All tagged macaron


When I was little I remember hearing of "French dining," a term that, to me, meant dressing up fancy and sitting quietly for a bombardment of heavy butter-based sauces used indiscriminately for both fish and meat. Not that there's anything wrong with that, per se. But when a country like France has such an established tradition of fine dining, it can be difficult to respect and learn from such convention while remaining innovative and novel. Precious few restaurants in Paris are able to naturally build off of French culinary tradition while still producing dishes that are creative, avant-garde, and most importantly, delicious. Choosing one's place along this culinary spectrum is no simple task. So imagine my curiosity when I learned that Christian Le Squer's Ledoyen had been in existence since 1792, the same year that Louis XVI was arrested and taken into custody. Yet unlike Louis, it seems that Ledoyen had luck on its side. Despite being over two hundred years old, Ledoyen has been able to bridge tradition and innovation creating interesting and tasteful dishes while still paying homage to the incredible institution that is French fine dining.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

No matter the time of day, my appetite, my clothing, or my food preference, L'Atelier always seemed like the right place to go, and I think that's a really important quality of a favorite restaurant. Considering the amount of times we've eaten here, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Aaron and I have tried everything on the Fall 2006, Winter 2006, Spring 2007, and Summer 2007 menus, and even some of executive chef Yosuke Suga's experimental dishes. Maybe this is why L'Atelier is perhaps our favorite restaurant in Manhattan. L'Atelier's location inside the Four Seasons Hotel might suggest a level of stuffiness, but this is quickly eliminated by Joël Robuchon's unique sushi-bar style seating, which forces complete strangers to talk with, rather than about, each other. This setup also means that the final platings are done directly in front of diners, allowing them to have an increased appreciation of the work that goes into each course, while cleverly hiding the messier kitchen elements behind closed doors. The energy from the adjacent Four Seasons cocktail lounge also flows into the restaurant, setting a lively tone without airs, something that is very much appreciated in contrast to many other haute French restaurants where the only sound is that of cutlery hitting the plate.

Pierre Hermé

Macarons are my favorite cookies. There's something very special and unique about the versatility of these texturally perfect special treats: light enough for a snack, fancy enough for a gift, yet tasty enough for anytime of the day. Is there any meal that wouldn't pair perfectly with a macaron? I certainly can't think of one. They even come savory, as seen with the foie gras macarons at Eleven Madison. You can only imagine my excitement to find out that Pierre Hermé would be along my walk to school, and also, ironically, on the way back from the gym. But so far, in the two weeks that I've been here, I'd always woken up a little too late and had to walk quickly to classes without time to stop by. And by the time classes end, Pierre Hermé was always closed. My nutritionist friend would be proud; that is, until this past Sunday, when I made it the day's goal to stop by while it was open, and finally taste the wondrous goodies Pierre Hermé had to offer.