des patisseries j'adore

Mar 3, 2012


Salut mes amis! C'est un jour magnifique aujourd'hui, non! Voici des patisseries et boulangeries que tres j'aime. Ils sont le populaire Le Pain Quotidien, le nouveau Takahachi, et mon préféré toujours patisserie pour macarons, le seul Madeleine Patisserie. Bien, nous commencons!
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Hey dolls! Its such a wonderful day today no? Well what better way to celebrate than to share my first ever bakery/restaurant reviews. You asked for it, so I am here to deliver. Here are some bakeries that I adventurously wandered into this past week and like dvery much. They include the immensely popular chain Le Pain Quotidien (which I promise, there's one near you, so check their website), the new kid on the block Takahachi, and my favorite bakery for macarons thus far, the one and only, Madeleine Patisserie. Okay, let's go!

the day: Thursday 23, September
the place: Takahachi Bakery
25 Murray St NY, NY 10007
212.791.5550


The tempestuous afternoon soon lended itself to a quiet and drizzly evening, where me and my new friends from English class decided to take a leisurely stroll in search of food to accompany our conversations. No one cared for anything in particular, so we grazed aimlessly until suddenly, after crossing West Broadway, there it was- Takahachi, the latest Tribeca neighborhood bakery slash bistro, beckoned me with its alluring grand blue doors and welcoming open layout. The entrance literally makes you feel like Alice in Wonderland, captivated with curiosity. The shop is in a newly constructed loft building, so inside it lacked the charm of my preferred French country decor, and mimicked a direct and clean ambiance, though the exposed brick and oversized chalkboards brought on the quaintness in satisfying doses. And not sooner had we all passed the cute sidewalk menu boards and entered did we see an array of sweet smelling breads, savory sandwiches, and a pastry display that seemed to be endless. I was tickled pink at the glimpse of some rather large looking macarons in exotic flavors like green tea, matcha, rosemary, and yuzu perfectly perched next to the usual suspects- vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, and raspberry. Everything looked divine and fresh from back of house, from various small pizzas, savory croissants, cakes, to traditional bread loaves, salads, and danishes. But since no one wanted to eat but me, I was craving sweets and chocolate. I spotted mocha on the menu, but at $4.50 a pop, that was not happening. Ultimately, I ended up with the raspberry and chocolate macarons ($2.15 ea) since I am a newly appointed macaron aficionado, and then dipped my finger in the jar of bold and daring to order my first ever mini choux! It was spectacular! Perfect, perfect sugar sprinkled choux dough, with richly sweet caramel pastry cream piped inside. In all, the experience was well worth the stop in, and being so close to my school, this is for sure my new hang out spot. The line can be a bit disorganized, but service is quick and painless. Oh and by the way, the sitting area is just so quaint and clean, with windows in the back walls overlooking the baking. When you see Mexicans in the kitchen helping with the production of French pastries, under Japanese management and American, European and Indian patronage, surely you know you are in New York!


the day: Saturday, 25 September
the place: Madeleine Patisserie
132 W. 23rd St. NY, NY 10011
212.243.2757


Twas a Saturday, so devoted readers are sure to know what I was busy doing. Window shopping at Barnes and Noble of course! And though the air had a slight chill, and the sun was reluctant to favor us, what a glorious day it was. Heading back from BN, I had to stop in Madeleine's, an authentic French bakery I discovered whilst being interviewed here for a job a few years ago (not a job at the bakery itself, it was the salon next door that was still in construction and no seating). Ever since then, I have always admired this gorgeous storefront, but never really had the mojo to go in. Sometimes genuinely French places scare me. I never know if the servers are French and rude, or if the customer base is snobbier than I can handle in one day. But nothing was stopping me this time, I finally ventured inside only to find a Pandora's box of sweet pastries all calling my name. I wanted to be daring, but boy are the prices at this place high. They only had coffee flavored eclairs left, so I just opted for macarons and a tart. $19 worth of macarons to be exact! Rose, chocolate, praline, pistachio, caramel, and so on. It was soooo worth it. I literally still have some in my fridge because these little cookies were so perfect, I am trying to savor them all week long. Perfectly crisp but not crunchy, and when at room temperature, the filling oozes out into your mouth. The best macarons in NYC hands down. The first time I was in, the cashier girls were a bit stuffy, but this day my server was as sweet as buttercream. She explained every flavor I inquired about, and waited patiently as I changed my mind a few times, picking out only the prettiest colors obviously. And the decor? Don't get me started! Tiffany blue floral wall paper, pink and gold menus, Provencial display cases and iron stands, not to mention the lovely tufted Louis chairs back in the communal sitting area. Just the way I would decorate my own shop. Ah, pure bliss!


the day: Tuesday, 28 September
the place: La Pain Quotidien
81 W Broadway NY, NY 1007 (more locations worldwide)
646.652.8186


