25 May2005

The first breakfast in New York was superb… a quick walk at 7:01 a.m. bri1around the corner to Francois Payard’s Bistro et Patisserie et voila!, freshly baked croissant, brioche and my sister’s latest discovery, mini craquelin – brioche with orange rind, almonds and a sugary crust! I love freshly baked brioche with sinful amounts of butter and lots of homemade jam and was a bit skeptical about the mini craquelin at first. But one bite and a new favorite has been discovered. A crunchy top with blanched Spanish almonds and a sugar crust preface the soft buttery brioche with chopped candied orange peel within. You could eat this plain or go truly over the top and add some really high fat butter (not the watery stuff we seem to have at home in Manila) and a homemade orange marmalade. Served with a pot of freshly brewed oolong tea and memories of flying over the Pacific in “slave-ship class” quickly faded away.

Francois Payard was a pastry chef at both Le Bernardin bri2(that Manhattan temple of fish and seafood) and Daniel, the highly regarded restaurant of chef Daniel Boulud. Boulud previously cooked at the much touted restaurant Le Cirque during its 1980’s heyday. Payard struck out on his own to open a “neighborhood” Upper East Side French bistro and patisserie and has done very well indeed. I have had some mediocre meals in the bistro but the croissant and brioche have been consistently good… Other desserts and cakes look terrific but in my opinion generally hit or miss on taste and flavor. The Patisserie seems to lack that last step that would put in the league of the best Parisian Patisseries. Payard is located along Lexington Avenue between 73rd and 74th street. They also have a website at Payard.com

My sister put out some “commercial” organic damson plum jam bri3made and bottled on a farm owned by Prince Charles (yes, the Camilla one) to taste and critique… Plum jam is a personal favorite of mine and damson plum jam is the King of plum jams. The smaller plums seem to have just the right mix of sourness, sweetness and pectin to make an intensely purple, delicious jam. The Charles jam was not up to snuff. It had the consistency of a commercial jam and the flavor was a bit too blah, not fresh and perky. I still prefer good homemade damson plum jam if you can get it. The color, flavor and consistency of homemade jam is just so much better than any of the many commercial jams I have tasted.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. arlene says:

    Hey,
    where is this place, i just arrived from newyork, can you give me the address so the next time I’m in newyork I could taste their croissant and brioche… please

    arlene

    May 25, 2005 | 4:06 pm

     
  2. Marketman says:

    As it says in the post, Lexington Avenue between 73rd and 74th Street on the West side of the street. If that isn’t enough detail, it’s on the Upper East Side, on the island of Manhattan. A cab driver should be able to find it with this description.

    May 25, 2005 | 10:42 pm

     
  3. schatzli says:

    well enjoy New York food scene… am away too on a road
    trip with few hit and run with food…I love brioche.

    Speaking of organic products not all Dutchy are very good there are small organic producers in UK that make better kam and marmalades.

    May 26, 2005 | 6:39 am

     
  4. stef says:

    hi, do you have any idea if damson plum is indeed our Filipino “duhat”? i’ve seen several references that say this, but the damson plum trees available at nurseries/catalogs seem to show a different (bigger) type of fruit? i would love to grow duhat in my yard and any info you might have would be appreciated! loving the NY posts, been trying to copy Payard’s Pont Neuf for a long time.

    May 27, 2005 | 11:41 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    Stef, Damson plums are definitely NOT duhat… They are smaller more intensely flavored plums than the large commercial ones you would find in any American grocery. My sister makes spectacular damson plum jam and gets bushel of plums from a “secret” source on the East Coast that she won’t divulge for fear of a mad rush for a very limited crop. Damson plums are also available in the U.K. and France.

    May 29, 2005 | 2:46 am

     
 

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