I don’t usually use this space to rave about bakeries. I could spend 2,000 words doing that and still have more to say. But I’m making a special exception for La Patisserie Chouquette.
I found out about this bakery from my youngest sister, Lillie, who has the same yen for butter and sugar as I do. When I came home a few years ago for her high school graduation, she told me about a place that made French macarons and pain au chocolat. We went to get some the next day.
I love a lot of things about Chouquette (as it’s fondly known among pastry acolytes and regulars), but one of my favorite things about the shop is how you feel when you walk in the door. The interiors are quaint and the walls are tinged in a soft, ethereal blue. A giant crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling. It’s like you’ve walked into a pastry dream, but the best part is, it’s real.
On one side of the shop is a giant pastry counter behind glass, exactly like the displays you’d see in France. Behind the glass are small éclairs dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with gold flakes. Pain au chocolat are stacked on top of one another in all their powdered sugar, flaky goodness. Macarons are arranged neatly to one side, and come in flavors such as cherry pistachio and gingerbread (flavors rotate seasonally).
When Lillie came home for Thanksgiving, we drove downtown to the bakery for breakfast. We bought some macarons to save for later, but started with a plain croissant, pain au chocolat, a flaky danish with cheese and apples, and a dark chocolate éclair. Mon. Dieu.
The French would probably sneer at our gluttony, but I don’t care. I barely felt full after I ate four pastries, which is a testimony to Simone Faure and her shop. When pastries are high quality, you don’t get full on air or fillers. You’re enjoying the real thing, which makes it easier to eat your weight in croissants.