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Genin's tartes au citron are back, sometimes

After leaving Ducasse chocolatier (near Bastille) a few hours ago (see separate post), I walked on to Jacques Genin in the rue de Turenne. What a difference.

I chose my two favorite chocolates and one favorite caramel in exactly the quantities I wanted. Not possible at Ducasse.

There were no pastries at all on display. I asked about the pastry. The answer was: Pastries are only available in the cafe, or by advance order in quantities for 2 or 4, depending on the pastry.

In the cafe, the millefeuilles is always available, plus one pastry du jour. Today it was . . . the tarte au citron. Unfortunately, not having had lunch, I did not feel ready to order the tarte. I guess I'll have to call occasionally to see when they have it again. In any case, I will be very happy with the millefeuille at Genin and can always get the tarte au citron at Pain de Sucre.

By the way, at 1 pm the cafe was absolutely empty. I have never seen it that way before. I have to wonder if previous crowds were enticed to enter in part by the former pastry displays.

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  1. Hi RandyB, nice to see you on this board! I remember the Manhattan croissant discussion you were part of.

    Great to hear the tarte au citron is sometimes around. My fiance and I are heading to Paris next month for a week and a half and then also some time in other parts of the country. We are definitely planning to be at Jacques Genin more than once. :) I only tried the millefeuille and caramels last time and after hearing that the pastry was now limited, we were still planning to go back and sit in the cafe for millefeuille and hot chocolate. When you say that there are pastries available by advance order in quantities for 2 or 4 depending on the pastry, do you know which pastries are available for advance order for 2? Can one have them then in the cafe?

    Also, any new favorite croissants/pain au chocolat/breakfast pastry places/items? This will be one of the most important parts of our day (the unfortunate part of our relationship is that we egg on each other's love of pastry...) and would love to hear your personal favorites.

    Thanks so much!

    24 Replies
    1. re: j.jessica.lee

      Consider the pain au chocolate at any of the Landemaine locations, this and their pain au raisin are lovely.

      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        And their apricot tart ain't bad either! just had one yesterday. Their clients were lined up outside the door-once I had one I understood why..

        1. re: pammi

          I've seen many comments on French websites about atrocious service at Landemaine locations. What has been your experience?

          1. re: RandyB

            As my french is atrocious l often get bad service and expect it, but except for the older woman at the Rue Roquette location, has not been a problem.

            1. re: RandyB

              I was only at the Rue des Martyrs location. service was brisk and professional,not unfriendly. lots of people there and they all moved along quickly..

          2. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Thanks delucacheesemonger! I think I went there last trip. It's in the 9th on rue des Martyrs, right? I'll try both of those this time. I don't think I got them then.

            I know it's off topic/board but right before France, I'll be in Philly for a concert and while I got to Modo Mio, haven't gotten to Tacconelli yet. I think I must.

            1. re: j.jessica.lee

              The location l use is on Rue Roquette at Voltaire metro stop.
              Remember to reserve your pies in advance at Tacconelli's.

          3. re: j.jessica.lee

            My favorites are the Pierre Herme croissants and the brioche feuilletee from Patisserie des Reves -- I've been alternating between the two for the past week.

            1. re: Nancy S.

              Thanks, NancyS! I tried the PH croissant and it was indeed remarkable. As we will be staying just down the street from it in the 6th, I think it'll be a very frequent morning stop. They open at 10, no? I did not get the brioche feuilletee at LPdR (I don't think they had it when I was there last) so will add that to the list.

            2. re: j.jessica.lee

              Hi, Jessica. I'm not sure what happened to the reply I left a while ago to your post. Maybe I dreamed it.

              In any case, I called Genin after reading it to get the answers to your question. To order one day ahead, millefeuilles in minimum two portions. Paris Brest, St. Honoré, tarte au chocolat or citron, and a few others, 4 portions. Flan 6 portions and cheescake 8 portions. You can only order to take away, not to eat in the cafe.

              I don't have any new ideas for croissants or pains au chocolate. Only what I've said in other threads.

              1. re: RandyB

                Thanks so much, RandyB. I'm sorry about your post, maybe I missed it. That could be entirely possible and quite likely.

