As of the past week or so, almost everyone in the Internet, food forums to respectable food websites talked about Ladurée. In case you haven’t caught up in my Parisian travels of last year (here’s my photo set of my stops to this brand’s patisserie as they have many locations in Paris), Ladurée is where one should get their macarons or if you’re a macaron virgin, this is your baseline. For some, the gold standard.
The biggest shocker to me when I walked to this boutique this morning was that it lacked their signature tea salon! If you ever had the opportunity to visit Paris, having tea and indulge in their gorgeous and delicious pastries, and linger to people watch, it is a must do.
If you Googled around the Web about yesterday’s official first day of opening of Laduree (an example at NY Eater), the line was insanely long extending down the block.
Today’s line was not as crazy, even though I arrived around 11 AM the line does form a U-shape within the boutique, most patrons are residents of the Upper East Side, while some are tourists who visiting the neighborhood.
Taking a brisk rundown through their display case, macarons were disappearing quickly with a good number of flavors were getting replenished, except for the sold out pistachio macarons. I did not see any madelines or financiers but seen a few loaves of plastic wrapped cake and many boxes of prepacked chocolates were left relatively untouched. When I inquired about the ice cream and sorbet, a good number was sold yesterday. They do still have some in stock but you need to ask what flavors are available.
The room is beautifully done. Painted in mint green walls contrasted with white, like their bag. Portrait paintings lined the area where candles were sold. If it were not so crowded, it’s quite a place to look around and take in its sophisticated beauty.
I have interviewed to Mr. David Holder, the Chairman of Ladurée and vice-chairman of the Holder group for a couple of minutes.
To confirm what is written out there, yes, everything is flown in from Paris because it is a way to maintain quality. Until they find a commercial building to establish a kitchen (which he calls it a “lab”) and find a larger retail space for a boutique and tea salon (hopefully by Spring 2012), they will keep importing their goods.
The exclusive flavor, cinnamon raisin, for New York would make its debut on Fashion’s Night Out (Thursday, September 8th). Beyond that, all macaron flavors are the same as its boutiques in Paris.
Mr. Holder denies of any official neighborhood that he would open another Ladurée neither is he expanding this boutique to next door to open a salon, as he said, if we were to open next door it would work “if we sold jewelry.” He and his advisors are going to travel around Manhattan for the next two days to check out potential retail spaces.
After the interview, I picked up some of their signature macarons. As you might see, I had some fun styling them. Eventually, I ate them and had a cup of Mariage Frères‘ Very French tea to compliment with the sweet, fruity notes of some of the macaron flavors.
The macarons are identical in texture, sweetness and flavor to what I had in Paris. If you have to speak about the price of each macaron ($2.70, plus tax), it’s relatively the same to what I paid in Euros when I visited there.
To see the rest of my photos of my visit to this boutique, please scroll through my slideshow below: