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