Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sweet, sweet sugar at Dousoeur Patisserie

A week or so ago, I discovered that a brand-new French patisserie had opened just a couple of blocks from my apartment (thanks, Serious Eats). I was determined to check it out, and after a few false starts, last Sunday I finally made it over there.

I opened the door to Dousoeur Patisserie and immediately noticed how small it was. This place was seriously, seriously tiny: there was a pastry display case on one end of the room, three small tables, an end-board with some pastry-wrapping materials, and that's pretty much it. When I entered, two of the tables were occupied with patrons, but there didn't seem to be anybody working there. I poked around obnoxiously for a few moments, alternately standing awkwardly in the middle of the room and inserting my head through the swinging kitchen doors. There seemed to be two people in the kitchen producing food of some sort, so I figured if I waited long enough one of them would emerge. Sure enough, after about five minutes, a smiling (thoroughly French) woman entered the tiny dining room to help me with my order.

I asked several questions about the pastries on offer, and while she answered them patiently, I basically had no idea what she said. So I picked out three that looked yummy. You can't really go wrong with French pastry, so I figured I'd take a gamble.

With my pastries in hand, the woman led me around the corner towards the kitchen to process my credit card (at $5-$6 apiece, these pastries aren't cheap... it will be interesting to see how this place does in a recession). Mired in the paying process, I didn't notice another woman who had scooped up the pastries and was furiously wrapping them in the most elaborate food-encasement system I've ever seen. It reminded me a lot of this scene from Love Actually. Since I was just taking the pastries home for, ahem, personal consumption, I didn't need such complex wrapping, but she was too far gone to stop. So I emerged from the shop toting a bizarre pyramidal contraption with (ostensibly) three pastries inside.

How do you carry this thing? Seriously!

Once home, after dinner with AV, we furiously unwrapped the paper and dove into the pastries inside. They looked a little something like this:

A trio of delights

Turned out they were all, in one way or another, meringue based. The fruit-and-cream thing was delicious, with two light meringue wafers, a swirl of heavy whipped cream inside, and blackberries dotting the interior.

Side view-- glimpse the blackberry

The other two pastries were layered with crisp meringue and sweet mousse. The coconut pastry had light coconut throughout layered all over the sticky surface. The chocolate pastry had chocolate mousse and snappy chocolate jimmies (a.k.a. sprinkles) all over. While I tend to eschew chocolate in my pastries (oftentimes they're just too rich), this chocolate mousse bomb was the surprise winner of the bunch. The mousse was light and airy, and the jimmies were sugary and spectacular.

Dual meringue orbs

The verdict: Dousoeur Patisserie is a little bit weird and a little bit expensive. But the women working there are very nice, and the pastries are incredibly delicious. So if you have an extra $5 to spare, stop by and grab a bite. You'll leave on happy sugar high.

Dousoeur de Paris
652 Tenth Avenue, at 46th Street

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