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Pastries in Paris

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I am going to Paris in September and I keep hearing about amazing pastries. Are there any places that you could recommend to try?

Thanks!
Matt

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  1. One thread might be, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838421 . If you enter patisserie you will be amazed at the info that comes up.

    1. There is a blog that I read about on JulieMarie8's blog, called Paris Patisseries. It is very informative and has quite a few drool-inducing pictures. He has a map on his site detailing the locations of all of the best patisseries as well as the best offerings from each place. You should really check it out.

      http://www.parispatisseries.com/

      18 Replies
      1. re: naughtyb

        I totally agree. they recommended Carl Marletti in the rue Censier and Le Patisserie de Cyril Lignac in the rue Paul Bert. they were both amazing and I recommend them both without reservation..

        1. re: pammi

          In my opinion, Cafe Pouchkine, located in Printemps in the 8th is not to be missed. The best pastry I've had anywhere! Un Dimanche a Paris quite excellent as well but I'd go for the Napolean at Cafe Pouchkine on my deathbed.

          1. re: pammi

            As Lignac is a block from my flat, tried all their breads and about 8 of their pastries and yet to find anything l liked even a little. That is what makes this a ballgame.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              I don't know about their bread,but they had a citron tart in a square shape that,to me, was beautiful and tangy-just the way I like it. they also had a pastry with grey icing and red accents. Honestly, I've never seen grey icing! Besides the point as to the taste, but it was very unusual. It makes me think they are baking outside the box :)

              1. re: pammi

                Also,Delmontel on the rue des Martyrs in the 9 th - pretty and pretty swell too.

                1. re: pammi

                  I found Delmontel slightly less good than before (I guess before its Schiaparelli hot pink interior makeover). It makes a great "vieille façon" tarte au citron using, among other things, ground lemon peel. Not too sweet, not too tart, tasty crust with texture contrast. But for some mysterious reason the pie is not an everyday offering, One has to reserve it in advance. Why o why?
                  And the Renaissance baguette is excellent as always, but we're talking about pastries here…

                  1. re: Parigi

                    I never found Delmontel any good, really. Except for that lemon tarte. Funny that the only good thing made by a pâtissier has to be ordered.

                2. re: pammi

                  If using grey icing were enough to bake outside the box to a satisfactory result, the whole criteria of good patisserie would have to be considerably modified.

                  The tarte au citron in a square shape was Christophe Adam's creation at Fauchon. It does taste nice because it is the very same formula that he used. Christophe Adam is also a wonderful patissier and you should try his creations at his Adam's stores (two locations in Paris, rue Danielle-Casanova and cour Bercy Saint-Emilion). The stuff that Lignac's patisserie got their inspiration from, I'm sure the original is worth more than the knockoff.

                  1. re: pammi

                    Had the grey one about 2 weeks ago at same time as lemon one, was pissed as beautiful box squished them a lot on block walk home, so for me they woyund up being ugly as well as tasteless.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Which goes to show that stealing another person's ideas is not always a sure way to quality.
                      If they spent on products and savoir-faire what they spend on PR, design and packaging, perhaps they'd be closer to edible.

                  2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    I was rather surprised to see any praise of Lignac's patisserie here. Totally artificial, formatted stuff, started by a TV chef/culinary nonentity but more substantially by his army of PR, and certainly not to be placed on the same level as genuine artisans patissiers like Genin, Marletti, Hugo & Victor or Cafe Pouchkine.

                  3. re: pammi

                    Pammi I have loved reading your posts. My husband and i will be in Avignon the middle of September for a cycling holiday. I've read much of what you've written concerning dining in Avignon. I know you like l'Essentiel which we will be visiting. Do you have any suggestions for meals in Tarascon or Beaucaire?
                    I appreciate any advice in advance that you can give us. Please keep posting. Your writing is fabulous!

