Brunch at Francois Payard in Soho, NYC, New York

Francois Payard is an amazing Pastry Chef and I was looking forward to try his place in Soho! He used to have a restaurant years ago on the Upper East Side that I was lucky to try: the food was great, but the stars were the desserts! I remember that we got an incredible tasting of pastries!

So here we are in Soho, in this temple of breads and desserts! It is a small eatery where you can order some coffee, a sandwich and a dessert for a reasonable price! 

You can also buy any of the specialties they serve such as chocolate or macaroons!
They serve sandwiches, but I guess the stars of the bakery are the cakes!
They serve the classic cakes you would find in a bakery in France: eclair, strawberry tart, lemon tart...

We started with a Ham and Brie sandwich.
The bread was a traditional baguette and I can tell you that it was fantastic! This was an authentic baguette: golden and crispy outside! It was stuffed with a nice quantity of ham and brie. Delicious!

The next sandwich we tried was the croque monsieur.
 It is made of French ham and gruyere, bechamel sauce and their own white bread.
Everything was perfect! The quantity of cheese and bechamel sauce, as well as the softness of the amazing bread!

The last part of the meal was dessert!
The winner was: the lemon tart! I loved it: the shell was buttery and the lemon creme fantastic (I hate when it tastes like detergent)!

We went back the week after for a treat: we picked the strawberry pie and the gateau Lorrain.
The strawberry tart was great: first, the red color of the strawberries really popped and made the tart appetizing. Then, there was the overall taste: buttery, fruity and nutty! I loved it!
A Gateau Lorrain is made with simple ingredients: butter, flour, eggs and sugar. Some say that it is better to prepare it the day before. What is certain is that it is a cake to eat with a coffee or tea because it can be a bit dry. I would also see it eaten with a vanilla or chocolate sauce. So: good, but not a favorite!

Then, I tried the viennoiseries at their location that recently opened on 58th and Broadway.
They also have pastries, sandwiches and breads.
All their viennoiseries had this incredible butter scent that nobody can resist! The croissants were flaky and buttery. What surprised me is that the chocolate croissants shape were literally croissants with chocolate inside. So if you put a croissants and a chocolate croissant next to each other, you cannot make the difference! This is not a traditional way of making it though. Chocolate croissants are kind of square with two bars of chocolate in the middle and no chocolate or sugar on top.

The brioches were also very good, although I have a preference for the buttery treats. The sugar on top added a nice crunch, but fell most of the time on my table...

Then there were the almond croissants!
I love almond croissants: they are my favorite from all! There were fantastic! At first, I was put off by the sugar on top: typically, almond croissants do not have sugar on top! When I picked one, it was a bit heavy, making me think that there was a lot of almond paste in the middle.
And I was right! I hate when you get an almond croissant with barely no almond paste in it! This one had a lot and the taste of the almond and the butter was divine. I inhaled it!

I had a great experience at Francois Payard Bakery! It was like being in France! Of course, I could not taste everything, so I guess I have to go back...

Enjoy (I did)!

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