After Payard Patisserie and Bistro closed in June of 2009 one of most common topics of conversation among UES food connoisseurs was when and where Payard would open another shop. On Monday (Oct 29th) they will get there wish when “FP Patisserie” opens to the public. This shop is very different from the three FPB-branded NYC bakeries.
“This is a Patisserie–maybe [it's] too French! But it’s very elegant” said Payard. The vibe is super-classy and super elegant, with a large–and striking chandelier with hand-blown glass elements, and comfy leather banquettes in the back “parlor” room. Payard says the three sections of the shop are meant to evoke three different feelings. The front of the shop containing the pasty and macaron case is meant to be very modern–the pastry case, for example is a cutting-edge model that opens from the outside with a hydraulic piston to hold the door up. A special air circulation system keeps temperature and humidity at optimal macaron or pastry levels. There’s a black glass mirror behind the counter–it’s all very sleek.
The middle room has more of an elegant feel with original artwork on the wall in the form of an oil painting on canvas and a shiny onyx bar that seats 14. Payard says “The back room is meant to evoke the old Payard Bisto”. And it did make me think of French tea room. It will feature small stone tables and enough space to seat 30+ people.
In addition to the massive pastry and macaron case there is also a small gelato bar in the front section. Opposite the pastry case is a wall of shelves with Payard branded chocolate, candles and some very nice looking preserves (Tea rose petal, apricot, etc.).
There will be savory! There will be a surprisingly large selection of savory options available at the bar and in the tea room. Breakfast, lunch and (unofficially) dinner will feature a menu that draws from the most popular items of the old bistro–mostly French classics like nicoise salad and sandwiches with French names. There will also be beer, wine, champagne and wine-based cocktails.
But enough with the shop, atmosphere and savory items–if Payard opened a patisserie in the 77th Street Subway station I would still visit all the time because his French pastries are simply without peer–not just in New York ity but in the US and beyond. Nobody has the attention to detail meticulous craftsmanship and creativity as Payard in this category. He has introduced a few pastry items that are brand new for this shop. Of course there is far too much to cover in this initial review so stay tuned for more about individual pastries in the coming days. Here are some tips to guide you in your first visit:
DessertBuzz’s Payard Patisserie guide for new customers or old regulars in need of a refresher.
1. The Almond Croissant If you or anyone in your party enjoys a good croissant, particularly an almond croissant– you must not leave the shop on a morning visit without one.
2. If you have never tried any of the his classic French pastries it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Chocolate lovers should simple purchase one of the following three desserts in this order (see photos below). The Lourve (dark chocolate glaze, chocolate mousse and hazelnut mousse layered with a hazelnut dacquoise over a hazelnut wafer), Tarte Au Chocolat Guanaja (crispy almond shell, dark chocolate ganache, chocolate sponge, grue de Cacao, and chocolate chantilly) Verrine Tout Chocolate (layers of dark chocolate sabayon, dark chocolate leaves with fleur de sel, chocolate macaron, chocolate mousse and caramel chips. The Lourve was a best seller at the old bistro.
2b. Non-chocolate lovers should go with your gut (nothing will disappoint) try the new Tarte Au Caramel or the new and striking Religieuse–easily as beautiful as anything I have seen in NYC (or Paris!) More on the new pasty later this week.
3. The macarons are surprisingly well priced at 5 for $11.25 or 12 for $27.00–this is a steal for these macarons. Payard told me he is still deciding on what savory macarons he will be offering however we sampled 3 different savory macarons: squid ink, foie gras & dark chocolate and chive cream cheese.
FP Pâtisserie is located at 1293 3rd Ave (at 74th) Their hours will be Mon-Sat, 7:30-8, Sunday 9-6. More on Payard coming soon. Follow DessertBuzz on Twitter for update on Payard including our recommended pastries.