I’ve grown a little addicted to Un Dimanche à Paris – to the point that I feel a bit self-conscious every time I walk in. The front door slides open, the staff looks up, and there I am . . . again. “Bonjour! [for the seventh time this week]!” But it’s really hard to stay away, for the following reasons: they’re really close to my apartment, they’re all-new (so I must eat everything), you can buy the best hot chocolate ever to-go in a little cup, and the pastries are really good . . . necessitating repeat purchases of the same ones, over and over again.
Subsisting almost entirely on pastries, I get a lot of variety in, but some pieces just “need” to be consumed several times each week. At the moment, Ladurée’s vanilla macarons, rose macarons and Tarte Tatin are high on the list. Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan croissant and Tarte Infiniment Vanille also are favorites. Café Pouchkine’s Croissant Vanille, Macaron Coeur Pistache and Moskito can’t be shown enough love either. And, at Un Dimanche, I’m hooked on the aforementioned hot chocolate, their Macarons Caramel au Beurre Salé and this Choux Pistache. What is there not to adore about this little guy . . .
Where to start?! The pate a choux might just be my favorite in Paris these days, as it’s not only perfectly prepared but has a crackly little croustillant au grué exterior that just takes it all to a whole new level. Brilliant. And then there’s that tart and tasty red chapeau of confit de fraise et framboise that crowns the piece. Echoing the red fruit tones of the red fruit compotine buried deep within our friend here, it provides a potent zip of flavor – a much appreciated prelude to the experience that awaits at the heart of the pastry. The pistachio crème Chantilly is light and dreamy, with milky tones as pronounced, if not more so, than the pistachio riding alongside side them. And then the cerises/framboises nestled within! Magic. While your last few bites were likely a more mellow blend of tender choux and subtle crème, your palate gets awakened to an intense surge of acidic, concentrated scrumtrulesence.
There’s also something about the weight and density of the cerises/framboises vs. the Chantilly and choux that I love. It’s a much more disparate physical combination than I can think of in other pastries, but it works so well here. Between that effect and the contrast of flavors, I feel pleasantly dizzy with every bite.
I can’t wait to show you even more from Un Dimanche a Paris. I also can’t wait to just eat more, too. Almost every time I go in, the shop’s director, Madame de Longevaille, is there to point me to a newest pastry or tempt with one of the shop’s other goodies I’ve yet to sample. “Did you see our new raspberry and tarragon tartlette?” she said to me last week. My answer was as emphatic as it was predictable, “No, I did not . . . but now that I have, I need to eat it! Let’s box that little lady up.”
So, yes, get yourself a Choux Pistache. It’s creamy. It’s fruity. It’s delicious. I wish I were eating one right now, but that would probably get too much Chantilly all over my keyboard.