Tapisserie

Years ago, at a flea market in Paris I pickup up some old metal letters from a bakery in France that spelled out PATISSERIE. Being a baker, of course I was thrilled (although still despondent that someone else snatched up the matching BOULANGERIE letters…) and proudly displayed them on the shelf of my apartment. Since my apartment at the time was so small, shelf space was at a super-premium. Yet I was happy to give a lot of it up to have those letters reminding me of my métier.

When I lent my apartment to some visiting friends, I noticed the P and the T had been reversed, and it spelled TAPISSERIE. I got a kick out of it and thought that was very clever. When a new bakery in Paris called Tapisserie from the team of a noted restaurant, I figured it wasn’t a place to purchase a tapestry, but a clever – and original – place to get terrific desserts.

Opened by Bertrand Grébaut and Théo Pourriat, the owners of the very popular restaurant Septime, it’s on the same block as their well-known restaurant, natural wine bar, and Clamato, their casual restaurant that’s focused on seafood. One of the most popular desserts there, the Tarte à l’Érable, Maple Syrup Tart (where it’s affectionately known as La Clamatarte), is a wonder of maple syrup caramel, crispy pâté sucrée, and crème chantilly. It was so popular at Clamato that people were asking to buy one to bring home, which was one of the impetuses for opening a bakery across the street.

(On a related note, did you know that chantilly isn’t pronounced chan-til-ee in French? it’s chan-tiy-yee, dragging out the double “l,” which in French is pronounced like “y.” It took a persistent Romain to correct me a few times on that.)

Pastry cheffe Fanny Payre is in charge here. She worked at Septime and d’Un Île, their B&B in Normandy, which I’ve heard called a micro-village (which I haven’t been to), with a potager (vegetable garden) and restaurant, where you can stay and eat well and explore the surrounding area.

Not to worry, it’s on my “You should go to…” list.

The influence of the vegetation and botanicals of that region shows in the flavors she incorporates into the pastries at Tapisserie. One obvious, and delicious, example is the Pollen-Pistachio Chou puff (above), which combines the tangy, citrusy taste of bee pollen with luscious, undeniably dreamy pistachio cream.

When the other chou drops (har-har…), you’ll find the Chou à la flouve (below) is filled with a (sort of) hay-scented cream. Like yuzu and tonka bean, hay has become one of the “it” ingredients used in pastries in France. But unlike the other two, it hasn’t been overdone and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the earthiness of the hay flavor, especially when it’s as spot-on as it is in the creamy choux puffs at Tapisserie. Because it’s the internet, I cautiously added a “sort of,” as flouve is actually a grass that’s somehow different than hay…or at least that’s how it was explained to me at the bakery. But if you’re curious, they’ve got a little bouquet of it in the shop to make your own assessment.

The aforementioned Tarte à l’Erable was so popular at Clamato, and so many people wanted to buy one to take home, that it was a priority to put them squarely in the forefront at the bakery. Just an FYI that the filling is quite coulante (runny) so it’s not something you can eat on the go. And if you carry it home, expect it to arrive with perhaps a ding or two. Mine got a little sideswiped on the métro, as did I, but it was still outstanding.

Another stand-out is the Baba Pisco Cerise. Rather than the usual dousing with rum or kirsch, pisco is used to imbibe the yeasted cakes that are also soaked with a cherry-marigold syrup. A bit of cherry-marigold jelly is tucked inside, studded with cooked and raw cherries, then sealed with a plouf of whipped cream and a fresh cherry. It was truly delicious but unfortunately it got jostled extra hard on the métro and it didn’t survive as well as the Maple Syrup Tart did. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Chef Grébaut told me that both he and Théo, his business partner, are now parents so they were more tuned into the world of sweets, which was another impetus to open the pâtisserie. A French pastry that tends to fall on the sweeter side is Kouign Amann. When people, often other Americans, tell me they prefer their desserts less-sweet, citing the French, who they say use much less sugar than they (or we) do, those people have forgotten about Kouign Amann, the buttery, brittle, caramelizes pastry that’s a butter- (and sugar-) bomb. And let’s not forget macarons, sugar-crusted chouquettes, crème brûlée, and salted butter caramel, which don’t scrimp on the sucre, either.

The Kouign Amann at Tapisserie is remarkably on the lighter side, more cake-like than rich-and-flaky, so it doesn’t seem like an overwrought indulgence, as they can feel like – especially if you come from a country that likes less sugar in their desserts. The ones here taste like a sensible pastry that you won’t have any regrets about eating. At least I didn’t.

