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Pastry Perfection

Le Macaron’s specialty is stuffed with goodness.

Le Macaron’s specialty is stuffed with goodness.

There have been French restaurants here for years, and while a long, lingering dinner over a plate of duck, a bottle of fine Mourvèdre and a very large bill might be great on occasion, we don’t get to experience the simpler pleasures of life à la française very often. So it’s good to see that Le Macaron has opened in Winter Park (216 N. Park Ave., 321-295-7958; lemac
aron-us.com). The local location of this Sarasota chainlet doesn’t sell the coconut sweet macaroon we’ve come to know and love, but a meringue and almond powder French confection, crunchy on the outside and soft within, filled with jam, chocolate or buttercream, and quite addictive. At $1.80 per, these little gems might be an expensive habit.

Or choose an even simpler but luscious fare by picking up an authentic croissant at the recently opened Les Petits Pleasures in College Park (2120 Edgewater Drive, 407-422-4702;
lespetitspleasures.com). Unlike the fly-apart, oil-soaked doughball most non-Gallic bakeries pass off as a croissant, the pastries made here by chef Philippe Cahagne are airy and buttery, but sturdy enough to hold up under a croque monsieur sandwich ($7.10). It’s practically a stroll in Paris.

—J.H.

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