                    1. re: LisaMH

                      Funnily enough I have some friends that are going to Beaucaire tomorrow ! there are two restaurants that I love. one is called Jean Luc Rabanel,a two star in Arles. It is a vegetarian restaurant ,but before you get the idea that it is low key I will say that,to me, it reminds me of Arpege in Paris.. my husband,the meat eater, loved it. it's smallish,book early. the other place I like is the Mas Tourteron. Look up the address. Its in Gordes. we had one of the most romantic meals of our lives there. It was a whitewashed stone dining room,sparking with candles-absolutely divine. friendly owner and very nice food too. be prepared for a gorgeous time-I never experienced such beauty and serenity in a room. Also,an amazing chocolatier in St. Remy-Joel Durand 3 Blvd. Victor Hugo. Thank you for your lovely compliment too:)

                      1. re: pammi

                        Pammi, so many thanks for this fabulous information. I am doing my due diligence and you make my job so much more fun! Since our hub is Avignon, I'm hoping to love this city and eat many great meals there as well. Next trip, I will be heading your way!
                        Thank you!

                        1. re: LisaMH

                          I'll ask my friends to report back after their week in Beaucaire. Maybe there will be something good to report. My birthday is tomorrow-your compliment was a great gift to me!

                          1. re: pammi

                            Happy Bday, Pammi.
                            (Rabanel is also one of my top faves.)

                            1. re: pammi

                              Happy Birthday Pammi! Hope your day is filled with light, love, and out loud laughter!

                              1. re: LisaMH

                                you are all so nice!! I'm planning on a lovely day,starting with a toasted muffin slathered in beurre Bordier -but that's for another thread :) My love to you all..

                  4. Pain de Sucre, Des Gateaux et du Pain and Jacques Genin - my top three favorites.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Nancy S.

                      I was lucky enough to be in Paris twice in 2 months recently. My absolute personal favorite pastries are Tarte Vanille (PIERRE HERME), Napoleon and Or Noir (POUCHKINE) and Tarte Citron (JACQUES GENIN). All those are worth a detour in my book - simply incredible!

                    2. My take on the sweet stuff in Paris, highly personal since I'm no fan of modern pâtisserie and haute couture pastry.

                      There are two types of pâtissiers: the industrial or semi-industrial, who make stuff in large quantities some time ahead and freeze or refrigerate it. The pastries are made in remote factories and have to be brought to the shop.
                      Examples: Pierre Hermé, Ladurée...

                      And those who produce very few cakes at a time, in their kitchen nearby, and put them on the stall several times in a day. In my opinion they are more interesting and deliver the best, freshest taste. They're also the ones that rely the least on texture agents, emulsified fats and excess sugar.
                      Examples: Carl Marletti, Jacques Genin.

                      My favorite macarons in Paris are Georges Larnicol's, based on 100% almond, no ganache or sugary buttercream. Since they contain no preservatives, they spoil quickly when out of a refrigerator, so it's better to get them in the morning. I think they're far superior to the industrial ones.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Ptipois

                        What do you think of Pain de Sucre and Des Gateaux et du Pain these days. I agree with you about Genin and Marletti.

                        1. re: Nancy S.

                          Des Gâteaux et du Pain : good viennoiserie, the rest not so good (there again too much cream, gelatine and things for my liking).

                          Pain de Sucre: each time I've been there, I went straight to the tarte au citron and left without having tried the other things. It's beyond my control. So I am sorry I cannot say more. The place has an excellent reputation with people who share my tastes.

                          1. re: Ptipois

                            I buy the tarte au citron and the one with the vanilla pastry cream and fraises du bois -- both are excellent. I love the croissants from Des Gateaux et du Pain. My favorite chausson aux pommes is from Patisserie des Reves.

                        2. re: Ptipois

                          Pti, where do you find Larnicol's product?

                          1. re: mangeur

                            Larnicol has 2 shops in Paris, one on boulevard Saint-Germain at Odéon (across the boulevard from the métro exit) and another one on rue de Rivoli (I think). I would go straight to the macarons and not bother about the other stuff (some of his chocolate bars are really good though).
                            He's originally a pâtissier from Brittany, and MOF for macarons.

                        3. I have to add to these excellent recommendations little Aurore Capucine on rue Rochechouart.
                          It is the quirkiest bakery I have ever visited. Purple cakes. Rose (sweet) or rosemary (savory) only two of the flavors of giant heart-shaped sables. Everything an Alice in Wonderland fantasy. Go if only to enjoy the delightful absurdity.

