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Macarons (French cookie) available in DC?

Coming to town for bday/anniv and would make a cool surprise for the wifey. Staying near capital but have a car can travel

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  1. Near the Capital is Sweet Lobby. Lovely selection of macarons.

    1. Also Paul near the Navy Memorial has tasty macarons, if you are over there

      3 Replies
      1. re: mentel

        Thank you both, more suggestions are always welcome

        1. re: mentel

          I have to say, I was pretty disappointed in the quality of the macarons that I had recently from the Paul near the Mall. Perhaps it was this location, or bad timing, but they were way too chewy.

          1. re: Jason1

            And I found them much too sweet!

        2. tommygphotos--if you can't find a local bakery for the macaroons, then go to a Williams Sonoma store. They usually carry the delectable cookies--or, as I have done in the past, ordered them via their catalog. It's worth a try. Good luck. FoiGras

          1. Try Silva's patisserie in Vienna Va. The pastry chef was the chef at the Kennedy Center for a long time. Best macarons ever...

            1. Try Kafe Leopold on M St in Georgetown, or call the Dean & DeLuca also on M. D&D sells the BEST macarons by Lette through their catalog, perhaps they also stock in the store? Lette is in CA though, so they might not. The pastry chef at the old Adour restaurant in the St Regis Hotel also use to make good macarons, but they might have gotten rid of selling be the dozen when they changed over the restaurant.

              1. tommy,

                Tout de Sweet in Bethesda has incredible baked goods. I've ordered several special occasion cakes, each of which was exceptional. I recently had a delicious almond croissant. I haven't tried their macarons, but they look outstanding in the display case and they seem to be a specialty item for the shop. Perhaps other 'hounds can give a firsthand report, but I would venture to say that everything the shop produces is tops. That said, I realize that driving to Bethesda may not be so convenient from Capitol Hill, but personally I think the shop is worthy of special consideration.

                Note: I think the bakery is closed Mondays.


                1 Reply
                1. re: uwsgrazer

                  For anyone researching this thread (our visitor being long gone and on the other side of the Metro), Tout de Sweet macarons are very good -- I'm partial to the chocolate, but they've all been lovely. It's definitely a bakery worthy of our support.

                2. Last year I would have suggested that you call Michel Patisserie/Artisan Confections in Arlington, just across the river from downtown DC. But Michel (a former Laduree baker) is in transition to a new Georgetown shop (will be called Olivia) and is not taking orders right now. So failing that, I suggest one of two places on Mt. Vernon Ave. in Alexandria, Happy Tart or Artfully Chocolate. Paul (also in Tysons/McLean) and Silvia are also possibles.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Elder Berry

                    Michel patisserie was my first thought as well -- I am looking forward to trying the new shop, except for having to go to Georgetown!

                  2. They are all a combination of too sweet/ not enough flavor although most nail the texture very well, so just go for the most convenient ones. In your case it would probably be Sweet Lobby. The other are not worth traveling for.

                    1 Reply
                    1. Olivia Macaron will be opening soon in Georgetown Park mall. http://www.oliviamacaron.com/

                      1. You can pick up an order of macarons from Central Michel Richard as carryout. They are packaged six in a clear plastic tube. and cost $10. They are easily the finest in the city. Flavors change daily. I had the passion fruit, chocolate, and sesame. The first two had outstanding flavor, if a bit more 'jellied' than most macarons. The sesame had less flavor but the texture was an A+. If I could grade higher, I would.

                        These are on a whole 'nother plateau.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Steve

                          Back to Central Michel Richard, I had the banana and the hazelnut. Also this time the sesame exterior had a salt caramel filling. The banana was terrific. Salt Caramel very fine. The hazelnut I would have liked more flavor, but still the texture is sublime.

                          1. re: Steve

                            I'm going to have to try these. I have also been intending to get the "to-go" chicken there for a while after hearing Michel Richard wax poetic about how his first American food love was KFC way back when.

                        2. Praline Bakery and Bistro in Bethesda has some great macarons. The coffee macaron is my favorite - so far.

                          1. What's your frame of reference? If you've had macarons in Paris or Tokyo from Laduree or Pierre Herme for example, a good number of the shops in DC are going to disappoint you. I'm really surprised someone mentioned Paul since their macarons have been some of the worst I've ever had.

                            Olivia in Georgetown is probably your best bet for macarons based on the ones I've had in the area. I'm basing that off my experience with Michel Patisserie. Even Michel sometimes had gummy ones though and the flavor of the ganache especially on fruit flavors will not always have the same "oomph" as what you get in a good patisserie in Paris.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: miltronix

                              Olivia Macaron is excellent. These are the best normal retail, maybe only bested by Central Michel Richard.

                              The good points: lots of selection. The bad: more expensive than Central, $12 for 6 instead of $10.

                              Lemon, coffee, chocolate, cassis, were all great. Hazelnut and salted caramel starting to get a touch too sweet. Pistachio not enough flavor. All impressive, though.

                              1. re: Steve

                                This is cheering! I was spoilt in London having access to Laduree and Pierre Herme. We are all big macaron fans - and love all the classic flavours. I'll look forward to giving Olivia a go, thanks Steve.

                                1. re: helen_m

                                  If you want ethereal, you still may have to go to Central..... you just order in the bar area. Not open Sundays or mornings, but open later than Olivia.

                                2. re: Steve

                                  My top three right now at Olivia are rose, lemon, and cassis.

                              2. Surprise not to see suggestions of Patisserie Poupon. I have only frequented the Baltimore branch, but thought the macarons quite good, if not of Parisian quality.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: lawhound

                                  I got some from the Gtown location 5 years ago, and haven't felt compelled to go back since...I discovered Michel Patisserie/Olivia and much preferred his, as well as Kafe Leopold's.

                                  1. re: rachelcp

                                    Patisserie Poupon used to be my favorite for Brioche and macarons, but they must have a new baker, because they haven't been so good.

                                    Kafe Leopold's is wonderful for any dessert and a light meal!

                                    I must try Olivia's next time I am in Georgetown! I am hearing great things about that place!

                                2. Macaron Bee and Olivia both located in Georgetown are pretty good.