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Apr02

Pâtisserie reviews in Paris – Larnicol and Piccadis

Continuing on our culinary jaunt around Parisian pâtisseries, we have here the next two instalments of my reviews from a recent research trip to Paris (the first instalment, reviewing Fauchon and Aux Merveilleux de Fred can be found here).

We left off at number 8 (out of 9) last time, so here’s number 7:

Maison Georges Larnicol, 7 -9 Rue de Steinkerque

This place wasn’t actually in our guide book but was one we stumbled across on our way up to Sacre Coeur. It was hard to ignore its amazing chocolate show pieces displayed through the store, particularly the not-so-miniature chocolate Notre Dame, so we stepped inside to take a closer look. We had seen a few Maison Georges Larnicols across Paris so we thought we’d better give it a try.

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Firstly, I should point out that this place was more of a chocolaterie than a pâtisserie, but hey we weren’t fussy. We did, however, focus on their pâtisserie and bagged ourselves two Kouignettes (also known as Kouig Amann) in chocolate and Cointreau, and raspberry flavour. Kouignettes are Brittany butter cakes (the name translates as “butter cake” in the Breton language), and I personally thought were akin to baklava in their syrupy-ness, but weren’t nutty (unless you opted for the nut ones!) and weren’t soaked in honey (ok, ok, so not baklava-like at all but are the closest thing I can come up with).

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Neither my husband nor I had tried Kouignettes before but were intrigued to give them ago following their appearance on The Great British Bake Off last year.

Our Verdict?

We found these little sugary dainties perfectly pleasant but no more than average in taste and texture. The pastry was a bit too chewy and the butter, though prominent in flavour, didn’t quite give as unctuous an experience as we had expected/hoped. I have, however, since read on David Lebovitz’s blog that unless it’s Summer (we were there in Spring) you should beg your hotel to warm these up for you to unleash their full sugary, buttery goodness – next time, David, next time! He also points out, quite rightly, that it’s probably a good idea to have your dentist on stand-by, and certainly cardiologist, when attempting these!

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Scores on the Doors
Ambience: 9/10 (an airy and inspiring chocolaterie/pâtisserie with lots of impressive chocolate models on display)
Range: 7/10
Presentation: 8/10
Taste: 5/10
Overall score: 73%


Next up, and coming in at number 6:

Piccadis, 8 Rue Gay Lussac

Piccadis has a very traditional boulangerie/pâtisserie appearance, giving the impression of being in family hands for years. It has an unfussy and simple décor and stocks an abundance of pastries, cakes and breads.

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Apparently Piccadis is famed for its marshmallows but I can’t say I spotted any. However, we were on a breakfast quest so weren’t particularly on the look-out for marshmallows at that time. What I can say though is that if their pastries are anything to go buy I’d wager that the marshmallows are indeed pretty darn good. We chose a selection of goodies to enjoy in the nearby park, which I’d highly recommend doing: a Cannele, an apple Feuilleté and a Pain au chocolat.

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Our verdict?
All the sweets we sampled were delicious. The Cannele was perhaps my favourite with a bread-and-butter-pudding-esque texture and treacly taste. The pain au chocolat was buttery with a rich chocolate flavour – it would have been amazing served warm! Finally, the apple feuilleté had an excellent flavour, though the dough was perhaps a tad heavy, with a good balance between sweet and fruity tartness – given that I’m sure this constitutes one of your five a day it’s a good excuse not to share it (though we did, begrudgingly)!

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Scores on the Doors
Ambience: 7/10
Range: 8.5/10
Presentation: 6/10 (the pastries/cakes were a little homely, befitting of the surroundings, but then naturally lacking that “wow factor”)
Taste: 8/10
Overall score: 73%


Coming up on the blog next time: Paris Seven and Popelini.

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