Ladurée

Needing to pick up a small gift for a friend, I headed to Ladurée on the Upper East Side. I mean, who wouldn't want to receive a pretty little box filled with yummy macarons?!

The store itself is an eye-candy of sorts.  I love the girlie, pastel-colored decor, which gives the space a calming effect. It also helps that there's no longer a queue to get into the shop. Ladurée opened a second location in SoHo earlier this year. The SoHo location has an eat-in tea salon. I can't wait to go there for afternoon tea.

Beautiful Display Window

Beautiful Display Window

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Aside from macarons, the shop also sells a variety of french patisseries.  However, I did not see anyone partake in these patisseries during my visit.  Sometimes I wonder if they are for decorative purposes more than anything else. 

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In case you are wondering, Ladurée macarons are not made stateside.  They are actually flown in from Paris!  With so many flavors to choose from, I always have a hard time deciding which flavors to get.  I was told that the most popular flavors are pistachio, salted caramel, rose, and vanilla. My favorite flavor is the salted caramel, but I always like to try some of their seasonal flavors too. 

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Although Ladurée macarons aren't my absolute favorite, it is as good as it gets without having to get on a plane!  Here's hoping that Pierre Hermé will open a store in NYC soon.  

Ladurée
864 Madiston Avenue (Between 70th & 71st Street)
https://www.laduree.com/en_int/

Nuvrei Patisserie & Cafe

This little cafe in the Pearl District of downtown Portland is a find! 

The cafe bakes fresh croissants every hour!

The cafe bakes fresh croissants every hour!

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Having been spoiled by the macarons in Paris, I rarely partake on macarons stateside. When my friend offered me a bite of her salted caramel macaron...OMG! Heavenly! Dare I say it's better than the NYC branch of Ladureé. 

 

 

The Macaron stand is hidden downstairs from the cafe

The Macaron stand is hidden downstairs from the cafe

Full array of flavors….

Full array of flavors….

Nuvrei Patisserie & Cafe
404 NW 10th Avenue 
http://www.nuvrei.com

Rating: AA+

Lady M (Bryant Park) Boutique

After an afternoon of shopping, I stopped in at the Lady M (Bryant Park) Boutique to rest my tired feet...and to enjoy the best Mille Crêpes there is!    

The modern, all-white interior serves as the perfect backdrop for Lady M's beautiful creations.  Lady M is well-known for its Mille Crêpes, which consists of 20+ layers of paper thin crêpes sandwiched together with light pastry cream. Aside from the signature Mille Crêpes in various flavors, there are several other cakes and patisseries to choose from.  

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I settled on the Green Tea Mille Crêpes, the only choice in my opinion.  I've been partial to the Green Tea flavor ever since my first bite of this Lady M creation at Sushi of Gari (my favorite Japanese restaurant) many years go. It tastes as light and airy as it looks.  Literally a little bit of heaven in each bite! 

Green Tea Mille Crêpes

Green Tea Mille Crêpes

Given the small space, the service is fast and the tables get turned pretty efficiently.  My one grip is that the store automatically adds the tip to each bill, regardless of the party size. I haven't seen this done anywhere else in the city. It's very easy to double tip if you aren't  paying close attention to the bill. 

Lady M Boutique (multiple locations)
36 West 40th Street (Between 5th & 6th Ave.)
http://www.ladym.com

Un Dimanche á Paris

This little upscale cafe is hidden in an alleyway in the Saint Germain neighborhood. 

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Aside from its beautiful patisseries, it is known for its Hot Chocolate. 

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Verdict: While the patisseries and hot chocolate didn't really wow me, it is a very pleasant atmosphere for a leisurely afternoon tea. 

Un Dimanche á Paris
4 Cours du Commerce Saint-André, 75006 Paris
http://www.un-dimanche-a-paris.com

La Pâtisserie des Rêves

One of my favorite patisseries in Paris! There are multiple locations in the city. All of them have the same clean, modern decor.

I typically visit the St. Germain location on Rue du Bac, but on this particular occasion, we frequented the one in the 16th arrondissement, which has an attached tea salon. We stopped in after our visit to the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine (The Architecture Meseum by the Tracadéro, across the river from the Eiffel Tower).  It is no coincidence that this cafe is only a 10 minute walk from the museum.  When in Paris, I actively plan my outings around food stops :p  

Everything in this patisserie looks divine! I love how the futuristic clear glass dome covers make the desserts look like pieces of art...which they kinda are. 

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I was super excited when I saw that the Mont Blanc is back on the menu.  I have been meaning to try the Mont Blanc from this patisserie since last summer!  The Mont Blanc wasn't available then because the chestnuts were not in season. The fact that La Pâtisserie des Rêves only use fresh ingredients already puts them head and shoulders above Angelina and Bread & Roses, where I had no trouble getting the Mont Blanc in the summer.  

Not surprising, the Mont Blanc here is incredible. I like its chestnut to cream ratio; heavier on the chestnut paste with only a little bit of cream in the center.   

Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc

My friend decided on the éclair, which is a chocolate éclair wrapped in a hard chocolate shell. 

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La Pâtisserie des Rêves (multiple locations)
111 Rue de Longchamp (16e) 
93 Rue du Bac (7e)
http://www.lapatisseriedesreves.com

Hours: T - F 10am - 7pm; Sat & Sun 9am - 7pm (16e location)
Hours: T - S 9am - 8pm; Sun 9am - 6pm (7e location)