January 7, 2008

Macarons like no others

Posted in Visitors tagged , , at 8:09 pm by Lauren

On Thursday, December 27, our friend Shari arrived in Paris and pretty promptly went to sleep until 1 pm. (I applaud her, since I had slept until 4 pm on my first day back.) Shari stayed for three and a half days, and we had a great time just hanging out and being lazy. We visited L’Epicerie Fuxia (what’s a guest’s visit without a trip to the Italian place?), and Shari had this pasta with pistachio, mint, and olive oil. (There was another nut. But what?) The flavors were simple but complementary, and the sauce left behind made an excellent dipping oil for the bread. I had the rigatoni with white truffle and artichoke sauce, which was smooth and creamy. Allen, of course, had the lasagna carne. At the end of the meal, we were disappointed to learn there was no more tiramisu, but settled instead for the waiter’s recommendation of chocolat fondant, a dense chocolate cake with a moist center. (I prefer the tiramisu still, though it was good.)

The revelation of our visit with Shari was Laduree, which Shari had frequented for years to buy French macarons, which are nothing but nothing like American macaroons. These macarons are crusty feather-light cookies sandwiched around a rich cream, and they come in every flavor imaginable. We visited Laduree twice with Shari and once more right after she left (to get some for a host gift). I can’t decide what my favorite is, though Shari prefers pistachio. Vanilla has just the right amount of sweetness, and the lemon ones are a shockingly bright yellow with a lemon curd inside. Griottes (cherry) were tart and ruby red, but bitter chocolate was satisfying without being overly sweet or heavy. (Okay, I think I vote for bitter chocolate.)

Other than our trips back and forth to Laduree, I can hardly remember what we did, and I kind of prefer it that way. What I remember is that we talked a lot, we ate a lot, and we laughed a lot. What more do I need to know?

And, in case anyone was wondering, Shari is an excellent Peanuts player and slipped right into winning as if she’d been playing cards with us forever. Now I’m wondering why she hasn’t! On Sunday, the 30th, Shari took a train to Amsterdam around midday, and we missed a train to Normandy (and thus sat around all day waiting for the next one) for our own New Year’s celebration.



  1. Scott Parker said,

    Thanks for the quick note, hopefully the next visit will include some tours of New York and some equally fine cuisine. Talk to you soon,

  2. Cate said,

    My mouth is totally watering! Yum! …If it’s possible to gain weight by *thinking* about food, I am in real danger reading your blog. ūüėČ

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