That Is Some French Macaron…

For the past week I went to Madeline Patisserie in Chelsea since I remember reading recently from the NY Times that they sell macarons (Please don’t confuse them with the coconut macaroons; this is the almond meringue based cookies sandwiched with ganache or buttercream, ok?); one of my multitudinous food obsessions and my hopes to find a good one in NYC that doesn’t suck. I went here on two separate occasions. Why? Because from my first visit there, it was they were still baking it and the weather was crummy.

Madeline Patisserie
Madeline Patisserie (taken on the second visit)

Madeline Patisserie's Menu
Le Menu


On the first visit since the macarons weren’t ready, I ended up doing was have breakfast there by having their plain, regular sized croissant ($1.85) and their tiny, bite size chocolate chip financier (35 cents).

Pastries (and its innards) I ate from the first visit My breakfast and its innards

Looks enticing, no? Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned earlier that it was raining, the dankness made my croissant soggy and chewy. At least it tasted buttery and slightly light, if was a nicer day this might have been a pretty damn good croissant. The financier (it’s a French almond cake, traditionally made with almond flour and shaped like gold ingots) was very moist, buttery, and had a hint of almond flavor with miniature bits of chocolate chips. I really liked that financier that day since the croissant was a bit disappointing.

Here’s a couple of interior photos of this place. It looks really charming, like an eclectic French home with a bakery section. I can imagine myself lingering here for a couple of hours leisurely reading a newspaper…that’s if I had the luxury of time.

Interior of Madeline Patisserie Seating area

Teaware in Madeline Patisserie Teaware on display window

Then on my second visit, on the morning of my friend Dave’s birthday lunch (a post on that in the very near future), I was adamant on trying their macarons. But since I was hungry and didn’t have any breakfast (yes, again) I ended up having a mini chocolate croissant (90 cents) and a pistachio madeline (75 cents)…as well as four macarons ($2.50 each) which will be discussed later.

Pistachio Madeline My madeline

They had four madeline flavors that morning: pistachio (I ate and you see above), vanilla, chocolate, and chocolate chip. I just wanted pistachio since I didn’t want to go chocolate overdose and pistachio is sometimes a hard flavor get it perfect. Anyways, this madeline was really delicious. It’s moist, buttery, light, and it has a good hint of pistachio flavor that it doesn’t taste artificial. Yummy.

Mini Chocolate Croissant It’s cute

Mini Chocolate Croissant Innards

The mini chocolate croissant fared better that day since it’s really nice, sunny, and hot that morning which equates to good croissant baking weather. The croissant was a tad crisp on the outside. Soft, slightly chewy, and buttery on the inside with two sticks of good dark chocolate possibly around 72% cocoa content. It’s pretty darn good for something under a dollar.

My Maccies
Inside my box of maccies!

Macarons I've tried from Madeline Bakery Group shots and innards

The four macaron flavors I bought were Verger (Pear, Apricot, Mirabelle, Plum, Red Currant), Fleur d’Oranger (orange flower extract), Coconut, Blood Orange, and White Chocolate, and Argumes (Mandarin, Orange Zest, Cointreau, and Bergamote) out of the possible twenty-five or so they make according to the friendly French woman who helped me behind the counter. All of them were gratifying to my macaron deprived palate. These macarons are much bigger than any macaron I have ever encountered so far; they’re about three inches in diameter. The textures of the macarons are generally much lighter: the thin, crisp exterior meets a very moist, light cookie innards. They are sweet but not cloyingly so and the ratio of cookie to filling is enough to satiate my filling loving tongue.

But I should note, not every macaron tasted equal. The best one was the coconut, blood orange and white chocolate since it was the most moist, and the sharp acidic bite from the blood orange was the perfect foil to the sweet white chocolate ganache. The fleur d’oranger was the driest of the bunch but it tasted good nevertheless.

Now I kind of wish that they open another patisserie near my school just because I can have a macaron a week (if I can refrain myself from not buying more than one per visit) and be in my happy macaron-lovin’ mood.

Here’s a couple more photos of their pastries they offer but I haven’t eaten yet.

Madeline Patisserie's Counter The Patisserie’s Counter

Macarons, Tarts and truffles

A silver tray of MACCIES! A silver tray of macarons!

My Mom’s and My Thank Yous…

I want to thank all of you who actually wished my mom well. It meant a lot to her when I showed and told her the previous post and its comments about your support. She did say, “Thank you.”

It also brought warm, fuzzy feelings of love for you all since you mean more than just my readers, I feel like I’m telling you a very small part of my life, even though this is a food blog but hell, it my blog and I have to put in some personality behind all the food I eat. So, THANK YOU! and I virtually hug every one of you…

Address:
Madeline Patisserie

128 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011



There are 17 comments

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  1. Robyn

    WE LOVE THE MOTHER WHO SUPPOSED THE WANDERING EATER! ;D

    I checked out Madeleine today but the macarons made me…kind of perplexed and sad and something. Like I JUST DON’T KNOW. Maybe I will write about it later. They tasted grossly underbaked, something that could be easily correctly (unlike overbaking). Maybe your’s were different….wah!…and a customer in the bakery recommended we get the pistachio, but it wasn’t that good. -__-

  2. thewanderingeater

    Robyn: Really? Maybe you had a bad batch or something… I’m perplexed too. Which one did you have?

    I just hope it’s the aforementioned before I’m really going to lose hope for macarons in NYC and get myself to Paris once school’s over.