For whatever reason, Romain and I have become Flan fans. We’ve tried a fair number of them and have our favorites. In long form they’re called Parisian Flan, or Flan pâtissier, and not what North Americans expect when they hear the word flan. But it’s a popular afternoon snack in Paris. There are a lot of rubbery, clunky, even industrial versions sold around town. A good one can be a challenge to find. It’s usually not considered a “fine” dessert, but something you might give to the kids for their afternoon goûter, or snack.

Interestingly, I was recently at a party and someone asked if I knew where to get a good Flan in Paris. When I offered a few addresses, they nixed them for whatever reasons. So I’m not sure why they asked me for advice, but if you ask me, I’ll tell you that we like this one a lot. (Other favorites are Maison Aleph and Maison Landemain, and Romain likes the one at Aurélie Ribay.)

But my very, very favorite thing on the menu at Tapisserie right now is the Black Currant Tart. It’s bold, with plump, tart ‘n tangy black currants resting atop a just-thin-enough layer of vanilla crème mousseline to keep everything in place and provide a soothing vanilla backdrop for the assertive, inky black currants. On the edge of almost being almost too-tart, these tartes are just right. If you happen to hit the bakery when black currants are in season, I urge you not to brush my suggestion aside here.

Tapisserie is also an épicerie (food shop), which sells homemade granola, pisco, jams and jellies, beverages like kefir and cold-brewed coffee, and seasonal lovelies like these pretty peaches lined up in syrup.

I also picked up a Za’atar-Feta Scone for breakfast the next day. It didn’t quite make it that long…but I know I’ll be back for more.

Tapisserie
65, rue de Charonne (11th)
Métro: Charonne
Instagram: Tapisserie
Current Hours: Tuesday-Friday 8:30am – 7:30pm, Saturday 9:30am – 7:30pm, and Sunday 9:30am – 5pm (subject to change)

[I’m going to be out and about during the month of August en vacances, on break. I’ll be sending out newsletter posts during the month, which you can follow here and/or on Instagram.]

Tapisserie

69 comments

  • Lisa Vermey
    July 29, 2021 12:22pm

    It all looks delicious! I don’t know when I will be able to travel back to France from Australia, as our border is shut tight. Many years ago I was buying train tickets to Chantilly and woefully mispronouncing it. The charming ticket seller gently corrected me, and blamed her misunderstanding of English and not my incredibly bad French! Reply

  • Corine
    July 29, 2021 12:28pm

    Splendid review. Your description of these magnificent deserts is pure poetry. Reply

    • Lori
      July 29, 2021 9:38pm

      Honestly, no one can describe subtle nuances as well as David, right? Reply

  • Charlotte K
    July 29, 2021 12:29pm

    That’s a tapestry of pastry delights.

    When you see pix of pastry that looks like that, it’s hard not to think of the generally inferior product we here in the US are subjected to, even at allegedly good bakeries. Reply

    • bevin
      July 29, 2021 3:44pm

      bakeries here (US) are a joke – zero integrity of ingredients or imagination Reply

      • July 29, 2021 4:02pm
        David Lebovitz

        That’s unfortunate you don’t have any good bakeries where you are. We had lovely ones in San Francisco and I know some nice ones in NYC. Where do you live? Reply

        • Ken
          July 30, 2021 1:17am

          Indeed, David. And conversely it’s nonsense that every city and town in France has spectacular bakeries. Willing to bet Bevin has never once put his money where his mouth is and ordered from one of America’s awesome bakeries by mail. Reply

        • bevin
          August 2, 2021 9:13pm

          In the suburbs of Washington – far from Seattle. Of course SF and NYC have great options, haha, but the average US bakery is like what you’d imagine a bakery in hell being like: hydrogenated gmo shortening everywhere butter should be, 10 times any sane level of sugar and garish artificial colors everywhere else. If there is fruit it is unripe and flavorless as well as ruined by some kind of chemical-laden ‘sauce’ or glaze.

          It’s actually great though because I now eat zero pastry and if a need a dessert I come here for a recipe – so thank you! Reply

          • J_Gittes
            August 25, 2021 5:43am

            We have exactly one truly exceptional french patisserie in New England, Ellie’s in Providence, RI. Nothing else comes close in the area.
            Also, I’ve been to many, MANY small towns all over France and there are many excellent bakeries to be found in many of them. No, not every one, but far, far more than what exists in the U.S.

