Paris Patissier Carl Marletti in the 5th

The more I explore Paris pastries, the more I appreciate the beauty, subtlety, and originality of Carl Marletti’s work. If you only have time for one Paris pastry chef, get yourself to rue Mouffetard, a cobbled market street in the 5th, and follow it south until it intersects rue Censier.

Because Marletti’s pastries just get better and better, I’m reprising this blog post from last year:

Haute Couture Pastries at Carl Marletti

When an acquaintance described Carl Marletti as an haute couture pâtissier, I didn’t know what he meant. But one look at the vitrine in his rue Censier shop, and the metaphor made sense.

No everyday pain au chocolat here — special occasion pastries line up like glamorous models on parallel runways, wearing pure colors and elegant cuts.

And everything glistens: almond scented Tartes aux Fruits de Saison, radiant with apricot, peach and fig; Tarte Citron à cloche, an inverted bowl of lemon cream, topped with preserved lemon and silver foil.

Paradis Latin is sensual, deep red, made from vanilla sabayon covering rich raspberries, and reminiscent of a camellia in full bloom.

There is, I learned, another fashion connection. In 2005 Carl Marlotti reinvented the classic millefeuille, using half as many pastry layers (it was called the Cinq-cents feuilles) in shapes created by French designers Agnes B, Stella Cadente and Chantal Thomass.

Have you been here? What’s your favorite pastry?

Restaurant Lilane in the 5th

With white tablecloths, a daily ardoise, friendly service, and terrific value, Lilane is a neighborhood bistro just off rue Monge. At lunch on a recent weekday, each item on a carte of updated French classics offered a pleasant surprise.

I chose from the day’s menu (3 courses 24€ at lunch, 35€ at dinner). The velouté d’aubergine—creamy, aromatic, and the soft color of a Degas pastel—was as beautiful as it was delicious. Swirls of chèvre frais, a scattering of watercress, and slivers of marinated onion balanced the sweet taste of eggplant. I soaked up the last of it with freshly sliced sourdough.

My filet de dorade turned out to be five layers of flavor: a smear of white wine sauce, topped with pureed potato, then wonderfully moist sea bream, sweet, roasted tomatoes, and finally a foam the color of cream that tasted like the sea. Each flavor and texture complemented the next, and I adored it.

Ken’s tournedo de canard wasn’t seared and pink in the middle, as we expected, but braised and served in its juice—welcome comfort food on a cool fall day, further elevated by the smoky Bordeaux that our server recommended.

Desserts at Lilane are generous, and for the most part seasonal. The figs, roasted and steaming beside ice cream maison were straight from the market. And the chocolate fondant a delight.

For great food, lovely ambiance, and excellent prices, go now, before word gets out. Reservations advised, especially for lunch. Closed weekends.

Have you been to Lilane? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think!

Haute Couture Pastries at Carl Marletti in the 5th

image_carl_marletti

When an acquaintance described Carl Marletti as an haute couture pâtissier, I didn’t know what he meant. But one look at the vitrine in his rue Censier shop, and the metaphor made sense.

No everyday pain au chocolat here — special occasion pastries line up like glamorous models on parallel runways, wearing pure colors and elegant cuts.

And everything glistens: almond scented Tartes aux Fruits de Saison, radiant with apricot, peach and fig; Tarte Citron à cloche, an inverted bowl of lemon cream, topped with preserved lemon and silver foil.

Paradis Latin is sensual, deep red, made from vanilla sabayon covering rich raspberries, and reminiscent of a camellia in full bloom.

There is, I learned, another fashion connection. In 2005 Carl Marlotti reinvented the classic millefeuille, using half as many pastry layers (it was called the Cinq-cents feuilles) in shapes created by French designers Agnes B, Stella Cadente and Chantal Thomass.

Do you know this shop? What’s your favorite pastry?