by Cheryl Baehr
Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now.
Simone Faure is an artist. Not in the empty, overused way of describing anyone and everyone in the restaurant business, but in the truest sense of the word. Sure, she makes delicious pastries, but her genius is in her mastery of aesthetics. Faure paints with butter, sculpts with marzipan and enriches her flour canvas with colors and textures that belong in a gallery.
All of Faure's confections are impeccable, but the macarons are her signature. A display case of these vibrant little cookies sits prominently in the middle of La Patisserie Chouquette (1626 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-7935); at first glance, it looks like it is filled with colorful jewels. A closer inspection, however, reveals the brilliant macarons in a variety of flavors.
Their beauty is not merely skin deep. Faure's delicate macarons melt in the mouth, their luscious buttercream sandwiched between two airy cookies. The flavors regularly change, and it is impossible to pick favorites among such varied offerings as early grey and butterscotch. Luckily, they are small enough to justify eating more than one.