Happy Valentine's Day! As the day actually arrived, Jeff surprised me with heart-shaped macarons from our favorite pâtisserie, Dalloyau. Dalloyau was one of our first "regular" places in Paris - the first opened in 1802, but thankfully 208 years later a branch of this fabulous coven of confectionary magicians stands on the Rue de Grenelle, just two blocks from Chez Rothman.
To both friends currently living in Paris and those planning to visit, I highly recommend a visit to a Dalloyau tearoom, such as the one near the Palais du Luxembourg, where you can actually sit and have a tea and pastry. The house tea is incredible, flowery, spicy - and I'm not even a tea person - and the menu not only describes each concoction in tantalizing detail, it gives the date that pastry was first served at Dalloyau. Many reach back into the early 20th century and others the 19th -- revealing the evolution of Parisian tastes and fancies.
We've already discusssed macarons a bit and I'll take this opportunity to reveal my personal favorite macaron in Paris: none other than the delicious rounds turned out by Maison Dalloyau. No, the flavors aren't as exotic as those one might find at Pierre Hermes or Laduree, but the consistency, the balance of crisp and chewy in the classic flavors we care about (chocolate, coffee, caramel beurre salé, vanille) are really tops in my -- no, our -- book. And today's romantic issues are no exception: the strawberry center explodes gently in the mouth, while the chocolate's gooey insides melt like brownie batter, or one of those Jean-Georges chocolate lava cakes. Mmm-mmm-mmm. Makes me want to go over and smooch my husband. I'm guessing that was the idea.
Bonne Fête de St. Valentin!