Tag Archives: Macarons

La Maison du Macaron

Emerging from the 23rd Station on the 1 line, I found myself in an unfamiliar area of Manhattan, one currently dominated by scaffolding and construction.  Yet amid all that, the twinkling window lights and cursive lettering advertising La Maison du Macaron stood out clearly, even from the opposite side of the street.   Upon entering, my eye was immediately drawn to the macaron display case, showcasing at least 20 different flavors.  This is the brightest rainbow of macarons that I have ever seen, from traditional flavors like chocolate and raspberry to more unique ones like apple cider and mango.

The vibrant macarons
The vibrant macarons

After taking in the abundance of macaron options, my gaze moved to the front of the store, decorated with lavender accents and elegant detailing.  The quaint, delicate nature of the entrance and display cases is juxtaposed with the cozy sitting area in the back of the store, full of mismatched leather couches and wooden tables and accented by exposed brick walls.  This fusion of styles creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for doing work, meeting with friends, or just relaxing with a macaron or a pastry.

Lavender accents and other pastry options
Lavender accents and other pastry options

Before eating my macarons, I wanted to try something slightly more substantial, so I decided on the friand, which is almost like a small tart of croissant dough, enclosing ham, melted cheese, and béchamel sauce.  It is like a Croque Monsieur but with a light, buttery exterior that melts in your mouth.  My lunch was presented to me on a silver tray, and I promptly devoured it within minutes.

My friand, with the backdrop of leather couches
My friand, with the backdrop of leather couches

After lunch, it was finally time for my favorite part of the afternoon: picking out and tasting macarons.  Although there were many box sizes (in purple and gold), I opted for the less expensive option of a clear box for 6 macarons (still not cheap at $17). After much deliberation I selected: caramel flour du sel, almond, vanilla, raspberry, passionfruit, and pink champagne.

My final selections (along with the chic bag I carried them home in)
My final selections (along with the chic bag I carried them home in)

In terms of aesthetics, I loved the pink champagne macaron the most, with its hot pink interior and gold-dusted exterior.  But in terms of flavor, my favorite would have to be the almond, which surprised me.  Usually the more decadent flavors (like passionfruit or caramel) tend to be my favorites, but the subtle sweetness and smooth texture of the almond captured my attention this time around.

Next time I visit, I will definitely bring along a book or some work to do in order to extend my time in this cozy atmosphere – and to provide an excuse to eat more macarons.

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Sweets in the City: Fifth Avenue

Today’s second post is from one of our many new bloggers, Jenny.  In her Wednesday series, Sweets in the City, Jenny will explore cooking desserts as well as finding desserts in a variety of interesting neighborhoods.

For my sugary foray into the Upper East Side, I decided to get my camo on. Little black polka dot dress, red patent belt, matching shoes. Goodbye broke CU student, hello Blair Waldorf. After a morning at the Met, I sauntered down 5th avenue to Lady M Cake Boutique.  Lately, it seems that every other bakery is taking on the minimalistic theme as a contrast to the decadence that they serve up. Lady M’s layout—a narrow, almost claustrophobic white rectangular space— is divided into two parts: a sleek glass encased counter on one side, and simple tables and chairs lined up in a neat little line on the other.

The cakes, from strawberry shortcake to their famous crepe cakes, are lined up, greens and creams popping against the white like a Wayne Thiebaud painting.  Of course, I had to get a crepe cake. But green tea, original, or Marron (chestnut)? After getting briefly sidetracked by beautiful éclairs and an especially tasty looking Mont Blanc, I settled on chestnut.  Wedge of cake ($8.00) safely encased in a pristine white box, I went in search of my next target.

Next, Maison Du Chocolat. House of Chocolate. What self-respecting chocoholic would be able to resist this?

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