A little French Patisserie sits amongst the busy 23rd Street in Manhattan, awaiting pedestrians to look in at the lovely display cases filled with fruit tarts, croissants and of course a seemingly endless amount of macaroons. What? Did I just say macaroons? Despite this bakery’s name, it isn’t known for the Proustian delight, but the French macaroon. Macaroons epitomize luxury with their delicate yet ultra sweet quality. I mean, common, they were Marie Antoinette’s favorite. At Madeleine, macaroons come in many flavors: the common, chocolate, raspberry, pistachio, vanilla, and more intriguing and experimental flavors, Caramel Fleur de Sel, Port Wine and Chocolate, Lavender, Rose Water.
Here are the one’s I tried:
Pistachio Orange: I do not like the overtly green color, and lack of pistachio flavor, but the orange came through nicely.
Caramel Fleur de Sel: This one was one of my favorites. It had a nice balance between salt and caramel. A warmth and smooth quality permeated throughout this two-bite delicacy.
Port Wine and Chocolate: The port wine tasted more like grape juice, and the chocolate was much more of a milk chocolate, surprisingly lacking in chocolate flavor. Overall, in concept this one sounds interesting, but in fact, it fell flat and needs work.
Apricot and Champagne: Here you could taste more of the champagne; a light fruity wine came through. The apricot was a nice pairing and this one worked much more successfully than the port wine.
I will note, that since these macaroons are slightly refrigerated, they need time to come to room temperature, to restore their chewy delicate quality and for the flavor to release. Since being under a time constraint, I did not allow them to sufficiently come to room temperature, which I assume affected the taste and texture slightly. But these macaroons were still delicious. Although my favorite macaroons I have tried thus far in America have to be from Miette, the patisserie in San Francisco. They have the perfect texture and the grapefruit is well, incredible.
128 W 23rd St
(between 7th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)