Laduree: Manhattan, NY, NY
Let me first start by clarifying between the macaron and the macaroon. One is a delightful french pastry with a layer of ganache or filling in between two almond merengue cookies that are technically insanely difficult to make. The other is a sweet coconut sticky concoction that will send you screaming to your favorite dentist (moi).
I love the macaron. Having been to Europe many times, there is a quality to having a good authentic french macaron and some of the imitations that seem to plague the market, a lot of them coming from Korean or Asian bakeries. It is not the same! My first encounter with the macaron was in Paris coincidentally at a Laduree. I had an earl grey macaron believe it or not, and it was magic in my mouth. The crispy cookie, the chewiness of the ganache, the moderately but not overly sweetness of the almond chewiness in the merengue. Perfect. My second favorite encounter with the macaron was, believe it or not, in Brussels at Pierre Marcolini. While known for his chocolate (supposedly the best in Europe), I fell in love with the passion fruit macaron. I am a sucker for anything citrus or tropical, and I have never been able to find the equivalent of this macaron anywhere else.
That being said, having moved to New York, I was exuberant to find that I am literally a 25minute train ride away from the Laduree in SoHo. There is one closer to me near Madison Square Park I believe, but SoHo is my favorite location simply because I love the quaintness of SoHo.
These macarons are not cheap but literally…you get what you pay for. I believe for six macarons, I paid about $25 dollars. Now this included a very fancy box to carry them home in. I personally could have done without the box, but I was having a ridiculously bad day and at that point in time, I just wanted to wander and get lost in Rammiegirl Land (ie. SoHo, at least for that day). Getting lost in Rammiegirl Land entails picking up a snack of macarons along the way, fancy box and all. There are standard flavors as well as some seasonal flavors. The seasonal flavor for fall was a cherry almond macaron and it was amazing. Too bad I didn’t know how amazing it was until after I got home. However, here are their standard flavors :
Coffee, Pistachio, Rose Petal, Orange Blossom, Salted Caramel, Lemon, Vanilla, Marie-Antoinette, Chocolate
The Marie-Antoinette is a tea-based macaron, similar to the Earl Grey macaron that I had before in Paris. I cannot wait for spring when they supposedly have a yuzu-ginger macaron! The lemon macaron is by far my favorite out of those listed above followed closely by the Marie-Antoinette.
The Laduree in Soho has a backyard garden which makes for an ideal bridal shower or even just for tea. Admittedly though, you have to have a bit of a sweet tooth to do their tea-time menu. It comes with one pot of tea, finger sandwiches (2 types), brioche/croissants, and then two signature desserts. It was a great experience but I don’t know if I would do it again truthfully. The desserts are typical french pastries and can be on the heavier side. My real dessert spot is either Lady M cake boutique or Spot Dessert Bar. However, my macaron love will always be at Laduree (unless I’m in Europe).
Laduree website here.
Thank you for being awesome readers! We’re going to be finishing up the fall season of posts. Keep an eye out for my weekend trip to Boston and things not to do haha. Have a blessed weekend!