For today's posting I trot just a few blocks away from our apartment to La Pâtisserie des Rêves , the celebrated nouveau bakery run by Phillippe Conticini. The pâtisserie is in itself a work of art - pastries, cakes, tarts all suspended in glass domes. I've attempted to visit Conticini's shop several times since it opened last year but every time was met with a line running out the door. Today - thanks to the dreary, drizzly weather perhaps - I am second in line. I circle the day's offerings several times before choosing the St. Honore - mostly due to its quirky shape and creme on top. The clerk calls back to some hidden pastry magic chamber and about 180 seconds later a man emerges with a lovely rose-colored box, which he then wraps with ribbon. The price is less than I would have thought - 6.20E.
And now, while Jeff and I watch Lost (which I won't even pretend I am really able to follow this season) I remove the lovingly-boxed pastry from its innovative packaging - including plastic, twirled pitchforks holding the pastry upright (remember my complaint about the collided pastries from TheVenin? Bingo!). It's definitely the most unusually beautiful of the pastries I have sampled thus far - reconstructed from a traditional round St. Honore to a double-rectangle topped with three globes of choux pastry.
I plunge my fork into the Chantilly-cream topped side and I need to buy a vowel because O, MG. Yes, I am prone to hyperbole when it comes to most of my Parisian dining experiences but to me, this is French pâtisserie at its best. It's eclair-like, but with that firmer choux pastry outside, filled with vanilla cream. The left side is also filled with cream, and tastes slightly sweeter but maybe that's just the effect of the carmelized-sugar topped, cream-filled "donut holes" on top.
Sadly, I only get three or four bites because Jeff commandiers the rest. He knows I don't want gain too much weight during this project. What a thoughtful man.
Who is St. Honore? He or she was beatified for all the right reasons, let me tell you. I'm predicting now that you will see at least one or two more entries from Pâtisserie des Reves - Conticini has already broadened my experience of pâtisserie. In other words, I see what all the fuss is about!