November 4th, 2010 § 8 comments

I’m going to get this out in the open before I lose the courage to say it: Pascal Guerreau’s mille-feuille at Tholoniat rivals the one at Jacques Genin.

Tholoniat, on rue Chateau d’Eau in the 10th, has been around since 1938, but Guerreau just took it over a few months ago. Accompanied by someone possessing an assiduous sweet tooth, I paid him a visit.

The fruits in the tarts are not shellacked with glaze, but rather show off their natural beauty, the apples caramelized to varying degrees, figs gently cooked and tinted with their own pink juice. Forget the usual jawbreaking slabs of nougat; here the confection is softer and more delicate. The kouign amann has a lightness, too, with flaky folds on top and a deliciously caramelized base.

Guerreau was assembling some mille-feuilles for the case while we were there, and generously offered a few sample bites.

Like Genin, Guerreau recognizes that a mille-feuille is really best made just before serving, since the pastry and the cream are each best at different temperatures. The filling must be kept cold, of course, but refrigeration does the crust no favors. And that crust? Wow. Delicate, buttery, light as air.

Go see for yourself.

Tholoniat 47 rue Chateau d’Eau, 75010 Paris, +33 (0)1 42 39 93 12 closed Mondays

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§ 8 Responses to Tholoniat"

  • someone with an assiduous sweet tooth ? i must meet this person. 😉

    this is seriously a fantastic address (thanks for introducing me to it) and i am 100% going back on my next visit to paris (wanna come ?). i finished that slab of nougat in i don’t know how many seconds flat. seriously, that could be my new favorite source – unbelievably soft, almost marshmallow-like, excellent flavor, crisp nuts… and oooh that kouign amann, i may have to get le breton back from brazil to taste it.

    rdv chateau d’eau encore, in 7 weeks… already can’t wait.

  • Cowgirl Chef says:

    And to think that I was in the neighborhood last weekend and didn’t stop in. Never again. It’s on the list.

  • I never fail to stop by here when I’m in the neighborhood, which is often. I’m an avowed macaron-hater, yet these guys have successfully converted me with their pistachio macaron. Ladu-whoo?

  • vielleanglaise says:

    I’ve been trying to push this place on chowhound for a while now, but to no avail. Glad to see it written up here.

    You should try the signature ‘Tholoniat’ pastry that with the boutique they inherited the recipe and right to sell. Une tuerie.

  • It was easy for me to convince a lot of friends and familiar to adopt the famous “Brazo del Gitano” or semifreddo, since more of 30 years.
    They were fans and very disappointed before the unexpected revival of the shop.
    Now, the macarons and pies are a very nice discovery. I continue my campaign, spreading it in every occasion, since Pascal deserves it and needs all our support. Raymond D

  • Norine says:

    I am in tears. A good cup of coffee and a fine pastry is hard to find anywhere, but is negatively possible in Modesto. I yearn to be there with you.

  • Barbra says:

    Raymond – I think it probably happens regularly that long-time customers arrive surprised to find that the shop has changed hands, a risk whenever someone takes over a beloved old address. I can’t imagine the disappointment lasting too long, though, after sampling some of Pascal’s work.

    Norine – The fine pastries aren’t hard to come by here, but you might actually have better luck with the coffee in Modesto.

  • adrian says:

    I go here when I get my dreads done

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