My journey to the French capital was a short one this time. But there was no way I was going to leave the city without finding yet another tasty discovery. My trip ended with style at L'Atelier de L'Eclair. This simple yet luxurious pastry shop in the heart of the 2nd district is surely a place I am happy not to have missed. (16 Rue Bachaumont, 75002 Paris, France)
I reviewed La Patisserie des Reves during my last trip and I insisted to find something similar if not better. By pure chance, I stumbled on L'Eclair de Genie while surfing the net. A happy chance it was... I reached an interesting space that’s simple and clear. Wood flooring, three LCD screens, two black boards displaying the menu and a display fridge filled with colorful creations. I couldn't but order a choice of salty and sweet creations. Yes, you heard right, salty eclairs. In here you can find beautiful giant eclairs for parties and special occasions. I missed the eclair buche this year but there will surely be others during my next trips to the capital.
I ordered one salmon eclair and another tuna one, followed by dark chocolate, salted caramel eclairs and Mont Blanc. The savory eclairs are bigger in size then the sweets ones. Although using the same dough, the sweet eclairs are covered with a crunchy sweet layer they call the croustillant; Yummy. That's the slight difference between a salted eclair and a normal sandwich. As you bite into the eclair a million flavors burst into your mouth, while each and every ingredient that makes up this eclair is felt. A subtle taste of sweetness is enjoyed in the background leaving an aftertaste that will make you smile. The best part was licking off the sugar bits off my lips.
The tuna eclair is delicious; a tuna purée spread in the lower pastry dough and covered with thin sliced tomatoes, three mozzarella balls and rocket leaves. Bravo!
The salmon one is even more unique. It is generously filled with salmon, cream cheese and covered with thin slices of cucumbers laid on a pain de mie. A perfect taste. Subtle taste of sweetness, non-oily salmon combined with the crunchy feeling of the cucumbers. Yum...
My plane was leaving in few hours and I really had to move... but I didn't want this experience to end so quickly. I took a deep breath as I enjoyed an espresso and plunged into this world of sweets. I started with the Mont Blanc covered with chestnut cream and filled with white whipped cream. What an ingenious creation! Enjoy the slight crunchiness of the fresh dough, which activates all your senses and prepares you to appreciate what's coming next. The chestnut cream is so unique while the inner filling is light as it is not too creamy: a well-balanced combination. I loved it although I would personally put the chestnut cream inside and the whipped cream outside; given the overall texture a boost.
Mmm... What an extraordinary creation! The salted caramel is exquisite! So simple and unsophisticated, the cold rich caramel filling is exactly what you would expect. No added sugar is used to mask the real flavors. Really indescribable! Lovely.
I left the best for last... I never imagined that I could taste something so divine in this world of ours. Perfect dough, croustillant layer, super dark chocolate, tasty filling, intense cocoa flavors... all enjoyed in every bite. I devoured this one in seconds. I couldn't resist.
I enjoyed L'Eclair de Genie for its innovative creations but loved the finesse found and experienced at L'Atelier de L'Eclair bites. The next time I plan on inviting some of my friends to enjoy a new culinary discovery, I'll definitely come back here.