Lunch at Patisserie Chanson (NYC)
Patisserie Chanson is a newcomer for the high-end pastry shop and bread bakery. Don’t mistake this modern bakery for the standard retail and dine-in space, Chef Rory Macdonald has bigger ambitions to open a subterranean dessert bar for sweet tasting menus soon.
Since I’m patiently waiting for the dessert bar to start service (and I’m super curious what that would be since the pastries and desserts are both beautiful and delicious – more on that later), my friend and I stopped by for lunch.
My friend had a cappuccino (coffee beans from Stumptown Coffee) and I had a pot of Bellocq Majorelle Mint. The cappuccino was good but the tea was excellent. My friend asked me if I or anyone added sugar but I’m a purist when it comes to tea and drink it straight. The tea was rich and full-bodied green tea with the vibrant mint and citrus and it’s great to pair with the sandwiches and cakes.
We were informed the series of flatbreads are new to their product line just to give savory options beyond the sweets that are ready for the to-go consumer. We opted for the flatbread topped with salted whipped ricotta, fresh and dried figs, drizzled with truffled honey, chopped toasted hazelnuts and a touch of rosemary. It’s a very tasty and flavorful combination and the flatbread (it’s focaccia) was beautifully fermented and baked and seasoned perfectly. The topping combinations worked very nicely.
If you have read this website long enough, I’m a sucker for fresh figs so we did order the figs, prosciutto, arugula, ricotta sandwich. Though the aforementioned flatbread is similar to this sandwich, I prefer the overall flavors and textures in sandwich form. It does help to have the delicately salty, silky slices of prosciutto to go along with the earthy, sweet fresh figs and bitter arugula making each bite hitting many different notes on the taste buds. The other sandwich we had was the grilled cheese. The medium thick slices of sourdough bread layered with a mixture of shredded cheeses and grilled to a golden brown deliciousness. The bread was just the right texture and tang to match with the cheeses perfectly and the small nubs of prosciutto just giving it enough flavor to enhance it.
Side salads for sandwiches (or any dish) tend to be the afterthought portion of a composed dish as it almost always be mixed greens tossed in a vinaigrette. However at Chanson, it’s legitimately interesting. Besides the usual mix of arugula, there’s also whole leaves of fresh mint, basil, fresh peas, and flaked almonds that it gives the palate a break or refresher from the rich sandwich with the bites of salad.
While the sandwiches were very good, we’re really here for the glorious cakes. We opted for three cakes — Rhubarb and custard cake, earl grey mousse and chocolate cake with blood orange macaron, and “Exotique.” The rhubarb and custard cake is a beautiful spring dessert. It’s like crème brûlée in cake form and topped with beautifully cooked rhubarb that isn’t mushy and it is not too sweet. (My friend was swooning and pretty obsessed with this cake.) The earl grey mousse cake was delicious as well, having the firm yet cloud-like earl grey mousse topped with a thin layer of dark chocolate gelée, and chocolate Pop Rocks to add some texture and fun to the cake. The blood orange macaron had intense blood orange flavor and acidity but the cookie’s texture wasn’t as good as I’m expecting (my gold standard is Pierre Hermé Paris) but we really admired that the chef was not shy using bold flavors. The Exotique cake drew me because of the bright orange shade and it’s coated with fine coconut flakes and the rare crab apple blossom delicately perched on the corner of the cake. It’s a lovely, mousse based cake that blends tropical flavors of mango and passion fruit. The very tart crab apple blossoms were special and really tied the flavors nicely.
For more photos, please CLICK HERE for the complete set or see below:
20 W 23rd St
(between 5th & 6th Ave)
New York, NY 10010