete absence of copy editing that is to blame.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          Slouched into Busset's swank new joint today and was totally put off by the Alberni St smarm & pretense.

                          Five bucks for a choco croissant sealed the deal-headed to TacoFino for a real lunch instead.

                          1. re: Sam Salmon

                            I too was there today. I didn't get any whiff of smarm and pretense when I went at noon hour.

                            Anyways: something's missing with that croissant; I thought the macarons were good; I also enjoyed the pistachio financiers; and the proscuitto sandwich was alright, but not revelatory.

                            1. re: Sam Salmon

                              Thanks for that. On my way to TacoFino tonorrow.

                    2. I was back for a capuccino and pain au chocolate. The pain au chocolate was good although the chocolate was too sweet for me. I will try the croissant again next time. Coffee was crap. Sevice was pretty hapless, especially considering I was the only person in the place.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Anne M

                        Funny cuz they have so many staff behind the counter!

                      2. Had the lemon tart the other night, it was delicious and the crust and filling had perfect texture. Also had a macaron, raspberry, which was great. The berry in the middle was a nice surprise. I love Thierry's desserts and look forward to trying more.

                        1. Stopped by there today and tried an Opéra and Lemon Tart and a Citrus Madelaine. Spent a lot of time in Paris eating my way through their many patisseries so the bar is set high. Unfortunately they didn't meet that standard but pretty good for Vancouver. What really struck me was the lack of attention to detail. Tart shells were visibly inconsistent (sides warped), fruit toppings weren't precisely placed, etc. Not what I would expect from a high-end patisserie.

                          The Opéra is measured against the perfect Pierre Hérme version. Thierry's cake base was too dry and the ganache too dense and proportionally too much. Also not nearly enough layers.

                          The Lemon Tart is measured against the Carl Marletti version. The curd is great but the all important tart shell was too soft. As well they used a brullée top which is just wrong. Also, its a pie slice not a 10cm tart which throws off the shell/curd balance.

                          The Madelaine was too dense and moist. Like another poster said, more pound cake than madelaine.

                          Hopefully a one off thing but the checkout line was incredibly slow. I'll try it again but not in a rush to.