  3. Robyn

    Pretty much all the ones we had were like..uh..mega moist. .__. Tried strawberry, vanilla, the wine flavored one, pistachio, cassis, an orange one, the lemon/chocolate one, a hazelnut one…I think I ate too many.

    I don’t think they were really bad (rather have it moist than dry), but I was just annoyed cos I felt like they could’ve been a lot better. Some flavors were too sweet without the flavor. The texture…THE TEXTURE…WHY IS IT WET AND KIND OF MOOSHY.

  4. thewanderingeater

    Louis: Oh I have tried LMDC’s macarons a while ago. They’re great but I just want an alternative choice.

    Laudree’s coming to town! O.O I’m going there the moment it’s opening…that’s if the rumors are true.

    Robyn: I do find their macarons moist. As I think about it a few were a bit sweeter than preferred but seriously, you didn’t have that ethereal thin crust on that cookie? Methinks I should go there whenever I’m back in the city and give it another try to prove or disprove my current opinions.

  5. Robert Brown

    I generally concur with Robyn (Are you Jacksonville Robyn)? The pistachio and dark choclate macarons I had were heavy-handed, too sweet and heavily overweighted to the interior. My shopping companion also thought they were underbaked.The croissant I had lacked the shattering experience of the outside and the buttery, multi-layered interior as opposed to the breadiness” of this one. The only good France-like csroissant I have had in the city were the Sarabeth’s I used to buy at the Butterfield Market, though I haven’t made a concentrated exploration of croissants in Manhattan. When I’m downtown, I will stick with Claude.

  6. thewanderingeater

    Robert: I have not tried either the pistachio or dark chocolate macarons (probably I should now?). But I do concur with you in regards with the croissant lacking the shatter that I was so obsessed with almost a year ago when I attempted to look for the best croissant in NYC. Claude’s croissant is very good but I find them quite heavy even though I love the shatter.

  7. ParisBreakfasts

    I took one look and could not deal with the bumpy imperfect surface on their macs :(
    I ran out of the store so disappointed…
    NEW YORK needs a good MAC badly!
    I found them visually unappealing and I can’t eat things that don’t please the eye, much less paint them, which is of course most of what I do…painting I mean, rather than eating..ahem.
    (I wish…)
    I felt they were a wannabe French shop :(
    Too sad

  8. thewanderingeater

    Carol (aka Paris Breakfast): New York definitely needs a good mac…and that should be PIERRE HERME! Why doesn’t he open one?! WHY?!

    Anyways, yes the place looks cute and it is teetering towards French kitsch.

    Robyn: Jesus, I really have to try their maccies again before there will be a never ending debate about this…except it’ll be another week or so ’til I get back to the city since classes start then.

    Who knew that one simple (yet divine) cookie can turn out to an all out war?

  9. Casper

    Wow, three inch maccies, sounds damn good.
    I’m glad that our comments perked your mother up. Just because you post a food blog and (virtually) non of your readers, myself included, haven’t met you in person, dosen’t mean we can’t connect with you.
    Man, I just love food.
    ;^D

  10. Tom Wall

    We can’t wait to try the macs at Madeline Patisserie, the very next time we’re in the city! But here’s a hot tip for anyone who ever finds themselves in upsate New York. Mrs. London’s Bakery and Cafe in Saratoga Springs is world-class! The macs there (chocolate, pistachio, and passion fruit are the best we’ve had anywhere–they don’t make them every day (only when the weather is just right!), and while that can be disappointing, there’s always plenty of great stuff to choose from. Plain, almond, or chocolate croissants–all fabulous! Very much the real deal, along with a full line of other delectable pastries!

    Mrs. London’s (http://www.mrslondons.com/) is worth a weekend trip up from the city! Enjoy…

  11. natalia

    I think the reason why the macs didnt taste as good as you expected was cause you bit into them as soon as they came out the fridge….they are better when eaten at room temp cause. When they taste too chewy its because they are extremely fresh…they need to “age” a bit….
    PS: no one flies macs from france, thats insane….the cost of makin macs is less than the shipment.

  12. Andrea

    I am a regular at Madeleine’s (and a dessert fanatic). I find them to be a nice neighborhood patisserie, but doesn’t compare to La Duree or Pierre Hermes.

    You may want to try the macarrons at Boule Bakery on Duane and West Broadway, but there is nothing like the real French thing. And yes, La Maison flies them from France and if you ask they will tell you which days the shipments arrive. I also heard that there is something to do with the water and flour used in Europe that gives their pastry a different taste.

    For Croissants in midtown, try Country Restaurant on 28th and Madison. They are pricier but just perfectly delicious! You can get a baket of 5 pastries for about 12 bucks. They don’t normally sell to people that are not eating there, but if you ask they will do.

    Enjoy!

  13. thewanderingeater

    Andrea: I’ve tried Bouley’s macarons before and I’m not too thrilled with them. La Maison’s the closest to Pierre Herme’s.

    Hmm…the Country Restaurant for croissants, eh? I might try it someday. Thanks for the tip!

  14. lazarou

    I have now become an avid macaron buyer at Madeleine’s. Actually some time before reading this blog! I haven’t tried any other thing but the macaron’s (I’ve looked at them many times at Notcot’s Tastespotting, and never tried them). Now I’ve got my mother addicted to them, though from reading above that they aren’t close to the real thing…when I go to Paris myself and have a batch of real ones, I’ll definitely write a blog about it lol.


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