Haute Couture Pastries at Carl Marletti in the 5th

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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?