                Wow, you are so nice! Thank you so much for calling Genin and asking those questions for me. While my French is ok, I know yours is far better. I can't get over how incredibly kind it was for you to do that, both for me and for the board. When they say, for example, a St Honore for four, oes that mean it's big enough for four persons? And between SH and Paris Brest, which would you order? I won't get millefeuille to take away then, but have it in the salon itself.

                Thank you again.

                1. re: j.jessica.lee

                  It means THEY think it is the size for four persons. Whether you or I would, I honestly don't know. I find one order of millefeuille is generous enough to share, especially if also sharing a chocolat chaud.

                  In comparison, the many layered cakes at la Maison du Chocolat, which I love, seem to get smaller every year, as well as more expensive.

                  As for St Honoré vs Paris Brest, you are on your own there.

                  Finally, you didn't miss my post. It just either never appeared because I forgot to hit the final "Reply" button or I just dreamed that I posted it.

                  1. re: j.jessica.lee

                    I would order the St Honore. Not that the Paris Brest isn't superb, but a St Honore is like an all-star pastry, containing elements of three other pastries in one. Which is why it's named after the patron saint of baking. A kind of showstopper.

                    Now I'm wondering if they make the lemon tart with basil or other herbs or only the plain version?

                  2. re: RandyB

                    Any info on the apple pastry ? :-) Oh i see now "and a few others..", so it might include that..

                    1. re: oferl

                      I couldn't write fast enough, and the person wasn't sure herself. Someone else will have to ask about your apple pastry.

                  3. re: j.jessica.lee

                    Today I had a brilliant croissant from Des Gateaux et du Pain. It's a different type than Herme but equally fabulous. Tonight for dessert we'll have pastries, and I'll give details later.

                    1. re: Nancy S.

                      Thanks, NancyS. I think we'll be staying just a short walk from Des Gateaux et du Pain. I'd heard about the croissants there and it was a big reason why I chose our location. Looking forward to hearing about the other pastries.

                      1. re: j.jessica.lee

                        Fabulous mille feuille (vanilla) -- I prefer it to Genin's and equally excellent choux with a salted butter pastry cream and crisp caramel "hat". I also had the best chocolate eclair (in my experience) from Pain de Sucre.

                        1. re: Nancy S.

                          Wow, great information. Thanks for your research. I'm sure it was painful. :)

                          I'll have to get both.

                      2. re: Nancy S.

                        I went today to Des Gâteaux et du Pain, and thence to Pichard, around noon. I went to try viennoiseries, not pastries.

                        There was a long line at DGDP. The decor felt like I was in a snooty jewelry store near pl. Vendome rather than a neighborhood bakery.

                        I bought croissants at both bakeries, a pain au chocolat at DGDP, and a small kugelhopf at Pichard.

                        I then went on to convene a jury of tasters, consisting of me and two French friends. We were unanimous about the croissants.

                        DGDP - superb. For me, they are the equal in flavor and texture to Hermé.

                        Pichard - excellent. Among the top in Paris, but slightly below DGDP and Hermé. To me they felt just a bit less light, i.e., just slightly more chewy.

                        The kugelhopf from Pichard was just average. If you are a fan of kugelhopf, as my friends are, you will like it. I am not a fan of kugelhopf in general. To me they are like sweet, soft bread. I love the ones from Hermé because they are light and crispy.

                        I haven't tried the p au c yet.

                        1. re: RandyB

                          I'm eating a croissant from DG et DP right now -- every time, brilliant!

                      3. re: j.jessica.lee

                        Also went to Pichard in the 15 th yesterday -on the rue Cambronne. their croissants were amazing-I believe they won the "Best Croissant in Paris" a few years ago.

                        1. re: pammi

                          Watch out for your timing, they close in middle of day.

                      4. Thanks for that information. LOL, yes, those cakes are incredibly tiny at La Maison du Chocolat. I do find myself there far too often here in NYC. Their caramel éclair is the best i have found here. I call in so often to reserve it (because they run out often), that all of the shops know my voice when I call.

                        and re PB and SH I guess it just means I'll have to get both.