My first week back in Paris, acclaimed Mad About Macarons author, Jill Colonna, and I decided to meet up for . . . macarons. The gameplan was to swing by Pain de Sucre for a sac of their goodies and then to lounge-away the mid-afternoon at Jacques Genin, sipping hot chocolate and eating pastries. Don’t feel envious in the least; it’s not as glamorous and relaxing as it sounds. It’s actually even more awesome than that, so feel envious in the most
You’ll get to see more of my Pain de Sucre macaron indulgences another day, but for now, let’s have a seat at Monsieur Genin’s. As you can see in the top shot, it’s quite the posh setup for a hot cocoa salon. Why can’t we have anything like this in the United States? Probably because we’re animals who think pouring boiling water into a package of Swiss Miss is as swank as the chocolat chaud experience ever needs to get. Myself, I prefer this…
I also prefer any dining/salon situation where I’m given a complimentary selection of fine handmade chocolates as the appetizer. I believe every meal should start that way.
Jill decided to go for a cappuccino and Monsieur Genin’s Ephemere Passion (a little passion fruit/chocolate pastry). According to her, 11am was too early for a millefeuille and super thick hot chocolate. I was like, “You are so right. That would just be disgusting and excessive.” Little did she know the quiet shame I felt inside, having literally eaten a Hugo & Victor millefeuille, which I’d been saving in the fridge, that morning. Nor did she realize how many breakfast pastries I’d also consumed from our friends at Ladurée a mere two hours before meeting up with her.
As for me, I selected a caramel éclair. A bite or two in, Jill asked if she could take a photo. I said, “Sure.” But I was really thinking about all the chocolate and caramel gobs clinging to my teeth (so no real smiling in the photos she took) and how misleadingly “suggestive” it would be snapping yours truly, putting its turgid 8” to my lips. It’s only later that I realized I should have treated it as a mustache instead; that would have easily sidestepped the visual innuendo. btw – The éclair was sublime; you’ll see the review of it at some point in the week ahead.
Below are two nice shots of Jill digging into her Ephemere. In the first photo, she just looks giddy to take a bite. In the second one, she’s saying , “What the **** is this chocolate doing on the side? How are you supposed to eat something like that with a fork?” I suggested we call our server over, admonish him for it, and then thrust the pastry toward him so forcefully that it would splatter against his smock. Instead, she decided to just suffer in silence.
Here’s a nice close-up of Jill’s pastry. She was still really ****** about the chocolate situation, attempting to break it into little pieces and eat it by hand. I don’t disagree with her at all. Even though the chocolate there was quite tasty, there was no lady-like way for her to enjoy it. Perhaps the pastry should not have the chocolate on the sides . . . and, instead, the server can just stand to the customer’s right – with a plate of broken chocolate pieces and some sterling silver chocolate tongs. When one has a bite ready on their fork, he can just quickly pop into place a sliver of chocolate atop it. Problem solved!
On our way out, I felt compelled to purchase some of Monsieur Genin’s caramels for myself, and because I’m classy, a bag for Jill to take home, too. I only wish I’d bought more, as I haven’t been able to get back to the shop in the weeks since, and with so many goodies yet to enjoy there (and hot chocolate to be consumed by the gallon), a return visit is soon to be in order. Of course, should you find yourself wandering Rue Turrenne anytime soon, I highly recommend stopping by.