      • Carla Blanco
        July 29, 2021 5:48pm

        So sorry to hear that. I live in Miami and we have great french bakeries! This post made me go to one and get some pastries that are just delicious! Reply

      • Naomi
        July 30, 2021 3:29am

        You haven’t visited New Orleans. Reply

      • Mary F.
        July 30, 2021 7:50am

        My goodness!! A country as large as ours has so many good bakers and a plethora of good bakeries….unless you are in some outpost in Alaska, but I suspect there are good bakeries there also…do think twice before making such a pronouncement. Reply

        • bevin
          August 2, 2021 9:20pm

          How wonderful to hear from so many that good bakeries do exist here!! Just not where I live. To be honest there is a great french bakery but it is a 40 minute drive one way, so, not so practical for me. But I am glad they exist nonetheless. Enjoy for me!! Reply

    • Maggie
      August 23, 2021 4:20am

      One of the BEST patisseries no one ever heard of just closed. Rainbow Sweets, of the teeny-tiny town of Marshfield, Vermont, had been in business for 44 years. COVID caused them to close, but not for the reasons you might think. Bill Tecosky and his wife discovered how nice it was to relax with family while the bakery was closed due to the pandemic, and decided it was time to spend time with their beloveds while they were still able to. While sad to see them move on, I’m absolutely delighted that they are young enough to enjoy their grands and that they are wise enough to recognize the importance of family. Reply

  • eileen
    July 29, 2021 1:18pm

    recipes please! …for any of these beautiful treats. Yum. Reply

  • Didi
    July 29, 2021 1:22pm

    Such a beautifully written and photographed post! Have a wonderful holiday. Reply

  • July 29, 2021 1:36pm

    I want to drop everything and run there and have what you’re having. What a salavatory post if that is even a word. Rue de Charonne has mushroomed into such a gourmandise of a street. Going to check transport. Bonne vacance! Reply

  • Jen
    July 29, 2021 1:41pm

    Thank you for the lovely twirl though a wonderful patisserie. Oh, do I miss Paris! Reply

    • Roxann Dorweiler
      July 29, 2021 4:28pm

      This is the most tantalizing post yet.
      My toasted English muffin looks desperately uninteresting just now. Reply

  • SaltSaffron
    July 29, 2021 2:00pm

    I have the bad habit of reading your articles when I’m hungry! Lol. The descriptions make one feel as if there and mentally had my bags packed to try all these delicious treats. You’re just the best. Reply

  • Carla P Blanco
    July 29, 2021 2:30pm

    Is flan made with a crust in France? I make several kinds of flan but the one thing they have in common is that they are baked in a mold with caramel in a Bain Marie. Reply

    • July 29, 2021 2:44pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes they usually are. There is Far Breton which is usually crustless. Reply

  • Marcella
    July 29, 2021 2:55pm

    Thanks for this mouthwatering review, David. Do you happen to also have a favourite recipe for the flan pâtissier? It’s one of my fav desserts too but I haven’t found “the” recipe yet. Thanks! Reply

  • Cynthia
    July 29, 2021 2:56pm

    Always such a wonderful newsletter !
    If I can’t be in Paris, I can read an excellent review of everything.
    Merci beau coup … Reply

  • Elle
    July 29, 2021 3:00pm

    These all sound so delicious!!!!!
    Just wondering if you have tried any places in Lyon? Reply

  • Patti
    July 29, 2021 3:28pm

    Thank you! Reply

  • Franko
    July 29, 2021 3:37pm

    mon dieu, everything in this sounds amazing, and the photos are gorgeous as well. Reply

  • Chris
    July 29, 2021 3:48pm

    Bonne vacances David! A delightful and delicious post. Reply

  • Francine Helene
    July 29, 2021 3:48pm

    I adore Flan, and grew up on it. Do you have a favourite recipe, David, or anyone here on the list? Yes, the rubbery texture must be avoided. Here in Montreal, there is no real taste for Flan. A Frenchman opened a nice cafe and had some very good Flan but then told me that customers were not that interested. What would we all do without you David. Your site is truly classy– Cheers. Reply

    • July 29, 2021 4:01pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t. I’ve not made it because I like going to different bakeries and trying theirs :) Reply

      • marcella
        July 30, 2021 12:05am

        ah the envy. You’re not being very considerate to us, David ;) Any help for us deprived of flan-making bakeries? Reply

