Sunday, 20 December 2009

Chic AND delicious!!

If you have a sweet tooth, this destination in central Paris should not be missed! It is a well kept secret that Pain de Sucre is one of the best boulangerie-patisseries in Paris.

I am really surprised that I am just now writing about this superb boulangerie-patisserie. It is a "Must Try" destination--and I mean right away! The two wonderful patissiers (Didier Mathray and Nathalie Robert) who opened this jewelbox of a shop about three or four years ago, (Pain de Sucre, 14 rue Rambuteau in the 3rd arrondissement) used to create the desserts at my favorite haute luxury restaurant: Pierre Gagnaire. I always looked forward to the end of the meal at Gagnaire, so as to taste these chefs' newest additions to the menu (mainly exotic chocolate souffl├ęs were my choice but there was also a splendid d├ęgustation of desserts). Now these geniuses of the sweet course are dazzling tout Paris with their wonderful concoctions that are not only inventive and chic but also delicious. I looked at a tarte today that looked like a classic chocolate tarte but in fact, was filled with lime custard and topped with a thin layer of dark chocolate. At Pain de Sucre, I am always curious to taste everything, and even I will dare to be inventive in my dessert choices. I have tried every different gateau that they create (changing the "collection" every season).

My favorite is Etat de Choc which is chocolate: several thin layers of smooth, dark, crunchy and lovely. They have a baba au rhum which comes with its own vial of rum syrup. The chefs also do marvelous things with herbs. I know that Romarin (rosemary) is my favorite little cake in this family. They also make verrines--little glasses layered with all sorts of lovely flavors and textures. They do use cilantro and I just stay away from those. These geniuses dare to contrast a variety flavors and herbs and the results are always stunning.

Not only are the cakes and I wonderful but all the breads are out of this world, including the buttery breakfast bread, pain de Venise. The baguettes and the pain aux cereales are also knockouts. For me, the test of a truly excellent bakery is in the baguette and these artists do not disappoint. For lunch there are a variety of rustic folded rolls filled with delicious combinations of delights such as sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, cheeses, lardons and the like.

They have also done amazing things with guimauve (which Americans turn into marshmallow) and even make different flavored guimauve lollipops coated in that dark chocolate. Please see my beautiful photos of their stellar creations and run don't walk to rue Rambuteau where you can choose among these wonderful and delicious works of art.