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La Goutte d’Or: Exquisite Pastries in Paris’ 18ème

A blend of specialty coffee shop and high-end French pâtisserie, La Goutte d’Or proposes a mix of traditional viennoiseries such as croissants and madeleines, as well as edgier creations that reflect Menguy’s quirky style.

French TV buffs may recognize Yann Menguy, the talented pâtissier behind La Goutte d’Or. In 2013, Yann was a finalist of “Qui sera le prochain grand pâtissier,” the French equivalent of the Great British Bake Off.

A blend of specialty coffee shop and high-end French pâtisserie, La Goutte d’Or proposes a mix of traditional viennoiseries such as croissants and madeleines, as well as edgier creations that reflect Menguy’s quirky style.

Even though he lost the final – and its book-deal prize – Yann’s skills were impressive enough to persuade top pastry chef Christophe Michalak to hire him as an instructor at the Michalak Masterclass School. A stint at Ladurée followed, where he worked until 2016 when Menguy decided to go solo and open his own shop on the Northern side of the butte Montmartre.

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Still in Italy, Paris Here I Come

I’m still in Italy.  The coffee is still fast and the Italians are still ever so sweet. I’m still in Italy, but not for long.

Bogliasco (above) & San Disiderio, Liguria, Italy

I will soon be leaving the country of sunshine, smiles and scooters where everything is possible and everything is doable.

Genoa, Italy

I will leave behind, gelato, pesto, focaccia, 1€20 cappuccinos and laundry hanging to dry in the street. I will be welcomed by flaky butter croissants, crispy baguettes, stinky cheese and laundry hanging to dry in my apartment. I will leave the sea, sun and heat for cold, rain and smog. Paris, here I come! Continue Reading »

Posted in Travel | 11 Comments »

Croissant Smackdown: Paris’ Best Croissants

Amy Thomas, Paris’ sweets goddess, recently organized a croissant tasting for a blessed few. To our great dismay, we were out of town and unable to partake in the buttery festivities. To make up for it, we’re sharing her write-up here so you can live vicariously through the smackdown with us…

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Buttery, flaky deliciousness… The Croissant. Photo by Robopy

One of the first things many tourists do upon arrival in Paris is go to the nearest café and order a café au lait and croissant. We expats like to whisper conspiratorially, “Only tourists order café au lait, it’s really un crème…” If we’re nice about it, we even advise our visiting friends of this nuance so they can be more local than tourist.

But when it comes to the croissant part of the equation, there don’t seem to be many insider tricks or tips. As omnipresent as croissants are in Paris, they don’t inspire the same loyalty and rivalry as macarons, the same adoring squeals of delight as petit gateaux, or the same declarations of the very, very best like baguettes or cocoa.

So on a recent Saturday morning, I gathered a group of bloggers and friends from all pockets of the world to at least begin making comparisons and declarations—it was the third edition of an American Smackdown in Paris. What did it reveal?

4montagemore redThe contenders: (clockwise from top left): Gerard Mulot, Au Levain du Marais, sample plate of the mystery contender, and the inside of the Gerard Mulot croissant. Photos by Amy Thomas.

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Les Petits Mitrons – A Bakery in Montmartre, Paris

Les Petits Mitrons

I attended my first Paris party last week, and arrived with this apple and rhubarb tart from Les Petits Mitrons. (More on that Paris party in another post soon.) I was so enraptured by the crunchy crust, glazed apples and tender rhubarb that I fell in love on the spot. I carefully prepared for its purchase, visiting the shop a few times to ensure I’d find a fresh one on the day of the party. It was lovingly nestled into this pretty pink box.

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The tart was so lovely on this delicate plate, provided by the hosts. No one wanted to cut into it, but everyone wanted a bite.

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