Add: 33 rue de Turenne 75003 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 77 29 01
Hours: 11am~7pm (8pm on Sat, closed on Mon)
Price: [desserts] €6.50~13.00 [drinks] €4.50~11.00
Visited on: Mar 2013
BREAKING NEWS: Jacques Genin has started selling pastries in his boutique again!
Here’s the back story. In Jan 2013, Genin put out a note saying that he is discontinuing his line of pastries so as to focus on his original passion – chocolate. (A more accurate reason is actually that Genin was experiencing some personnel issue in the kitchen due to his eccentric management style, but that’s a gossip we will save for another time.) In any case, this was an unfortunate and heart-breaking news to hear. Sure, the man is first and foremost an outstanding chocolatier - his factory supplies chocolates, caramels, and petits fours to more than 200 top French hotels and restaurants including Plaza Athénée, Hôtel de Crillon, and Le Meurice – but his beautiful pastries are also some of the best one can find in Paris. So when rumor has it that Genin’s boutique has re-started selling some pastries, I flocked over to verify whether this is true…and happily, YES.
Chocolates, caramels, and pâtes des fruits, all impeccably arranged in jewelry box-like display cases.
The pastries are no longer on display (the below picture was taken last year) and are available for dine in only, for now. Large size pastry (e.g. tarte au citron for 6 pax) can be pre-ordered in advance for take-out.
This is how I’d like to spend my Sunday afternoons: with Genin’s hot chocolate, pastries, and a flight of caramels.
Genin’s mille-feuilles (€8.00 dine in), available in chocolat, praliné, and vanille, are all assembled à la minute to ensure that the buttery, crispy, flaky layers of puff pastry arrive at the table with not a hint of sogginess.
Compared to the vanilla, I adore even more the mille feuille chocolat. Sandwiched in between the layers are neatly piped chocolate ganache, which is rich, creamy, but not the least bit heavy. Definitely one of the best in town.
Genin has published an entire book on tarte au citron and its variations, and his tarte au citron (€6.80 dine in) is indeed a beautiful piece. Thin, crispy sweet tart shell filled with the most tender, almost liquidy lemon cream, sprinkled with green lemon zest.
The tarte aux noix (€7.50 dine in) might look simple, but just one bite is enough to reveal the quality of ingredients that went into this dessert: chestnut honey, walnuts from Perigueuxin Western France, Genin’s famous caramels (more on this later), and a crisp tarte shell. Voilà. I’m not even a big fan of walnuts, and I was impressed.
On the topic of caramels, Genin offers a caramel degustation (€7) of 6 different flavors of caramels. Why yes, that is more than €1 per piece of caramel, and even if you buy these to go, they will cost you €110 per kilo. Let me tell you though, these are worth every centime. The flavors for our degustation includes nature (original), pistachio, vanilla, macadamia, chocolate, and mango passionfruit. I was swooned by all of them except the chocolate one, though the favorites were probably nature and mango passionfruit. Soft, slowly melting in the mouth, coating the palate with its sensuous texture and flavor…After a taste of these, you ‘d never look at caramels the same way again.
An afternoon at Genin simply is not complete without his soothing hot chocolate. I like the chocolat chaud traditionnel (€7), but a version with crème fouettée (€9), whipped cream, is also available. The first sip might be surprising because Genin’s hot chocolate is less sweet than most, but it will grow on you as you discover the variation and richness in flavor. The texture is full-bodied but not too thick, and can be easily finished even alongside pastries. I’m in love.
Two complimentary pieces of chocolates for each dine-in guest, flavors vary.
Very happy to get this much delayed dose of sweets from Jacques Genin. I still need to go back to try the Saint-Honoré, Paris-Brest, éclair chocolat etc. once they all get back on the menu, hopefully not too far ahead in the future.