Just when it looked like pie might supersede macarons as the hottest dessert in New York, Paris’ fabled Maison Ladurée opened up on the Upper East Side, changing the game completely. Founded in Paris in 1862, Ladurée has been the macaron provider ever since – some even claim the shop invented macarons as we know them. The shop at Madison and 70th was one of the first opportunity United States customers had to taste the brand’s shatteringly crisp cookies surrounding a just-sweet-enough shell. Here’s what to know before you go to that location or their shop in Soho:
Plan to Wait: Lines this week have topped an hour, running all the way down the block, so come prepared to catch up on calls, read a book, or just play Angry Birds while you stand in line. Also, do some thinking about what, exactly, you want – with waits like this, the people behind you aren’t likely to be charmed by you taking several minutes to order.
Come Hungry: Many US macarons are tiny things, barely two bites. At Ladurée, the cookies are about the size of your palm. It’s certainly more than possible to finish one (or two…or three) on your own, but don’t expect a terribly light bite.
Blend Cultures: The classic Parisian macarons are pistachio, rose, chocolate, and caramel with salted butter, of which you should definitely try at least one. Spare some room, though, for a flavor unique to Ladurée’s New York store: cinnamon and raisin. What, no cream cheese filling?
Leila Cohan-Miccio is a New York-based comedian and writer. She spent three and a half years as the editor of New York Magazine-owned blog Grub Street Boston and has contributed to Saveur, Splitsider, and Crushable.