Un Dimanche à Paris

chocolate truffles

Even though it wasn’t Sunday, I decided to go to Un Dimanche à Paris anyway. This sleek showcase of chocolate is located in an under-utilized arcade on the Left Bank, near where the saleswoman told me has become “The quartier of chocolate.”

The owner of the shop is Pierre Cluizel of the famed French chocolate family, but he’s striking out on his own. Un Dimanche à Paris features a large chocolate shop, and exhibition kitchen, a tea salon, and a full-scale restaurant. And that’s just on the first floor.

Climb the stairs and you’ll find a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen and enormous tasting area, with comfy sofas and a cocktail lounge manned by a barman (with the world’s slimmest waistline), mixing up elixirs and potions designed to help you appreciate and understand chocolate to its fullest. And if that’s what it takes to cut a silhouette like his, I’m sold.

hot chocolate pastries

I settled into the salon du thé with my friend Rosa for some chocolat chaud and a pot of tea, along with a little selection of pastries. The hot chocolate, served in a pitcher with a wooden stirrer anchored inside, was rich and a bit on the sweet side (the chef confessed to adding a pour of heavy cream and a pinch of cinnamon), and the Korean green tea was presented with a timer so you would be sure not to over infuse it. When the waiter said, “En quatre minutes, monsieur…” I knew as soon as that orange sand’s time was up, the tea was ready.

tea timer un dimanche a paris

The line up of little pastries were lovely. A small, gooey chocolate disk topped with a moist puddle of ganache, a petit éclair filled with chocolate, a pistachio macaron (made by someone a little too enthusiastic with the food coloring), and a perfect, tangy little lemon tartlet topped with a kiss of crunchy meringue.

chocolate hazelnut bars

Like the name says, the shop is open even on Sundays and there’s a full roster of cooking classes and a swank lunch and dinner menu, which I’m looking forward to trying. Because I had a generous slab of brownies waiting for me at home, I passed on the boxes of truffles, the various chocolate spreads, les orangettes, and the sleek tablets of chocolate with crushed hazelnuts and cocoa nibs rubbed into them. But it’s good to know that I can always go back, any day of the week, including Sunday.



Un Dimanche à Paris
4-6-8 Cour de Commerce Saint André (6th)
Tél: 01 56 81 18 18



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54 comments

  • Oh my, sounds delightful! I love a place that is serious about tea and chocolate! Will give it a try this summer!

  • The French really have a few markets of the culinary world cornered and chocolate is definitely one of them. I remember going out each Sunday to choose my own little slab of chocolate to eat with tea for the week. Never in my life did I know there were so many options or how tasty they all could be. My personal favourite quickly became the chocolat avec noisettes….drool…..

  • What’s the story with the Cluizel family?

  • Oooohhhh….that little tray of mini pastries is calling my name. I will make sure to put a dot on my map and get to it next time I am in the 6th.

    I love that they tell you exactly how long to infuse your tea. That really matters !!

  • Sounds wonderful!

  • Chocolate, pistachio macarons and lemon tartlets…three of my favorite things! Your photos are beautiful, as always, and really give me a sense of being there. By the way, and speaking only for myself, having pan of brownies at home is more of a bonus than a deterrent!

  • That’s it David, you must have a picture of yourself in the attic, one with a 50 inch waistline…..
    There just isn’t any way you could go around sampling these goodies all the time otherwise!
    That little lemon tart looks divine. It’s a good job I don’t live in Paris because I could never manage to keep that svelte figure all the Parisian women seem to have!

  • I spent a summer studying in Antwerp and marveled at the chocolate shops, most of which didn’t have a cafe type set-up with seating. This post was beautiful, made me swoon a bit, and dream of Paris.

  • I stopped into un Dimanche a Paris for the first time a few weeks back for a bit of chocolat chaud. Okay, I really stopped in to check out the cocktails in the bar, but since it wasn’t open yet (it was the afternoon), I settled for the hot chocolate. :) I’m not much of a chocolat chaud drinker, but really liked what they had. I also love the tea timers. And, will get back in there soon to test out the swanky upstairs lounge.

  • This will go on to my list for a possible this time(just 36 hours and already so much sweet stuff!)) and a definite for next time. I go to a place here in Bethesda where you get a tea timer with your tea but definitely the sweets leave a lot to be desired compared to Dimanche

  • Huuuuu… I am seriously thinking about taking a class here this summer, when I will be in Paris.

