Payards's

by Sara Mohazzebi
Print Email

painchocolat.jpgMy father has a way of making everything unforgettable.  He’s loud, temperamental, incredibly passionate, and a romantic to the core.  So it seemed completely natural to me when he took me to Paris for my 14th birthday so that I “would see Paris for the first time with a man who truly loved me”.  He showed me the sights, took me out to fantastic meals, and I left Paris with two promises to myself – that I would find pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) as delicious as the ones we devoured for breakfast every morning in Paris and that I would one day return to Paris with the person I was madly in love with. My father was absolutely right about Paris being a city to only share with those you love.

It took me 16 years and many pain au chocolat experiences to finally discover what I’d encountered on my birthday trip to Paris.  In the midst of Manhattan, in the Upper East Side at  Payard’s, a charming French patisserie and bistro, was the perfect buttery flaky croissant filled with rich chocolate.  Who was making such delectable pain au chocolat? Only a French man, of course! 

interior2.jpgTurns out that chef and owner Francois Payard is one of the top 85 pastry chefs in the world and his pastry displays are truly pastry art.  I had to resist the urge to buy one of each dessert the first time I walked in there.  Instead, I called my dad and promptly scheduled a father and daughter date for lunch and dessert at this bistro which looked like it was straight out of Paris.  A few days later, we indulged in homemade duck terrine with pistachios, walnuts, and toasted bread and a warm chicken salad with seasonal greens and potatoes.

But it was the dessert that we went all out for. An order of crème brulee, a napoleon of roasted apricot and rosemary and vanilla ice cream, and a dark bittersweet chocolate soufflé was worth the sugar induced food coma we soon entered.  Before we left, I ordered us two pain au chocolat to go.  We spent the rest of the day strolling and stumbling (we had our fair share of wine with lunch) through the Met and Central Park.  Finally, we sat down by the pond in the park and my father and I broke our Paris inspired pain au chocolat together.  It was hands down the best pain au chocolat on both sides of the Atlantic and it gives the romantic in me hope. I figure if I finally managed to find this tiny slice of bliss, my next trip to Paris shouldn’t be that far off.  Thankfully, I have Payard’s until I get there.

You too can have some truly unforgettable dessert (and lunch or dinner!) at www.payard.com.  Locations, hours, and menus are available on the site.

François Payard Bakery (W. Houston/Thompson) on Urbanspoon

Comments have been closed for this piece.

 

restaurant news

Our Pit Stop at Harris Ranch
Southern California
by Lisa Dinsmore

harrisranch.jpgI'm an obsessive travel planner. I leave nothing to chance when venturing far away from my home. I need a lay of the new land to feel safe and happy. I don't always do everything or go to every...

Read more...
Traveling the Yellow Brick Road
Florida
by Nancy Ellison

westpalmbeach.jpgOur friend, Shiny Sheet Society Editor, Shannon Donnelly, can masticate on purple prose as well as any one I know: we are naught but a chew toy impaled on the incisors of the Cosmic Hellhound of...

Read more...
LA Food Trucks Tour
Los Angeles
by Terry Wunder

stlouisstyleribsandbakedbeans.jpgWhen I originally conceived of taking a self-led tour of the LA food trucks with some friends it was to see who was trying to capitalize on the success of Kogi BBQ, the crossover Mexican-Korean...

Read more...
Momofuko in the Wasteland
New York
by Michael Tucker

milkbar.jpgThe Upper West Side just joined the world. Move over East Village; now us UWS Jews can sneak out of synagogue on the High Holy Days and chow down on steamed pork buns without leaving our own...

Read more...