Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Zagat: Iconic French Brand Setting Up Shop in SoHo

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An iconic French brand is bringing its sweets to a new restaurant in SoHo. Zagat editor James Mulcahy filed the following report for NY1.

The Ladurée brand is a mainstay in France, where it has served its signature pastries for more than 150 years. It came to New York first with a shop on the Upper East Side, and now with a full-service restaurant, which is a take on a traditional tea salon.

"Before Ladurée, women used to go in salon, and men used to go in cafe, and tea room was the first place that men and women could meet together and enjoy pastries and a cup of tea," says Elizabeth Holder Raberin, the owner of Laudrée.

You will find an array of sweets here, along with an expansive menu of classic French savory options for breakfast lunch and dinner. Whether you drop by the patisserie up front or dine in one of the space's two elegant rooms, you're guaranteed to a meal with a side of French glamour.

"We really try to have all the French vivre in the decoration and the way you can travel here, like you are in Paris, in a very classical house in Paris." 

During a crack-of-dawn visit, I was invited to see the pastry chefs hard at work in the kitchen, where their day starts before the sun is even up.  

Q: What time do you get here in the morning?
Pastry chef Jimmy Le Clerc: We start at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Q: Three o'clock in the morning?

Like the shop on Madison Avenue, the full restaurant has already developed legions of French fans looking for an authentic bite. When you visit, you'll be having the same eclair as a diner in Paris, and that's no easy feat.

"All of our recipes are from Paris," Le Clerc says. "For the eclair, we worked four months on it, so when you go in Paris or you go in New York, you have the same product, the same flavor and the same quality."

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