Stumbling tiredly out of English class once again, entranced by Shakespeare's plays and Homer's poetry, I grabbed my friend Karla and walked quickly as humanly possible back to Takahachi. Well, it was closed. Bummer. I wanted French cuisine, and I wanted it then and there! In a split second I remembered spotting the infamous (they are like Walmart, popping up everywhere there's a Starbucks, some people are bitterly annoyed, others plumply ok) Le Pain just on the other corner and we headed there instead. It was getting ready to close in an hour, but that didn't stop me. I set down my things at their signature beautifully crafted 'communal table' in the center of the restaurant (made out of reclaimed wood by the way) and wandered about the shop. There was more bread than once could want, and whimsically wrapped spreads, butters and jams in giant jars. My friend had to jot off to meet someone, so I was left to my own accord, and after hearing the croissants were only $3, without hesitation I said yes please, with a hot chocolate to boot, and headed to my seat. Its rather refreshing that they offer both table service and take out. I flipped through some magazines while sitting at that gigantic table, and within a decent amount of time my order came. I wasn't the happiest camper to find that they literally serve you hot steamed milk with the chocolate on the side for you to stir in. I needed heaps of sugar, and even then, the hot cocoa was not worth my $5 at all. The croissant however, was delicious. Moist and buttery, but not as flaky as most people prefer. I was provided a complimentary tray of large jam jars (the chocolate jar was empty, sigh). Overall, its quite expensive, but the convenient locations make it a great go-to spot when craving authentic French goods.

This post took me several hours, so hope you enjoyed. Let me know if you want more! If so, next week, a winery, local farmer's market, and Italian bakeries will be comin at ya!

13 comments

  1. Ohh! Local food markets! We have them out where I live as well, and I'm always so tempted to go to it and oogle at the delicious fresh fruits, veges, and herbs :) I loved this post btw, you have to be a professional food blogger in Europe one day for your career. It just seems to suit you.

    & I looked up to see if they had that bakery in Texas..sadly, no. We have Panera bread though, mmm. Just thinking of it makes me want to go enjoy a warm bowl of broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl with a side of bread to dip with <3

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  2. The Brunette spread at Le Pain Quotidien is TO DIE FOR. It's like an organic, all-natural version of Nutella, minus the chocolate... and that maybe doesn't sound so delicious, but it is indescribably good. I chronicled my love for the stuff here. A tad pricey, but oh so worth it.

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  3. When I come to NYC you have to take me to Madeleine Patisserie, those macarons look to die for! And the blue store front of Takahachi is so beautiful. I love your reviews, keep them coming! It's a shame they're so expensive, but I guess sometimes you do get what you pay for.

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  4. oh my gosh! i love this! i want to visit all of these places! maybe someday soon i can make it up to nyc! i definitely think you did a great job on this and i'd love to see more!

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  5. Hello,
    I completely agree with Tanja,
    I would kill for their Hazelnut Spread (from http://www.siroperiedelvaux.be/fr_catalogue.php).
    I discovered le Pain Quotidien in Brussels, it was one of the best bakery overthere.

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  6. It is me again, regarding the hot chocolate, it the way it is served in France, so you can adjust the amount of cocoa you want.

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  7. @Chelsea, that's so wonderful for you! I didnt realize farmers markets were even prevalent over where you live. Sometimes NYers can be ignorant about such things lol. But sorry to hear there is no Le Pain, I am very very familiar with Panera though, my uncle used to be obsessed. I cant wait for winter, I'll be wanting those huge soup bowls too! And thanks for the compliment, I sure do hope when I arrive in Europe that someone will want to listen to my obsessive babble :)

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  8. @Tanja, thanks soooo much for letting me know this! I saw them all there, these giant jars just staring at me, and I wondered what on earth they must be/taste like. I'll see one day if I can fork over $10 for that alone though haha. Love your blog post about it too! Who knew, that pic of your hubby was on the archives page I was browsing under your food category, and there it turns out to be THE communal table. Small world :)

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  9. @Debbie, Oh when you come I shall take you everywhere, dont worry. But Madeleine's will be our daily spot ;)

    @Mandy, thanks sweety! I'll keep the reviews coming then. And you will surely need to start an NYC travel scrapbook haha

    @le Meli Melo, love to have new readers, thanks for commenting! your blog is great, you should update more. Loved the link you shared. And thanks for letting me know about the hot cocoa, I dont love it, but I could get used to it I guess. xoxo

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  10. Wow I'd LOVE to go to all those places they look so lovely! If I ever spot anything like that here in Wales I'll be sure to take a picture & share it :-)

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  11. Bellegium2:24 PM EST

    La Pain Quotidien is not French but Belgian :-)
    I love reading your blog!!

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  12. These are such cute bakeries! Now I'm hungry! (:

    Beautiful photos! I wish we had more of these type of bakeries close by!

    xo Kayla

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  13. Even though I'm in the UK and probably never likely to venture to any of these NY bakeries...I loved your post :) Very intelligently written and seemingly honest. "It was great" is never a good review, and yours surpassed generality. I think I may just bookmark this post to read again. Also, I have found out the locations of Le Pain Quotidien in London to visit when I go there!

    Jemma x

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xoxo
Leti

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