Originally, I stopped by just as they were opening, and as a result, I didn’t get a chance to admire the extent of their full baked goods selection. I was recommend to come back in the afternoon when they got a chance to get it all out, and so I did. I wanted the full experience of this well known bakery specializing in eclairs, on my last day in Toronto.
The modern looking bakery was a beige square block with its name and designation outlined in red. There was a patio out front shielded from the sidewalk by a wooden barrier. Behind it the gate protected several two tops of white tables and chairs, each set with some potted greenery.
Inside, the sun poured trough their glass shop front. There was plenty of space between counter and the row of seating on the left. Chrome metal chairs and laminated table tops awaited those who choose to dine in. The walls were decorated with framed photos of green countryside, with some more greenery under cloched glass. In a similar fashion the light above the service counter too was encased in glass.
But truth be told, you weren’t in looking at what decorated the walls, when you could be looking at what was behind their sneeze proof glass.
There were showcases dedicated to what was freshly baked on the morning of. Loaves of savoury rounds, and lengths of crusty bread, flaky buttered pastries, and chocolate filled and almond topped croissants.
And if you were looking for something more hearty they had sandwiches that could fit in the palm of your hand. Ham and cucumber with Brie, blt’s, feta with black olives, and salmon and cream cheese; to name a few.
But really if you are at a bakery, like me, you are here for their delectable sweets. Like their refrigerating units with whole cakes at the ready, and chocolate ice cream bars and giant macaron ice cream sandwiches to go.
Adjacent was their chocolate display of in house made chocolate hearts. One biters enrobed in red, and splashed with colour. Although as ornate as they looked, they were actually familiar dark, milk, and caramel chocolates. The shop did venture into more creative territory with the coconut and the strawberry vanilla filled chocolate gems.
The themed showcases continued with one dedicated to miniature cream puffs and single serving cakes. Perfectly decorated desserts with glossy surfaces and fresh glazed fruit. The “lemon meringue” had each of its peaks slightly browned, you could see the light reflected off the varnish of the “chocolate raspberry pillow”, and the “tiramisu mousse eclipse” with its orange surface and pink polka dot heart catches the eye.
But I was here for their most famous eclairs, I have never seen a place with a more extensive collection of them. An “éclair” is an oblong pastry made with choux dough, filled with cream, and topped with icing. But these were not your regular chocolate topped and white cream filled pastries. These were painted in bold colours, with the fillings to match. The roasted pistachio was a bright green topped with the crushed green nut, the salted caramel had broken pieces of caramel bark topping it, the raspberry was red with a single of its namesake fruit balancing on top, the “coconut cream” looked like a winter wonderland, the mint mojito was tye-dyed in shades of green and blue, and the London fog spelled out its intention on a white chocolate plate.
These are so popular that they are available to take home in gift boxes designed to keep each lengthy pastry in place, as you travel from here to home. Looking at an example above the counter, it was hard not to want a box to go yourself. But my day was just beginning and I didn’t want to have to carry such a fragile dessert around with me in the sun. Instead I opted for two to enjoy in house.
I went for a “pure matcha” eclair for the love of the flavour and the vibrancy of its colour. The name did not disappoint. The pastry was light and spongy, and filled to the brim with solid matcha paste. This is a great choice for those that don’t like their eclairs too sweet. They were served chilled to keep them from melting, but I think they would have been nice warmer, at least it would have made the dough softer and the filling creamier.
And I had to get one of the gold eclairs, as it was the reason why I came in the first place. Never mind what flavour, where else do you find your dessert gilded in a metallic gold paint like this? The “gold gianduja” was chocolate and hazelnut. I found it most satisfying to cut into this one. It was soothing how the shell just cracked, like the sugar on creme burlee. The flavour was rich with nut and dark chocolate, very similar in intensity and texture as the matcha above. Now only if they had some gold macarons to match.
I eyed the macaron showcases as well deciding on what flavours I should get. Creme burlee, simply lime, blueberry butter creme, double raspberry butter creme, espresso chocolate, hazelnut chocolate, and 60% chocolate; to name a few. They also had some fun ones with extra embellishments and dual colours. The strawberry cheesecake looked more like it would be cotton candy with its pink and blue shells. The strawberry cheesecake would have been more appropriately coloured dark and light pink, like the litchi raspberry. The chocolate and vanilla birthday cake came in red and blue, with sprinkles in its filling. And the chai latte creme looked delicious in its half yellow and brown shells.
I grabbed a “Salted caramel” and two “Madagascar vanilla” to take back to Vancouver, for my partner. Those are his favourite flavours, and truthfully he is a bigger macaron enthusiasts as I am. He liked the flavour alright, but by the time I, and they arrived, they weren’t all that fresh. And it wasn’t because of the packaging, they travelled well across the country in their six pack box with plastic separator.
Not being able to decide on which ones I, myself wanted; I ended up being able to take away some of their special macarons, after noticing a box of them on the counter. These were their doughnut macarons, and they are only available on weekends, but they had some leftover from last weekend and were willing to let me have them at regular cost. (I may have mentioned I was travelling from Vancouver, knowing I wouldn’t get the chance to return anytime soon). These were regular macarons, but the novelty is that the top shell is shaped and decorated like a doughnut, hole and all.
Vanilla, red velvet, and strawberry. They were kept frozen in the back, so they looked good and tasted good, but sadly the texture wasn’t as fresh as I would have liked. I knew this would be the case when I ordered and paid for them. But at least I can now say that I have had doughnut macarons.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I wished this authentic French bakery was in my backyard, in Vancouver. There was so much I wanted to try and so much more i didn’t get a chance to blog about. You keep coming back for their rotating line up and seasonal flavours, and they keep you discovering something new on each visit. Don’t deny your cravings.