    Thank you David for the great post.

  • This brought back memories of my honeymoon back in ’88. We found the most amazing chocolatier on the Rue de Rivoli, where we purchased paves of chocolate and cans of Coke, and sat across the street on a low brick wall, and enjoyed. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the chocolatier now. Zut alors! Even tho I can’t recall the name, I vividly remember the paves… squares of rich dark chocolate ganache enrobed by decadent milk chocolate, about 3 inches square and 3/4 inch thick. Perfect!

  • Will do, thanks for the tip!!

  • This place sounds amazing and the chocolate looks divine!

  • The idea of the tea seved with a sand timer is a pretty cool detail.

  • What an absolutely charmed life you lead in Paris! We were there last year and I wish I knew of places like this. That timer for the green tea is trés amusing! I love that. I have so thrilled to have found your blog and a slew of other cooking blogs. I know I am going to learn a lot from here on out.

  • I’m checking out the location on GoogleMaps: am I right in understanding that “Un Dimache” is just up the street from Roger Patrick? We stopped by Patrick’s store this past summer when visiting Paris (and loved it), but completely missed this side street (Cour du Commerce). Thanks for the tip! We’ll have to check it out next time we visit.

    - a *huge* Michel Cluizel fan

    p.s. @Andrea: if you’re already in Bethesda (MD?) check out the bakery at “Praline” for authentic French patisserie delights (the pastry chef is from Lyon) – on Sangamore Ave. – the finest stuff in the DC area.

  • You’ve just given me another place to visit during my next trip to Europe! Love it that they are using the traditional chocolate pot to serve hot chocolate!

  • I just want to curl up inside this post and live with the chocolate forever.

  • The combination of green tea and chocolate is fantastic and certified by my tea ceremony teacher. I really hope I can stop by in March.

  • Great story, and beautiful photos, too!

  • Cluizel chocolate is good, good, good from the milkiest milk chocolate to the bitterest black!

  • We peeked in the windows here last fall – will definitely check it out this year. A little historical tidbit – the large round pillar in the dining room (photo on their website) is part of the city wall built by Phillipe Auguste built in the 13th century.

  • I love your Blog, I have been following it for some time now.
    I have a general question to put out there. Is there any reason why Americans should not visit Paris? We are thinking about taking our first trip to Paris and with things the way they are in foreign countries, I thought I would ask and see what other people think…..
    about visiting Paris.

  • Where, where can I buy chocolate pots like the one in the photo. I must have them for my secret chocolate salon in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I will be in Paris in October, hope to at least take one of your walks around Paris. Solis Lujan, Choco-Maya

  • This reminds me how rarely I go out for afternoon tea and that it needs to be rectified.

  • Who needs yoga? Get behind the bar! I can totally see you doing the Tom Cruise “Cocktail” thing!

  • Why not post a photo of the barman & his waistline so we can have something to aspire to as we hoover down the chocolate?

  • We stopped by right after it opened, by chance. A knockout for aesthetics as well as chocolate. The staff behind counter could not have been more gracious. Going back next week, now that you have reminded us about it.

  • Michael: I don’t usually take photos of people and put them on the site without getting their permission. And the French are a bit timid about getting photographed. But I am going back next week to do some, um, ‘research’…and may report back…

    Solis: They sell them in the shop (I think they’re around €65) but you can check one of the cookware shops of Paris, such as A. Simon in Les Halles, which carries things like that.

    Pete in MD: Yes, it’s about a block or two from Patrick Roger. But since it’s in a passage, unless you knew it was in there, you would likely miss it.

    Cheryl: Am not sure of the question..the only reason I can think of would be that airfares are high at present and the current exchange rate is not favorable to the dollar. But I don’t think those are major reasons to avoid travel to Europe…

  • I don’t know if they still have them, but last time I was there I bought a sachet of chocolate covered mandarine segments that are making me cry a little bit now, thinking about them.

