For the first time since I've lived in France, I entered a Ladurée. More than that, I dined. I've had their macaroons and think they're delightful but to be honest, it's one of the most frequented tourist spots in Paris after the Eiffel Tower and I try to avoid such places at all costs. Not because I think I'm too good for them but because I start to get anxious around big crowds and the pushing, shoving and loudness of most tourists. Yes, I'm a real parisienne. I prefer to uncover the more unknown, niche restaurants and cafés in the city since they are so plentiful. But when my friend Elena suggested we go for a belated birthday breakfast upon her return from Italy I thought, why not? My interest was piqued after she raved about the interior of the Ladurée on rue Bonaparte (versus rue Saint Honoré) and how surprisingly affordable the à la carte menu was.
My assumption was that everything on the menu was going to be overpriced, similar to the offering at its neighboring cafés, Café de Flore and the Les Deux Magots, famous for having been patronized by famous philosophers and writers. I was pleasantly surprised, for the most part. They offer two fixed breakfast menus, at 18€ and 27€, containing far too much food than I was prepared to eat. They're à la carte selection, however, is both reasonable and of quality.
I don't do well with too much choice. I'm too indecisive for that. But the pressure was on when the waitor returned to the table asking, "avez vous fait votre choix?" (have you decided)? I ordered the scrambled eggs, a pistachio flavored coffee and quickly had to decide which of the outstanding sounding pastries I was going to try. My eyes fluttered quickly between the filled croissants and the lemon brioche. "Un croissant fourré aux noisettes", I said. A hazelnut stuffed croissant would do the trick.
Although I could have made better scrambled eggs myself, the croissant was divine and the coffee strong, bursting with flavor. Our only critique was the water which tasted oddly salty.
After a few hours of chatting, sharing and laughing, we braved the storm. Admittedly, my white linen pants were a poor choice.
21 rue Bonaparte
Tel : 01.44.07.64.87