10 Jan2013

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Francois Payard used to have a restaurant and patisserie between 73rd and 74th streets on Lexington Avenue in New York City. It closed a few years ago. While Mr. Payard’s name is synonymous with great sweet things, and his stint with Daniel Boulud just adds to his credentials, I wasn’t really a regular visitor to the original Payard, and I don’t think Sister was a big fan either. At any rate, I do have Mr. Payard’s cookbook and I absolutely love his chocolate tart recipe, among others, so I think I would describe myself as a fan. So when his new patisserie, not boulangerie, opened literally across the street from Maison Kayser, I knew we would have to see what they had to offer…

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The day we visited, Mr. Payard was in the shop, checking things out. I recognized him (which is unusual because I am so bad with faces) and Mrs. MM tried to stealthily get a photo of me with him in the background, but failed. :) I know, Chef stalker, right? At any rate, the place is quite nicely appointed, in a an upscale, upper east side kind of way. Mr. Payard also has a boulangerie down in the village I think. A beautiful display of desserts and sweets (no breads) and some shelves for packaged items simply screamed nosebleed prices. We ended up getting several macarons, and with Sister, her husband, The Teen and Mrs. MM, decided to take them home to see if they were worth the price…

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They were good, but nothing special. After our series on macarons in Paris a couple of years ago, I would say almost all of the ones we had in Paris were better than these ones. These weren’t bad, just a bit too chewy, as though they were in high humidity for too long. Given the price tags on other desserts in that Payard display case, I think you would have a far better chance of finding me across the street at Maison Kayser, munching on a croissant instead…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. bearhug0127 says:

    MM, those macarons still look great.

    Jan 10, 2013 | 9:03 am

     
  2. Mari of NY says:

    aaahhhh MM, it was a mistake not to try his pastries. Pricey as they may be, he is more well known for the pastries and they are good. Of course, I cannot compare much with your Parisian adventure… I have been a follower of Chef Payard…bought his book and made his chocolate mousse, lemon tart and cake. Swooned over his pastries….. Chef Payard is almost always in his restaurant as I remember in his old place. He would always come out after dinner has been fully served, although I have not been lucky to be able to get a picture of him. I will one day.

    Jan 10, 2013 | 11:00 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    Mari, I gather he spends a lot of time in Las Vegas as well… where he has an outpost I gather. I have had his pastries before, several times, when he was on Lexington Avenue. Bonte, which was another great boulangerie/patisserie in the neighborhood decades ago, was much better in my opinion. More down to earth, better value, good feel. I agree Chef Payard has some brilliant recipes and pastries, they just haven’t made a lasting impression on me… Let’s see how his new patisserie fares, it will be a challenge to be across the street from Kayser. Even if Kayser may not have the most refined pastries…

    Jan 10, 2013 | 11:59 am

     
  4. Betchay says:

    Colorful macarons!I’ll choose the yellow one but with lemon flavored filling.

    Jan 10, 2013 | 8:02 pm

     
  5. Footloose says:

    Whereas this is a French boulangerie/patisserie post, and a possible cookbook in the ever receding horizon maybe one of the goals of this blog, it would not be too off topic to call the attention of interested readers to this article of David Lebovitz about recipe writing and development. Also too, its initial three paragraphs sound quite close to sentiments expressed in comments submitted under this post http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/filipino-cookfood-books

    David Lebovitz’s btw is about the only other food blog I have the gumption and time to follow nowadays. Here’s the link:

    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/11/how-precise-do-recipes-need-to-be/

    Jan 10, 2013 | 10:01 pm

     
  6. Nina says:

    Footloose, so very true of David L.’s blog… love it also. His recipes were all foolproof, at least with all I’ve tried….never made a bad one! My fav is his absolute brownies and financiers… delish! His everything Paris guide is priceless!

    Jan 11, 2013 | 12:28 am

     
  7. PITS, MANILA says:

    i have always enjoyed our (pinoy) macaroons, but would also like to try these …

    Jan 11, 2013 | 6:30 am

     
  8. NYC_girl says:

    I have to visit FP Patisserie one of these days. I am proud to say that I tried making french macarons for my friends bridal shower and they came out good!! everybody loved it. It wasn’t easy and you have to be patient…

    Jan 19, 2013 | 4:57 am

     

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