      • Mary K.
        August 3, 2021 9:55pm

        Thank you, David, for referencing your amazing Basil Vinaigrette recipe in your August newsletter. I had tucked that recipe away years ago when it was first posted — the photos were so seductive — but I never got around to making it. My loss! Given a 2nd chance, I didn’t waste the opportunity. It is now my favorite Summer Sauce of all time. Love the piquancy and love that the gorgeous green color stays. The best is finding a dab of it left in the fridge to put on a dish of tomatoes and hard-cooked eggs. Merci Beaucoup!!! Have a wonderful vacation with lots of Basil Vinaigrette on your Summer’s bounty! Reply

      • Gloria Urban
        August 4, 2021 7:47pm

        David: many thanks for another interesting and well illustrated post. The pastries look scrumptious. But what I’m lusting after are those wonderful artisan jars with the seals and lid clips. When one purchases the confiture or Café, do you keep the container?… or must you return it? Reply

        • marcella
          August 4, 2021 11:26pm

          Gloria, those jars are made in Germany by the Weck company. They are quite easily available all over Europe, but I suppose you could look for them on Amazon too.
          Hope this helps! Reply

        • Carla
          August 4, 2021 11:49pm

          Gloria The Container Store and Williams Sonoma carry the Weck jars. also, you can shop directly from them. https://weckjars.com/shop/ Reply

  • July 29, 2021 4:05pm

    I just gained 10pounds looking at all the devious photos! Thank you for sharing! Reply

  • Marianne McGriff
    July 29, 2021 4:08pm

    David, Thank you for a wonderful review. I identify with someone above, it makes me SO hungry!!!!! We’re going to be back in France in October, so I’m going to try and get there. Bonne Vacances to you and Romain…Marianne Reply

  • Anne
    July 29, 2021 4:16pm

    I so envy you, getting to taste all these beautiful pastries! Even if they got dinged on the Metro! As someone who was diagnosed quite late in life (62) with celiac disease, my options are considerably more limited now. Many of your recipes work well for me, especially those with almond flour. I continue to enjoy your posts and photos! Reply

    • July 30, 2021 10:30am
      David Lebovitz

      Fortunately the gluten-free scene in Paris has gotten pretty good with bakeries like VG (vegan) bakery, Chambelland and Land & Monkeys (Which has a funny name for a French bakery, but their pastries are quite good!) Reply

      • Anne
        July 30, 2021 3:00pm

        Thanks for responding! Hopefully I will get to Paris again sometime and can visit these places! I just made your gougere recipe using gluten free flour and they turned out pretty well, altho they look different but tasted quite good. I just made them savory with thyme, rosemary, lack pepper and a little chipotle powder and skipped the cheese. I continue to keep trying with my gluten free baking! Reply

        • July 30, 2021 8:01pm
          David Lebovitz

          Glad you were able to successfully adapt them! Reply

  • Robb Eason
    July 29, 2021 4:17pm

    Thanks David! This was such a treat to read from the woods of Vermont this morning! Reply

    • tim hartzer
      July 31, 2021 1:06am

      To add to the comments about bakeries in the US, there is a very good boulangerie/pâtisserie in our city of Albuquerque NM (La Quiche). The proprietors, Bruno and Sabine, are of French origin and are long time NM residents. They produce croissants, pain au chocolats, and other offerings that are often better than we have experienced over many years of travelling in France. Reply

  • Margaret Bradley
    July 29, 2021 4:20pm

    Oh so wonderful to hear about and see Paris from your perspective. Thank you for that and also for so many new
    things to bake, if I can conjure them! Reply

  • Eliane
    July 29, 2021 4:32pm

    Maman faisait une creme caramel et les oeufs a la neige comme personne d’autre. Je connais bien les bon desserts.
    Merci!! Reply

  • Diane V
    July 29, 2021 4:44pm

    Wonderful, mouth watering post, reminds me of why I miss visiting. Reply

  • Joan P Sherman
    July 29, 2021 4:58pm

    Hopefully, a trip to Paris is on my agender before I am too old..In the meantime, love your reviews and blogs. Since I happen to have some bee pollen in my cupboard, I will try to replicate the chou pastry shown above as anything with chou has been my favorite and started making it when I was 12..and now 85. Reply

  • Joanne
    July 29, 2021 5:07pm

    Thank you David, reading your posts is always such a treat, you bring joy to the world Reply

  • K. Margo Stevenson
    July 29, 2021 5:46pm

    My daughter and I are doing a quick Francophilic fix to Paris in September. This patisserie is now on my list. Thanks! Reply