                          Aurore Capucine
                          3, rue de Rochechouart, 75009 Paris
                          Tel. +33 (0)1 48 78 16 20
                          Métro: Cadet
                          Hours: Tues. to Sat. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.;
                          Sat. closed between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mangeur

                            Another fan of Aurore Capucine. Love all its tartelettes.

                          2. Thank you all for posting all these. I had no idea there were so many good options!

                            1. Totally agree with Ptipois about the superiority of Maison Larnicol (on the boulevard St Germain in the 6th and on the rue de Rivoli near St Paul in the 4th). The macarons are awesome but meant for immediate consumption. For me, Hugo & Victor (boulevard Raspail in the 7th and rue Gomboust off the place du Marché St-Honoré in the 1st), Dominique Saibron on the avenue Général-Leclerc near Alésia in the 14th, Jacques Genin in the 3rd, and Bread & Roses in the 6th are also worth a detour. The last 3 also function as cafés and/or salons de thé.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: Parnassien

                                Funny I never heard anyone mention Larnicol much though there is word of the shop for kouign amman. I was searching for a good one and was not so pleased with his. Purchased at the St. Germain location. Also, did not like the one from La Grenier in Montmatre that Deluca loves.Only two versions I did like were at Ledoyen(maybe that is not fair?) and La Patisserie des Reves but the latter had a bit of modern twist. Perhaps neither comparison is quite fair. Surprised to hear of Larnicol's magical macarons. I am not concerned with those but still interesting to note.

                                1. re: dietndesire

                                  Don't buy kouign amann in a Paris pâtisserie. They don't know how to make it. The one at la Pâtisserie des Rêves is not even a kouign amann. It is a brioche with a little sugar folded in.

                                  Being a Breton, Larnicol knows how to make kouign amann but I'm not sure about his kouignettes. First of all I'm not a fan of the idea of flavored kouign amann since the cake is first and foremost a showcase for the taste of great butter. Also the size and shape are not IMO the best idea. Too small, to dry. A kouign amann should be wide and flat so you get the right variation or textures. I think Larnicol's macarons are far better than his kouign amann.

                                  1. re: Ptipois

                                    Well, I was stuck in Paris(oxymoron extreme) and wanted one. Exactly about la Patisserie des Reves but it was well done. But Ledoyen's version was very good and that was the last one I tasted before attempting to find one in a shop.
                                    I know nothing of the kouignettes, I purchased a large, straight, no nonsense, no hijinks kouign amman at Larnicol. Maybe because it sits around too long, I don't know but it was really not good. Yes, it was reheated and I am expert enough at that(I find so many items that can have it done so that most people would not know the difference between freshly made and the reheat)to chalk up the poor result to the product itself.
                                    But I am game to dive back in though this time only as a share.

                                    And since I am a slave to Constant ice cream, I will definitely try the apricot/almond if I am so fortunate as to be back there. I might have had one pastry from his shop but if so, it was certainly not mind blowing. But I might have never had any which I hope for. Great if I can stock up on more than ice cream there.

                                  2. re: dietndesire

                                    When it comes to pastries, preferences are especially subjective and individual. The taste of Larnicol's kouign amann or kouignette brings up me straight back to childhood summers in Bretagne. I don't get the same sense of time and place when I sample other Breton pastries in Paris.

                                    1. re: Parnassien

                                      Which is to say that the best (and probably the only right) interpretation of kouign amann in Paris is Larnicol's, and I totally agree with that. I'm just not into the kouignette approach, but I do admit that Larnicol knows his stuff.

                                      My son, who loves kouign amann (and worked at Larnicol for several months, which is why I was introduced to the macarons - otherwise I'd never have bothered), really enjoys the kouignettes though he's not so sure about the seaweed variety. And there must be something to them since, he says, the stacks of kouignettes melt like snow in the sun.

                                  3. re: Parnassien

                                    My turn to totally agree about Dominique Saibron, Hugo & Victor, and Bread & Roses. Great artisans. To me Hugo & Victor is the textbook example of a successful pairing of design and good taste (in the gustative sense of the word).

                                    Oh, I almost forgot: if you like apricot-almond tartelette, or any tartelette really, Christian Constant rocks.
                                    His ice creams and sorbets are also incredible.

