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Aug 21, 2013 12:55 PM

French patisserie shops

Maybe it's me but every time I go to popular French sweet shops in NYC, I am disappointed. Payard, Dominic Ansel...Bouchon all dispappointed me...(espcially Bouchon) Is there a place in NYC that sells authentic and delicious French desserts? Why don't we have one? Is it the milk? Is it the flour? or simply because chefs don't try hard enough because NYkers don't really demand tasty desserts?

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  1. I agree with you 1000 times!

    >espcially Bouchon

    >because NYkers don't really demand tasty desserts?
    IMHO, New Yorkers still demand high quality desserts.
    It's just that they seem to prefer simple style desserts at moderate prices (Cronut will be a perfect example). Nothing like sophisticaed French desserts at higher costs.

    For a middle aged Asian 'guy' that I am, it may sound unusual but I crave desserts, especially French desserts, and I have been searching far and wide but couldn't find any place in New York that is comparable to Pierre Herme.

    The only place that was satisfactory to me was Brasserie Pushkin. It was a Russian restaurant whose savory dishes were sub par, but its French pastries were phenomenal. They were exactly the same as those at Café Pushkin inside Printemps department store in Paris. Sadly, Brasserie Pushkin is now closed and it has been changed to Betony.

    Incidentally, I used to love Per Se's desserts but they have become dull and boring these days.

    I dined at Daniel a few days ago and the desserts by new pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira (from Boulud Sud) were truly mind-blowing! They were grrrrr~~eat! I plan to go to Daniel's bar lounge to try all of her desserts sooner than later! LOL

    6 Replies
      1. re: kosmose7 should have asked the people at Brasserie Pushkin if they knew where their pastry chef was going...perhaps he/she is working in another restaurant in NYC?

        1. re: Monica

          It seems the pastries at Brasserie Pushkin were made based on the recipes by French pastry chef Emmanuel Ryon, who resides in Moscow and Paris. So we probably won't be able to have them in New York again, unless Maison Dellos (owner company of the former Brasserie Pushkin and the present Betony, as well as Manon) decides to bring them back...

          1. re: kosmose7

            LOL, i was tempted to click on 'Order a cake'.

      2. Have you tried Laduree; I adore their macarons.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ellenost

          I haven't tried the location in NY but I did try them in Paris and another time in Monaco. They were a bit too sweet for me. I actually prefer la maison du macaron shop in ny.
          anyway, i wasn't really refering to macarons..i am talking about complicated authentic desserts with lots of good butter and lots of cream...

          1. re: Monica

            N'existe pas en NYC. Plenty of other non-French delicious desserts tho.

          1. re: Motosport

            What do you like at Ceci Cela? I revisited a few times recently, because years ago I liked some of their stuff, but I feel they have lost their way.

            1. re: Peter Cuce

              I especially like their croissants, both plain and almond. We find the pastries to be excellent.
              They have grown and are supplying several independent coffee shops. This might be a distraction but we still love the place. I close my eyes and think of mimes walking past the window.

              1. re: Motosport

                Hate to pile on, but it wasn't long ago on CH, that I questioned if Ceci Celi had sold. It's a shadow of what it once was. I continue to hope they turn it around and return to form.

              2. re: Peter Cuce

                Ceci Celi, eh. Like many others I have been going there infrequently for over a decade and the only thing they do well, and that I buy, is the fruit ring and the cheese danish. Not exactly high end or complicated. Simple, and when in the mood, satisfying. I agree with you, Ceci Celi is not what it once was. Patisserie Claude on the other hand still makes the best chocolate croissant in the city. Sure it is completely inauthentic, but awesome. Huge,fat, heavy and buttery but still has that crackle. Warm from the oven, nothing better.

                1. re: Peter Cuce

                  I was always a big fan of Ceci Cela,10 or 15 years ago I was there just about everyday. Laurent the owner/pastry chef I thought was fantastic. I started out eating the great almond croissants and then became hooked on their financiers. I was introduced to Ceci Cela thru Sullivan St Bakery who bought CC's pastries. Sullivan St back then hired a fantastic pastry chef and I wish I remembered what restaurant she is working at now. Anyway, I recently , on 2 visits, tried some of Ceci Cela's croissants and financiers. They were sub par ,,i am embarrassed that I supported them so strongly. I am amazed that they can go downhill like that . I hope it was just a fluke and I will try them again soon.
                  As for Ansel, his stuff looks great but isn't that good IMO. I used to like the Italian pastries at Bruno's but they too look better than they are.
                  Payard, well I hate his stuff. I love Japanese pastries, and in Japan I've had amazing French pastries in Ginza.
                  I love good pastries. I want one right now.
                  PS I hate Cronuts

              3. I agree 100% with Monica's post. NYC's French patisserie shops are nohere near the qiualityu and deliciousness of the real stuff that you find in pretty much any pattiserie and boulangerie in France.

                3 Replies
                1. re: RCC

                  There are lots of mediocre boulangeries and patisseries in France as well.

                    1. re: Pookipichu

                      I didn't say ALL patisseries and boulanger in France, did I?

                      Just to clarify on my point, I can equate the best we have here in NYC with the below average and mediocre ones in France.

                2. I agree as well. I've found that I fare better when I try different things—e.g., the macaron ice cream sandwich at Payard—rather than trying to replicate traditional French desserts.

                  (I will say that the very best croissant I've had in NYC comes from Athom, a hole in the wall in Bushwick.)