  • July 29, 2021 6:18pm

    I’m always hesitant to read your posts because I swear I gain weight every time I do. I’m very happy you didn’t post any recipes today or else I surely would add on a few more pounds. Love everything you write, though! Reply

  • mags
    July 29, 2021 6:55pm

    You got me at Blackcurrant Tart David lol My absolute favourite dessert. They are not as easy to come by in USA but there are a couple of places I can order online. I’m from U.K. originally where blackcurrants are easy to access!
    Thank you love your blog:) Reply

    • July 30, 2021 10:28am
      David Lebovitz

      It was funny because when I was writing Drinking French, a friend in France gave me her mother’s recipe for black currant liqueur. It called for something like 4 pounds of black currants which I was pretty sure no one would be able to make…unless they had a lot of black currant bushes. (Even in France, if someone how to buy that many black currants, the cost would be prohibitive.) But I do love them, as you do, and happy the bakery is featuring them in this very special tart! Reply

  • juju
    July 29, 2021 7:47pm

    OMG! even the handwriting looks delish.
    sidebar: 1997 – we’re driving from Calais to Chantilly. we keep asking about the location along the way, and no one understands us. until we come across the inevitable group of old men whiling away the afternoon in a town square. i can still hear one exclaim,
    “Ah, Chan tee!, Chan tee!.” Reply

  • Michele
    July 29, 2021 10:09pm

    Wish I could go there Reply

  • Dawn DeSimone
    July 30, 2021 12:41am

    Oh David, please, please, please create and share a recipe for a Za’atar-Feta Scone! My mouth is watering! Reply

  • witloof
    July 30, 2021 1:07am

    I’m in NYC looking at another round of lock down because of the delta variant, and this was heaven to read. Thank you so much. Reply

  • Deborah
    July 30, 2021 2:38am

    I’ve been saying for about 18 months that NOTHING would get me on a plane. But I’m reconsidering. Reply

  • normadesmond
    July 30, 2021 4:25am

    There goes my A1C! Reply

  • Mary F.
    July 30, 2021 7:55am

    Absolutely delightful review of these spectacular pastries….already bookmarking for my next trip! Thank you!! Reply

  • Nancy R.
    July 30, 2021 6:37pm

    Would love you to duplicate the Maple Syrup Tart. Reply

  • Christy
    July 31, 2021 3:47pm

    Thank you for this great post. I lived on rue de Charonne when I studied in Paris 10 years ago and I was delighted go here twice when I was in Paris earlier this month and it was incredible. I tried almost everything except for the flan, which I need to go back and try. I bought two pots of their abricot confiture to take home and I packed it in my carry on and had to throw it out at the airport -truly devastating. I messaged them to ask if they ship to the US but I know that’s very unlikely. I was able to bring some of their granola home though and it’s great. Not too sweet and has hazelnuts – my favorite! Trying to figure out their recipe to make it at home. Reply

  • Nawana
    August 2, 2021 2:44pm

    David, there is an amazing ice cream shop here in Calgary that you would just adore. Very creative flavours, last month they had a Saskatoon berry (native to western Canada) and Hay flavour, so unique! Thank you as always for the French lessons, my daughter will be starting French immersion and I’ll be attempting to learn alongside her. Reply

  • Christine
    August 3, 2021 5:19pm

    Oh my god!
    And what beautiful containers. Reply

  • August 4, 2021 1:46am

    ooo, i have such a weakness for marshmallows. thank you for doing them credit here! sometimes i think when i tell people i love mallows, they just think of the fluff in the jar or something. nothing like these thick, homemade goodies. can’t wait to make them myself. Reply

  • rose
    August 10, 2021 9:49pm

    Would love to know what that tart shell crust is called – and how it’s made. It’s so crispy and layered yet thin. Have you got a recipe for that type of tart crust by any chance? Is it just rolled puff? Looks a bit different than that. Thank you for an excellent inspiring post. Her flavor combo’s sound incredibly good! Reply

    • rose
      August 10, 2021 9:50pm

      re: photo eleven tart crust : ) Reply

    • August 11, 2021 11:06am
      David Lebovitz

      It’s a pâte sucrée dough. I don’t have a recipe scaled down for home cooks but you can likely find a recipe online. Reply

      • rose
        August 17, 2021 9:40pm

        pâte sucrée; got it! merci boucoup! Reply

  • Albertina
    August 27, 2021 9:27am

    Oh wow, they all look absolutely fantastic. It’s really mouthwatering. Thanks for sharing this with us. Reply

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