Skip to main content

For a Little Bite of Paris in New York City: “Laduree”





Sometimes it is possible to miss something long before you have ever experienced it. That is the way I have always felt about Paris. I have wanted to go there ever since I can remember. I have probably wanted to go ever since I heard the name and could recognize where it was, as well as the incredible history, culture, and food that is associated with this exotic location. I have longed to be in Paris the way people long to have a child, the way someone longs to be a musician, the way you need to do whatever it is to fulfill your soul.

I knew long before I ever visited Paris, that my relationship with this city would leave us as close as possible, like a pair of bosom buddies, and we were from the moment I stepped off the train in the summer of 2009. 

On my first glorious trip to Paris, I had a fully planned itinerary (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/05/for-game-plan-part-iii.html) and it was the

second leg of a celebratory vacation in honor of my brother’s college graduation. We had spent the previous five days in London and now it was on to five days in Paris.

On our second to last day there, we were to see the magnificent Arc de Triomphe and climb our way to the top (ok I would be cheating and taking the elevator half of the way). Right before we would arrive we would have an important pit stop to make all thanks to travel guru Samantha Brown. As you will note from previous blogs, (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/03/for-those-who-also-worship-my-travel.html) I learned the best travel tips and locations from watching her hop around the world and I haven’t even made a dent in passing that information along. But in terms of delicious essentials, Laduree was as the top of her list; therefore it was at the top of mine. Since it is perfectly located on the tree lined Champs-Elysees mere feet from the Arc de Triomphe, it was where we stopped for a break from my self-guided tour and the pouring rain. It is a moment I shall always treasure.


Laduree is more than a pastry shop or a pretty place to sit outside for a nice lunch. From the outside you can tell from the marble and decorative layout careful thought and planning has gone into every detail especially in what they serve. On the Samantha Brown episode, I very clearly remember her starring down at the glass onto the pastel colored macarons and other precious desserts trying to make the difficult decisions on which treats will ultimately become hers. What I didn’t realize until my own journey there was that they serve a full menu of entrees too. At the time I was not hungry but did opt to stay and enjoy my treats and not take mine to go like Ms. Brown did. Boy was this much more fun. 

Although the wait staff spoke mostly French they were very friendly and with my minimal half broken English/French we made do. Our order was simple to look at but is still my favorite of ALL time. Of course there was French press coffee (yum) but instead of the traditional macaron they are famous for we ordered éclairs. This is embarrassing but when I read it the first thought I had was of those filled with cream with the thick chocolate stripe down the middle that I see in Entenmann’s boxes. I am not a fan. But here they had so many flavors and I figured when in Paris……..

So I ordered a pistachio and my brother ordered a vanilla. You can see from the photo at the very beginning of this blog that we did not receive anything like I expected. But that picture like so many I take, fall flat on their face when trying to convey the brilliance that was before me. This is was the freshest, most delicate piece of pastry I have ever held. It had some very light powered sugar like topping and when I took a bite Paris and I became soul mates. It was the taste of true love. There are no words. The fact that I cannot get any in New York made me heart sick. But in 2011 a remedy was available and I did a happy dance.











Laduree on Madison Avenue was opened in August 2011 and there wasn’t a sole in New York City who didn’t know or care about it. For weeks, maybe even months, there were lines around the block even on weekdays. I knew I couldn’t get in for a while and I was panicked. Then I just never got a chance but I never, ever let it out of my mind for one second. It was always on my to do list (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2012_04_01_archive.html).

Laduree in New York City is a tiny shop and is ONLY selling their signature macarons, which are shipped from Paris three times a week. There are so many flavors believe me you will be overwhelmed by the choices and the line, because there are still people always in and out, but it is manageable and everyone is so kind. I love hearing “Bon jour” in my day again!

To be clear the macarons here are not the coconut ones many Americans think of right away. These are the kind that has light, airy sandwiches with creams inside. Depending on the flavor, the cream inside will match its outer layer. They look like they will be thick and crunchy but after your first bite, there is a light crumble, and then heaven. It seems like the simplest of creations and maybe it is. They have been made since 1900 in Paris. Apparently when “it's not broken, don't fix it” is a good idea.

I mention these treats now because when I finally went to see the N.Y.C. shop it was after my spa day (see previous blog). It made my “me” day all the more perfect. It was an all around luxurious afternoon and was the final touch on a day of happiness and relaxation.

If for some reason you are feeling generous or need a gift for someone, this is an ideal gift for anyone, anytime! (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2013_01_01_archive.html)

This way if you buy your family and friends some, you won’t have to share yours!!

For a Taste of Paris:


For the New York Times Review:




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

For Find Out Friday - Why Do Emery Boards Make My Skin Crawl?

You know that sound a fingernail makes when it scratches against a chalkboard?  You know that feeling the sound of that action gives you? I, like most people, hate that sound.  I instantly feel like scrunching my shoulders up to my neck and closing my eyes.  I feel the exact same way when I am using an emery board to file my nails. This annoying sensation has a name: “grima” which is Spanish for disgust or uneasiness. This term basically describes any feeling of being displeased, annoyed, or dissatisfied someone or something.  It is a feeling that psychologists are starting to pay more attention to as it relates to our other emotions.  Emery boards are traditionally made with cardboard that has small grains of sand adhered to them. It is the sandpaper that I believe makes me filled with grima.  According to studies that are being done around the world, it is not just the feeling that we associate with certain things like nails on a chalkboard or by using emery boards

For the Perfect Appetizer Dinner: “Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue”

Have you ever gone out to eat and wished that you just ordered a bunch of appetizers?  I have.  It is actually my preferred way to eat. I like to get a taste of a bunch of different things rather than one big plate. I am much more interested in the kinds of foods we eat as appetizers versus lunch or dinner. Desserts hardly ever register on my radar. At the beginning of this year, right before I was set to release my annual to do list , I stumbled upon a photo of the most beautiful plate of brisket nachos I have ever seen. I instantly wanted them. Naturally the establishment behind said nachos, Morgans Brooklyn Barbecue, earned a spot on my list. The week leading up to my visit all I could think about was “would those nachos be my entire meal or just my appetizer”? Sure I love all kinds of barbecue food: the ribs, the brisket, pulled pork, and don’t even get me started on those sides!! Any restaurant that serves mac and cheese, corn bread, and creamed spinach us

For Find Out Friday - How Do You Milk An Almond?

Despite my affinity for cheese and other dairy products, occasionally (actually a few times a week) I like to go dairy-free.  During those times I rely heavily on my favorite brand of almond milk, as seen in the picture above.  Though I know there is no dairy in this product, I constantly wonder: “how does one milk an almond”? Logically I am aware that no actually “milking” is taking place.  I also know that almond milk can be made at home, although I have zero interest in attempting to make it despite my love of spending time in my kitchen. So, what is the actual process?  How long does it take?  When / where / who was the first to successful develop this product? When talking about this kind of “milk” what we are really talking about is plant juices that resemble and can be used in the same ways as dairy milk. Plant like juice has been described as milk since about 1200 A.D. The first mentions can be found in a Baghdadi cookbook in the thirteenth