  • My husband and I wandered over there at the end of January- the passage itself is a wonder of curvy cobblestones, not a place for anything but the sturdiest of shoes!
    The display of artistic chocolates was beautiful. Somehow we resisted. Don’t forget to go next door to the olive oil shop with knowledgeable “vendeurs” and delicious combinations like olive/fig tapenade as well as different olive oils sold by individual growers. Just had the tapenade last night and it was heavenly.

  • Try green tea -unsweetened of course- with a piece of a very dark chocolate, its ganache (filling) also very dark chocolate.

    As for chocolat chaud it is usually served too sweet and/or too thick.
    A beverage for nurseries.
    Chocolat chaud is about sex as understood so well by La Maison du chocolat on rue Francois I while they still served the divine aphrodisiac. It was Casanova in a cup, lady Chatterley inside you quickened by a strength robbing you of your breath, creating a tremendous heartbeat, its structure lean and thin as tea and it all heavenly bitter.

  • I liked the term Mikael (the barman) gave for his role : “mixologist”!!! Have you tried some of his concoctions? they are incredible!!!!!
    I have such similar pictures on my review….funny.

  • Famous Figaro critic François Simon wrote an article about it today !
    http://francoissimon.typepad.fr/simonsays/2011/02/un-dimanche-%C3%A0-paris-le-brunch-appliqu%C3%A9.html

  • Wow, when life is good, it’s very, very good, isn’t it?!

  • No wonder you moved to Paris.

  • I want that hazelnut chocolate!

  • I’ll be in Paris next spring, that is 2012. It is already springtime here in Central Mexico, where I live. I am soooooo looking forward to popping into this and many other chocolate shops. My mouth is literallly watering as I think about it.

  • This is probably off topic. I just wanted to say how I enjoyed the 70 % chocolate from Rogue Chocolatier. I’m awaiting my second order to come in some time next week.

    I’ve ordered Rio Caribe, Hispaniola, and Sambirano. I think my favorite is the Rio Caribe, because it has a deep coffee flavor.

    Thanks for telling me about this fine chocolate.
    Carolyn Z

  • Good reading – chocolate in Paris, in my mind, is worth the 7000 km flight.
    Diane

  • This make me think about Sadaharu Aoki… French pastries with an asian twist… Delish!!!

  • I love tea and I was the idiot who was going to bring my own teabags on my first trip to Paris last spring. I am going back at the end of the summer and will try this scrumtious Diamanche. I am not a fan of very sweet hot chocotate . In Japan they serve all hot drinks plain with sugar type sweetners you can put in or not. I do think there is an art in making tea,and will try your suggestion with a tartlet or two. Aloha Maya

  • hey David, do you happen to have a favourite place for hot chocolate? so far it’s a toss-up between Angelina and La Jacobine for me. Angelina because I can get stir in chantilly instead of normal cream, and La Jacobine because the texture is a bit more complex.

  • The macaron and deconstructed tart (?) look quite kawaii, I love the petit of it all… I’ve never sampled the chocolate which you describe.. but I might get my auntie to send me some… before warmers months set in.

  • This looks TOO irresisable!
    Merci David!

  • oh, lovely. lovely lovely lovely. thank you.

  • As always, you transported me in your magic blog machine to another place, this time one with chocolate and tea. Merci!

    Kathleen

  • The praliné bonbons are heaven.

  • I bought some of his chocolate in Japan a few weeks ago, lovely attention to detail.

  • Hi David,
    I’ve been hoping that our paths would cross one day since we share the same likes, dislikes, neighborhood and metiers. Alas, it has yet to happen so i’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and cordially invite you to visit us at Patisserie Carette in the 16th, 4 place du Trocadero. It’s a bit out of your way so I hope you won’t be disappointed. We have the best chocolate macarons…and M. Herme will attest to that. We’re open 7 days a week, 365 days/year, 7:30am to midnight’ish, And if you do come, please ask for Suyin…not the petit gateau in the vitrine, but me personally as I’m anxious to meet the person that’s given me loads of laughs during my time here in paris. a bientot, j’espere.

  • Delightful! I can smell the chocolate in the air. A must-visit chocolaterie when I’ll be in Paris! Thanks for sharing! Btw I love Cluizel chocolates!

  • David, I have exhausted my search in your shop looking for a chocolate pot. I did however find other things I would like to buy. If you by chance you know where I should navigate on your site, let me know. I am making your chocolat chaud to night. It is still very cold here in Santa Fe.