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Best time to attempt Laduree?

I would assume it would be a weekday, maybe earlier in the day rather than later? Thanks for any advice!

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Laduree
864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

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  1. Also does anyone know when they get the shipments in? I read that their macarons are made in France and flown in. I’ve had stale macarons from fancy places before and it is a huge disappointment.

    4 Replies
    1. re: adido

      I have read this as well -- can this possibly be true? I shouldn't think a trans-Atlantic flight would be good for pastries. One of my friends theorised they meant some of the dough may perhaps be prepared in France, but the actual baking takes place in New York?

      1. re: Winterpool

        They are baked in France. However, macarons typically "age" before sale, so the quality is not sacrificed by the travel.

        1. re: Nancy S.

          good questions - I didn't even think about when the shipments came in - good to know about the "aging"! I wouldn't have expected Sunday morning to be slow. Thanks!

        2. re: Winterpool

          La Maison du Chocolat has been doing shipping in macarons from France for a while now and theirs are generally considered one of the best in the city.

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

      2. Sunday mornings are not that busy.

        19 Replies
        1. re: H Manning

          Never heard about aging a macaron. Best one I ever had was at a bakery in Montmartre, fresh from the oven. You can taste the difference if the macaron is a day old, I would think aged ones wouldn't be my favorite. As for the best time for Laduree I would say wait until the madness is gone; at the meantime go to Payard or Maison du Chocolat, they are wonderful. I pass in front of Laduree everyday, is on my way from work and it is always a huge line, can't understand why someone would wait on line 30-40 min to buy a cookie (although a delicious one, I love macarons), but I guess it is probably the same crowd that overnight in front of the Apple store on 5th Avenue :)

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          La Maison du Chocolat
          63 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

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

          Laduree
          864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

          1. re: Toot

            Serious Eats did not rate Payard that highly in a recent tasting:
            http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/1...

            1. re: kathryn

              If they're the same ones from their previous UES location - no, they're not that good. I'm sticking with Bisous Ciao for now. Oh, I actually did buy a Gilt City offer-thingy for Bosie Tea Parlor that includes macarons though, so I look forward to trying theirs as well - with Pierre Herme heritage and all.

              1. re: kathryn

                Don't know about serious eats, but every time I had Payard macarons they were very good and fresh. Same thing for Maison du Chocolat, but Maison du Chocolat has limited flavors, mostly chocolate. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

                1. re: Toot

                  I'm also not a fan of Maison du Chocolat's macarons because there's chocolate in every flavor. I do like, however, macarons from Maison du Macaron. Kind of confusing!

                  1. re: Toot

                    Based on limited samplings Payard's macarons can be very good (coffee) but the textures can sometimes be mushy (pumpkin).

                    I'm not sold on Laduree as having the best macarons in NYC. They sell good ones and average ones just like every other shop. I prefer La Maison du Chocolat even though their range is limited.

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

                    Laduree
                    864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                    1. re: Riverman500

                      thanks for the info! Now I'm really torn trying to decide whether to go out of my way to get there on my long weekend in NYC. hmmm.

                2. re: Toot

                  The Pierre Herme technique is to allow the macarons to mature before being sold. Before beginning his own enterprise, Herme was head baker at Laduree.

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                  Laduree
                  864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                  1. re: Toot

                    Re: "As for the best time for Laduree I would say wait until the madness is gone; at the meantime go to Payard or Maison du Chocolat, they are wonderful"

                    Unfortunately, I live in New Orleans, so the first weekend in Dec is my one shot at getting some Laduree goodness. However I have sample La Maison's baked goods and Payard has always been on my short list. Thanks for the info!

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                    Laduree
                    864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                    1. re: pizzajunkie

                      La Maison du Chocolat does not really have a lot of baked goods.

                      Unless you mean La Maison du Macaron (they are two different places).

                      If you get macarons at La Maison du Macaron, make sure you let them come to room temperature first. I always find them a bit cold/too moist.

                      If you like croissants, they are only OK there, but Mille-Feuille is better.

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

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

                      Mille-feuille
                      552 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

                      1. re: pizzajunkie

                        I would go for it, unless you're going to be in NYC after Laduree opens their Soho tearoom in April. Just a few blocks north of Laduree you can visit the UES branch of La Maison du Chocolat and do your own side by side comparison. And just off Madison on E 78th St is Lady M Cake Boutique, a Japanese-influenced French bakery, one of my favorite spots. Everything's pricey, but their baked goods are fantastic. An all-time favorite is the mille crepe chestnut cake, and I recently tried the angel food matcha layer cake. Skip the coffee at both spots though. Hot chocolate's the way to go at LMDC and if you need something to drink at Lady M, get tea.

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                        Laduree
                        864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                      2. re: Toot

                        I will offer a second opinion, I don't care for Laduree NY, Payard or Maison du Chocolat's macarons. I like the texture of Kee's macarons, airier, and they taste fresher. I've never had a doughy or gummy macaron at Kees, I can't say the same for the others. The macarons at Laduree Paris are a different story, excellent.

                        I tried Ceci Cela and Bouchon, etc and I always come back to Kee, they are never doughy, once in a while a bit dry, but I'd rather that than doughy or gummy, ick.

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                        Kee's Chocolates
                        80 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

                        Laduree
                        864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                        1. re: Pookipichu

                          Kee's have huge air holes and often shatter upon biting into them; this is usually considered a negative for macarons.

                          My friends who have been to Paris agree that Kee's are TOO light and airy.

                          1. re: kathryn

                            I wouldn't disagree with you Kathryn, that's why I prefaced my comment. Doughy or gummy textures are a bigger negative for me than being too airy. Also, while Kee's macarons do occasionally veer on too crispy, they are not universally so.

