Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arnaud Delmontel - Paris

Checking Out the Award Winner
After a long walk I took one look at the line coming out of Rose Bakery and decided to move on. Not far - just across the street to Arnaud Delmontel - the winner of the the "patisserie of the year" in 2006 and the 2007 "best baguette." Why didn't I simply start here in the first place? Yes, there was a line, but at least it was moving quickly.

Standing in line gave me a time to collect my thoughts. Would it be wrong to not order a baguette from the place that supplies President Sarkozy his? (That's the reward for winning the best baguette - you have to supply the Elysee Palance with them for a year.) Yes, it would be wrong- I decided that I'd have to get one. Once inside, I hedged my bets by also ordering a strawberry-filled beignet.

When I got home I sliced open the beignet and watched it bleed strawberry onto the plate. The pastry was astoundingly tender and airy - it wasn't deep-fried as is the norm in New Orleans. The vibrant strawberry filling tingled in my mouth, so fresh it was. Once I'd gobbled it all, I resorted to licking the plate, cursing myself for the surgery I'd done for the photo.
Next up, the award-winning baguette. I hesitated, to be honest. I was in a "what is the right way to eat this" quandary similar to the one I was in at Poilane. After some reflection, I split it and coated it with fromage à tartiner au poivre. Doesn't that sound so much better than "pepper cheese spread"? It was crusty and resistant to the bite - pretty good to my uneducated palate. As I gnawed my way through, I wondered how the judges could've tried hundreds to arrive at the winner.
9th Arondissement

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  1. Hmmm.. how abt butter sugar baguette? Singapore style? :)Am surprise you didn't get any cakes... I remember them looking very pretty.

  2. I coulda gotten cakes, yes. The beignet was good, so I was happy.

  3. Just wanted to say I love your blog and I can't wait to check out some of these restaurants you mention!

  4. @TP - glad you like it. My girlfriend has a lot of places to catch up on when she gets here in a week!

  5. That jam looks so amazing. There's almost no better way to eat than baguettes and jam and meats and cheeses and fruits. MMMmmm, making me miss Paris!

  6. @EIB - yes, this place is second to none in the food world, but I tell you, I miss Brooklyn a lot. Especially the bialys at the Victory on State St. Man, those are good!

  7. Well I photographed this delightful place in January. Montmartre oui? Sadly I hadn't read your blog or I would have marched right in and bought one of everything. There's always next time!

  8. @Virginia - correct, Montmartre. You should have gone in and got yourself something! I love your photos. How's it possible you walked on rue Mouffetard and didn't get a crepe from the crepe guy?