                                    1. re: Parnassien

                                      bon jour, thank you and the other contributors for mentioning Larnicol, as we are planning to spend time in Paris at an apartment one block from his shop. on their website, they list several kouignettes, including a 'kouignette nature'-- is that butter and sea salt only, and not sweet at all ?

                                      1. re: moto

                                        You can't make kouign amann without sugar, so there's sugar in all kouign amann. "Nature" only means traditional-style, i.e. not flavored.

                                    2. Here are some of David Lebovitz's favorites: www.afar.com/highlights/david-lebovit...

                                      1. There is seating at Jacqes Genin, which makes it an immersive experience. His St Honore combines a few great elements into one pastry. The lemon basil tart is a revelation.

                                        I also had the green tea matcha dome at Aoki in the Galleries Lafayette. Pretty much the perfect pastry ever. Also excellent macarons.

                                        11 Replies
                                        1. re: Steve

                                          was that from Sadaharu Aoki ? from the little i've read about the Paris patisseries, they have their own shops also, one near the Luxembourg gardens. the blogger cited above for parispatisseries.com is quite fond of a couple of their creations.

                                          1. re: moto

                                            I was not at all impressed with Laricol's kouignettes. I tried several varieties and tossed them each after a bite or two. I was sadly disappointed. So if he makes the best to be found in Paris, I would have to agree with Pti and say skip it until you can get to Breton.

                                            1. re: plafield

                                              thanks for the cautionary tip. could be years before we make it back for another visit that could include the northern coast, and I enjoy a rendition here in nor-calif. of the kouignette that might also be technically flawed, for all I know (granted, they're the equivalent of 3 euros and not what Laricol charges). supposedly, Ble Sucre in the 12 e. also makes them, and we'll be in the vicinity anyway to browse through the marche Aligre.

                                              1. re: moto

                                                pastries and ice cream always incite a sort of Gulliver's big-endians vs small-endians debate... the only good arbiter of what's good and what's bad is yourself... as for kouignettes, i simply don't like flavoured ones but love the simple ones ... and so i judge Larnicol's to be superior to others based simply on my preference for kouignettes nature and kouignettes caramel au beurre salé ... if others do flavoured ones better, I wouldn't know or really care

                                                1. re: moto

                                                  Ble Sucre has great madelaines, did not find KA to be to my liking. Also good coffee there and lovely sitting area outside.

                                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                    I like the tarte tatin at Ble Sucre.

                                                  2. re: moto

                                                    I'll be the first to admit that I have no idea whatsoever when it comes to kouign amann, but I had the one at Blé Sucré and I thought it was delicious, with some superlatives thrown about. Also had the best croissant I've ever had at Blé Sucré (which is definitely saying something), which prompted me to turn back around to buy another, only to find that the second one was nowhere near as crisp or buttery as the first one. Go figure.

                                                    My favourite pastry from my last trip was the Cylan from La Pâtisserie des Rêves. Also loved Pierre Hermé's Tarte Fine Porcelana.

                                                  3. re: plafield

                                                    At Larnicol's, my instructions are simple: skip most everything (except the choc bars), and head to the macarons, and then the kouignettes in second position.

                                                    Let me just try to defend Larnicol's kouign-amann competence. First, he's a Breton, with the mothership in Brittany, so you can't blame him for not being a native. And I think he's great at reproducing the age-old recipe, it's just the commercial formula he adopted that I do not really agree with. As I wrote before, I am not sure that the roll-up-and-cut method is suitable for kouign amann since the layering has to be horizontal for best results. Thus the little things are not caramelized as they should be, they end up a little too dry, and also I am not sure the flavoring is a good idea.

                                                    Still the kouignettes are not bad when you warm them up in an oven, and indeed warming up is mandatory. You just can't taste them if you eat them cold.

                                                    And whatever we think about them, they are immensely successful.

                                                  4. re: moto

                                                    Yes, it is the same Aoki. The green tea dome is extraordinary.

                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                      Aoki is a bit perplexing. His creations are artistic masterpieces but one's brain needs to be trained to appreciate the flavours. I find that very few of his pastries are immediately likeable at first bite.

                                                      1. re: Parnassien

                                                        I had a lemon dome which was very good but not as heavenly as the green tea, and several high-quality macarons, including some dipped in dark chocolate. Seriously, the green tea dome takes no acclimation. It's simply fabulous.