To those of you who are native New Yorkers like myself or lived here for almost a decade, you would be aware of Payard Patisserie & Bistro, an Upper East Side institution that closed on June 2009 because his landlord raised the rent by a ridiculous rate. We were shocked about the loss and disheartened that Chef Payard would return back to the neighborhood over the years as the many rumors were false that he’s opening there.
But within a couple of weeks ago, he did do a opening preview of this flagship boutique and cafe on Third Avenue (you can Google that) and it’s located right across the street from the French bakery import Maison Kayser. A pretty gutsy move but it’s a statement to the neighborhood that he is back.
FP Patisserie‘s decor is minimalist yet beautiful. A statement chandelier hanging in the center of the main retail area with touches of abstract paintings on the walls, near the marble bar area where one may linger for coffee and espresso and of course, his drop-dead gorgeous pastries and cakes.
Chef Payard’s offerings are a mix of familiar and new. His signature cakes are like the Louvre, George V, and Doucer Citron are there and of course his French macarons that are both the familiar sweet ones and a few savory ones, if you’re lucky enough to be there when it’s offered.
I have heard starting around Thanksgiving, Chef Payard will do a limited run of black truffle macarons for the holiday season.
Anyway, I have tried a few chocolates at his shop. All were delicious and are made of Valrhona chocolates. Of the ones I can remembered, I had the Jivara milk & dark Caribe with salted caramel (center bonbon), Jivara milk with sesame almond praline (lower left corner), Jivara milk with fresh key lime (top row center), and 66% Grand Cru Caraibe & Manjari with raspberry puree (left column, center).
As for the cakes and verrine, the Tout Vanille ($7.25) is a cake for people who love the complexity of vanilla. It’s made of Mexican vanilla mascarpone cream, vanilla bean pound cake, sable breton biscuit, and Tahitian vanilla bavarois. The St. Germain ($7.25) is a shiny, bright fuschia mousse cake composed of fresh raspberry mousse, vanilla ganache, raspberry macaron, vanilla bean pound cake, and raspberry glaze. The Verrine Tout Marron ($7.50) is built of dense layers of silky black currant cremeaux, chestnut mousse, fresh berry gelee, vanilla bean cake cake topped with chestnut vermicelli.
All sublime and complex flavored with creamy, dreamy textures. The most bold flavored is the verrine while the cakes were intriguing in its own right.
I am happy that Chef Payard is back in this neighborhood. It wasn’t the same without him over the years and this elegant boutique and colorful cake and pastry jewels is a great comeback.
To view more of my photos of this event, please scroll through the slideshow below (or click through my Flickr set):