Do you have a chic sweet tooth?
Since 1930, Ladurée has been making double-decker macarons for the ultimate treat aficionado, and it's a must-visit destination on Paris' Champs-Élysées. Ladurée SoHo, which recently opened in the former Barolo space, is the bakery's latest NYC outpost and features a tea salon and full-service restaurant. With Bonpoint and Frederic Fekkai next door on West Broadway, Ladurée is on its way to creating a little Paris in New York City.
Ladurée co-president Pierre Antoine Raberin clues us in to the sweet life.
QWhere did Ladurée come from?
A It was created by Louis-Ernest Ladurée. He was an incredible writer who founded a bakery in 1862. The bakery burned down in 1871 and was rebuilt and decorated with the famous celadon color. The famous double-decker macaron with creamy ganache was originated in 1930 by his grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, who built the tea room for the ladies who were restricted from cafés at the time.
Q Why are people so obsessed with Ladurée?
A Many are obsessed with the quality of the product. It feels like a Parisian environment from the 18th and 19th century -- Proust, madeleine. It's like traveling in time. People love the French atmosphere and the pastries and dinner menu. We also have Ladurée Beauté, so you can take a macaron box gift home, bathe with our soaps and dine with us.
Q You already have a bakery on the Upper East Side. Why open in SoHo?
A New York is an uptown and downtown city. We have plenty of customers who don't go uptown.
QWhat's the best item on the menu at Ladurée SoHo?
A There are plenty of light dishes, like the club sandwiches and typical vol-au-vent, which is a French classic puff pastry with chicken and mushrooms. Ladurée is perfect for after dinner, with an extended dessert menu served until 11. And the pastry chef is on location, so you can order something special, and he will produce it.
QWhat is inside the macaron?
A It's totally gluten-free, and the base is almond flour with white eggs and sugar, and the inside is 100% natural.
Q What's the most popular flavor?
A The classic vanilla and chocolate and pistachio. New favorites are salted caramel and rose.
Q What is the most unusual order you've ever had?
A We've made a huge panda for Hermès. It was made from 3,000 macarons.