Restaurant Review: Review
Get your Francophile fix on Annie Street
Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, Fri., Feb. 25, 2011
La Pâtisserie602 W. Annie, 912-0033
Tuesday-Friday, 8am-4pm; Saturday-Sunday, 9am-5pm
La Pâtisserie, a diminutive French bakery and coffee shop, has opened on Annie Street, smack-dab in the middle of the colossal void left by the closing of the venerable South Congress Texas French Bread location. "We just fell in love with the building," says owner Soraiya Nagree, speaking of the charming white-wood and glass-brick cottage La Pâtisserie occupies. "We've gotten amazing support from the neighborhood ever since we opened. It wasn't until customers told us how thrilled they are that they can get French pastry in the neighborhood again that we realized how fortunate our timing was!"
It is easy to see why the cottage itself charmed. Dainty, clean, and full of light, the bakery space is very Parisian, as are the pastries: croissants, pain au chocolat, almond and pear brioche, rose and citron madeleines, chouquettes, financiers, palmiers, chocolate and coffee éclairs, mille-feuille, tarte tatins, and gâteaux, as well as more than two dozen flavors of macaron.
"We are hoping that, basically, when people think about what they love about Paris, they'll think about La Pâtisserie," says Nagree. The croissants ($2.25) are large, crisp, and buttery, with light interiors; the almond croissants ($2.25) are filled with almond paste and sprinkled with powdered sugar. All the pastries are quite authentic and delicious, and even the most elaborate (such as the mille-feuille or coffee éclairs) are $5 or less.
The macarons, however (available in handsome gift boxes as well as individually), are the stars of the bakery case. These delicate, feather-light confections, made with small, delicate rounds of batter slowly baked and sealed together with buttercream, are available in a shocking rainbow of colors and flavors, including lavender, strawberry-Champagne, chocolate, cardamom-honey-orange, lemon, passion fruit, pistachio, rose, vanilla, and caramel fleur de sel. As macarons are becoming increasingly in-vogue due to their elegance and vivid coloring, sales have been spectacular.
All of the coffee drinks at La Pâtisserie are made with Lavazza espresso and French presses. Going forward, the bakery is branching out into more substantial luncheon fare, such as delicious sandwiches made on fresh baguettes, including Niçoise ($7.50), Brie and apple ($7.50), and prosciutto and Gruyère ($8).
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