Fillmore Bakeshop, San Francisco, CA
Laduree, Hong Kong
Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, CA
I always leave Bouchon Bakery with a huge smile on my face. The surprise treat this last visit was their seasonal item “ohnoyoudidnt” - chocolate dipped macaron. Can anyone really say no to that?
Bouchon Bakery, Midtown West, New York, NY
I believe this is one of the best french macarons I had outside of Paris. Can’t beat Laduree or Fauchon but Bounchon macarons are a class of its own. It is big but the thickness to size ratio is perfect. The shell is crispy and chewy. I think I ran out of words to describe how good they were.
Tried chocolate and pistachio ones and they were both very rich in flavor with delicious creamy filling. After my second cookie I almost wanted to grab one of each of their remaining flavors and finish them all on the spot. If only dinner reservation wasn’t in an hour. Coffee is pretty average. Can’t say I would recommend it.
Bounchon has a store in Napa. Now I have a reason to make a trip over there.
Macarons, Pamplemousse Cafe, Redwood City, CA
They never fail to make me happy.
Bottega Louie, Los Angeles, CA
There are good reasons why Bottega Louie is such a popular restaurant. If you have ever walked or drove by this part of LA downtown, you will understand how extremely difficultly it is to look away from their gorgeously decorated display windows. Do not attempt to just walk in and take a look. Once you step into their patisserie, it would be impossible to leave without a hand or stomach full of macarons and pastries.
Their bakery is popular and so is the sit down restaurant. Come here during regular lunch or dinner hours and you are guaranteed a good long wait. Keep in mind they do not take reservations and would only sit you when your entire party is present. The good news is that they do not close between lunch and dinner. To skip the long wait, simply come here for an earlier dinner or late lunch.
Food was decent but definitely not as amazing as the look and style of the restaurant. Portabello fries is their signature item and is truly a must try. There were some good dishes like Clam Linguini and Lamb Porterhouse and a lot of average ones that are not worth mentioning. Their pizza was a slight disappointment. Margherita has good fresh toppings but the dough was too soggy in the center and partially burnt at the edge.
Are you ready for dessert yet? Please say yes to the Butterscotch Budino. If you like salted caramel you will love this creation. How were the macarons, you asked? I really shouldn’t review them because I just had Laduree’s that very same day. Of course, everything was pale in comparison. If you must know, I think they were good but not great. Earl Grey and Matcha were the ones that stood out from the lot.
I love the bright open ambiance with the grand high ceiling. It was a bit annoying how noisy the restaurant gets though. Not the best place for an intimate dinner but a fun place for a group of friends.
La Maison du Chocolat, New York, NY
I have been a loyal follower of La Maison Du Chocolat for a long time. The smoothness of their dark chocolate and the intensity of the flavors are unforgettable. I have only started exploring their macarons recently even though I have heard about them for years.
Their macarons are chocolate centric (and rightfully so). They use only chocolate fillings and nothing else. No jam no buttercream just pure chocolate ganache with various hints of flavors. Those who like varieties might find them a bit dull but chocolate lovers would rejoice. The texture is nice enough although still does not compare to Laduree’s. These confections are good companions with red wine just like their dark chocolates.
La Maison du Macarons, New York, NY
Their macarons are such eye candy. The lovely array of bold colors would make the rainbow jealous. The flavors of these confections are just as daring. If the Poached Pear & Pink Pepper didn’t catch you off guard, the Spicy Bourbon would. Compare to those, Strawberry Thyme and Apricot Champagne just like ordinary affairs.
I love their creative combination of flavors. The fillings are distinct with little ambiguity. The texture is not bad but not in the league of Laduree and La Maison du Chocolat, or even Bounchon and Payard. The shell is slightly thick and the texture beneath the crust is a little mushy.
Not the best in NY but the taste is good enough to guarantee a return visit.
Laduree, New York, NY
There are no maracons better than Laduree’s. I am glad they now have a store in US but I am mad it is so far away from us poor West Coasters in California. This review and all the photos would not have been possible if not for my lovely BFF who carried a fresh box by hand all the way from NYC for my birthday. (I love you!)
Every single one of their macarons is perfect. The crust, the texture, the flavors, the filling ratio. I can’t find fault. I have tried numerous amount of macarons from many highly rated stores in US but nothing come close to what Laduree could offer. Laduree didn’t just make great macaron, it ‘defines’ what macarons should be.
Of course I have my favorites. I absolutely love their caramel a la fleur de sel, raspberry, grapefruit vanilla and pistaccio. I don’t know what their secret is but a day-old macaron from Laduree is still far better than many fresh ones from other stores. A trip to NYC can’t come soon enough.
Le Macaron French Pastries, Winter Park, FL
Some said French macaron is a girls’ thing. How could I disagree? These delicate bite size cookies in outraging colors are created to excite the female brains. I have always mentally pictured macaron pastry chef as a petite French ladies wearing an royal blue aprons. That is probably far from reality.
Some said Le Macaron serves the best macarons in Orlando area. It was the photos of those heart shaped red macarons they made for Valentine’s day that caught my attention. I quickly bookmarked this place and added it the ever glowing to try list for my Orlando itinerary.
Walked into the store 30 minutes before closing time to find a 90% empty display case. Not surprised. I would be really uncomfortable if they were still fully stocked at this hour.
Greeted warmly by the staff. Glad to know this place is ran by French. With the help from the staff, I easily picked out half a dozen. (Lemon, Sicilian Pistachio, Caramel Salted Butter, Basil White Chocolate, Colombian Coffee, Black Vanilla Bean)
What do I think of the macarons? Distinct flavors. Good consistency. Quality ingredients. Cookie discs to filling ratio slightly high. Not the best I have had but I like them.
The shell lost some crispness since it was already past the peaks of their freshness but that was really a fault of mine. Humid weather is not the best friend for these goodies. I should have visited the store earlier in the day and not procrastinate.
If you must know, I like Colombian Coffee and Lemon the most. Followed closely by Basil White Chocolate and Black Vanilla Bean.
Chocolate lovers would be delighted to find Norman Love chocolates here. I had some of those from CocoaBelle store in SF and they were pure joy.
Payard Patisserie, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV
It’s Payard Patisserie’s from NYC! A branch in Vegas is convenient enough so that I don’t have to travel to East coast or pay expensive shipping for some simple sweet treats. I adore their gelato, coffee, macrons and pastries. (in that order)
Their gelato and sorbet have these addicting thick texture and intense flavors. The macaron flavors are not as distinct as Bouchon’s but the small bite size made them quite lovable. The texture was just average though. They weren’t as chewy and fluffy as I would like. The other pastries were decent. The amount of sweetness was just right but some tasted a bit too buttery and creamy.
I won’t say this is my must go pastry shop in Vegas but if I happen to be at Caesar’s Palace, I won’t hesitate to stop by to grab a bite.
Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, CA
I fall in love with Bouchon Bakery after trying their french macarons in NYC. Ever since then I made it a priority to pick up a dozen whenever I am in a town with a Bouchon Bakery. Unfortuantely for my taste buds (but fortunate for my waistline) there are very few Bouchons around and most are slightly out of the way for me.
This particular Bouchon Bakery in Yountville is lovely. The store is considerably smaller than the NYC counterpart with a slightly more limited savory pastry selection. I do like the intimate look and feel. The line is usually long but moves fairly quickly. Do check out their bakery kitchen through the glass window once you got in the store. That is where the magic happens. You can’t go wrong with the macrons here.
My only complaint is that there are no indoor seats. The outdoor patio is comfy but the fruit flies and hot summer sun could get to you.