                            Frankly, I think they are underrated on this board, I have tried Maison du Chocolat side by side with Kee's and I've tried Laduree NY. You can tell when a macarons been thawed. I wanted to love Laduree NY but it's a pale imitation of the original. Combined with the 45min wait vs. no wait at Kee's... I'll take Kee's everytime.

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                            Laduree
                            864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                            1. re: Pookipichu

                              Maybe you've had better luck at Kee's than I have. Of course it's so hard not to end up spending $20 on chocolate alone when I'm in there...

                              Have you tried Bosie or Mille-Feuille yet?

                              1. re: kathryn

                                Not yet but I would upon your recommendation. I'm a little "macaroned" out as they are popping up everywhere, like the viral sister dessert of cupcakes.

                                1. re: Pookipichu

                                  PS - Did you by chance go to the Austrian pop-up cafe across the street from Ceci Cela? The apple strudel was the most appalling rendition I've ever tasted.

                                2. re: kathryn

                                  I love Kee's chocolates - always a must-stop for me when I'm in town. But I've never tried the macarons!

                      3. I am sure at least 50% of those people who are waiting online are tourists?
                        I love macarons but I personally would never wait more than 10 min for anything.
                        I am not a big fan of Payard or La Maison du chocolat....I almost felt betrayed when La Maison du chocolat changed their filling from cream to chocolate ganache.
                        My favorite macaron in NYC is from La Maison du macaron on 23rd street. Their passion fruit ones are to die for. I think these are actually better than overly sweet macarons from Laduree.
                        Once I had a few macarons from a restaurant called Millsime and those are the most perfect macarons I have ever had! I heard they were imported from France and distributed by their purveyor but I don't know the details.

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

                        Millesime
                        92 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

                        1. I pass by Ladurée at least once a day, usually mid to late afternoon, and the crowds from the opening have definitely died down, no more spilling out onto the sidewalk, so I doubt the wait is too bad now.

                          8 Replies
                            1. re: City Kid

                              Not on a Saturday evening. I waited for 35 minutes on the line that snaked down the block. Stupid me -- should have walked to see how long the line was in the store. When I got to the store window, found out that the line was pretty long inside as well. There was no way I would have been able to wait any longer as I had to be somewhere. So I left the line with no macarons.

                              As I'm hardly ever in the area, I'll probably wait until they come to Soho. The lines will probably be even longer there.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                Woah! So that would have been about an hour wait, huh? I've been waiting for the line to die down a bit - I guess I'll just have to remember to go early on a weekday.

                                1. re: uwsister

                                  At the very least. The rate of people exiting the store was very slow. I can totally picture people taking a lot of time making up their minds as to what flavors to get.

                                  Would definitely do a weekday. I've learned my lesson!

                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                    Usually people are buying boxes w/ around 10 macarons each, so the decision-process can be quite long. It sort of reminded my of DiPalo's, the way each person is given a lot of consideration without much worry about the infinite line behind them.

                                      1. re: Peter Cuce

                                        Yup, can definitely be frustrating. I guess the impatient NYer is coming out. Some people on the line were actually debating for about 15 minutes as to how many macarons to get -- 4 or 6. By the time I left, they still hadn't made up their minds. Have a feeling they'll be paralyzed when they have to choose their flavors.

                              2. Two weeks ago on Thursday (I think) at around 4:30 pm, there was a two-person line.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: meatme

                                  I was on the UES last Tuesday and decided to stop by around 5pm; only 3 people ahead of me. Both the customers and the store help were slow so it still took over 20 minutes. Not soon after I was ordering, a wave od 6 cutomers came in. I think late weekday afternoons are ok but be prepared to wait a bit if you are unlucky to be the last one on a crowd surge ...
                                  BTW, the macarons were very good. I happened to have a cassis and lemon macaron from la maison du Macaron on hand so we had a head-to-head comparison. We liked Laduree's slightly more. Next challenge is to compare Laduree to Bisous ciao. Gosh, this is an expensive pastime!

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                                  Laduree
                                  864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                                  1. re: wadawada

                                    Can anyone confirm the days of the week that they receive their shipments from Paris?

                                    1. re: wadawada

                                      I've done the comparison between Laduree and Bisous Ciao, and although I've been a big fan of Bisous Ciao, I prefer the macarons from Laduree. Possibly the rainy weather when I bought the Bisous Ciao macarons might have done something to the texture.

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                                      Bisous Ciao
                                      101 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

                                      Laduree
                                      864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                                      1. re: ellenost

                                        I finally had some Laduree macarons on Monday night at a party, and the raves are justified. Raspberry was divine (the jam!), as was pistachio. Not too sweet. Just enough shatter. Just enough chew. Just the right amount of filling. No overly artificial flavors/colors for the pistachio, either.

                                        Whereas Bosie's don't have the right amount of shatter but are very close to being perfection. Mille-Feuille's were a little overly filled but still very good. Kee's are too airy and dry with too much shatter. Bouchon's are too large (a friend has remarked they seem overcooked on the edges) and I think they have consistency problems with crispness/wetness. La Maison du Macaron's can be too soft/wet. Financier's can be too hard/old/stale (yuck). La Maison du Chocolat's are excellent but have only chocolate ganache. But Laduree's? Juuuuuuuuuuust right.

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

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

                                        Laduree
                                        864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                                        1. re: kathryn

                                          The raspberry is my favorite. I like the chocolate as well, but I prefer the dark chocolate variety that's available at Laduree in Paris.

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                                          Laduree
                                          864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                                          1. re: kathryn

                                            I used to love the Payard macarons too (I haven't had any since he moved downtown). I'll need to do a taste test between Payard and Laduree.