Best Bakery

La Patisserie Chouquette

To call La Patisserie Chouquette a bakery is like calling Cristal grape juice — somehow, the moniker just doesn't do justice to such elegance and refinement. Perhaps we should rename this category Food Most Likely to Be Displayed at the Met, or Best Place to Pair Pastries with Prada. However, do not let the chic style fool you — Simone Faure, the former executive pastry chef of the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, brings substance to back it up. Her designer macarons, displayed like fine gems in a jeweler's case, melt in one's mouth with delicate sweetness. Bourbon pecan rolls, an homage to her NOLA roots, are sticky and sublime, while the flaky elegance of the butter croissant transports one to the streets of the Left Bank. Perhaps the best evidence of Faure's artistic genius are her "couture cakes" — sugary, one-of-a-kind masterpieces designed in collaboration with her clients, such as chocolate shoes and handbags. Mon Dieu!

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