Best eclair? Eclairs are a subject that are dear to me and that is just what I heard about Patisserie Stohrer, a famous bakery located on rue Montogreuil in the second. So off we went, exiting at Metro Etienne Marcel, heading up Rue Etienne Marcel to Rue Montogreuil and turning right up this busy pedestrian only street that connects Les Halles/Pompadou to Blvd. Reamur and points north. (As an alternative you can take Metro Sentier or use it to return after the walk).
The rue Montogreuil is a treasure. One of the pedestrian only streets that retains the character of old Paris. It is replete with bakeries, poisonneries, cheese shops and restaurants, a walking tableau of food and drink. You walk the street and you feel a sense of the past that is timeless, ongoing and healthy.
While some quality ‘chain’ stores have crept in (Planet Sushi, Eric Kayser) the street retains a fierce sense of independence and quality.
Located at no. 51, Patisserie Stohrer has been serving pastries since 1730. That’s right, for almost 300 years. The room itself is a show stopper, with a hand painted ceiling, marble fixtures and crystal chandeliers.
But I wasn’t here to visit a museum. It was pastry that I was after.
The patisserie did it’s best to tempt me away from the task at hand with mountains of financiers and palmiers to no avail. I was on a mission to find those eclairs.
Eclairs are defined as a pastry made with a ‘choux’ dough filled with cream and topped with icing. They have long been a hidden secret of my otherwise bitter/sour/spicy taste preferences.
Finally I saw them. Lots of them. At first I was taken aback. They were kind of skinny compared to the eclairs I knew. To make matters worse, there appeared to be different kinds. I needed help. So, at the recommendation of the server, I ordered her favorite, the coffee eclair, abandoning the traditional cream.
A few moments later I went outside and bit in.
It was good. In fact it was very good and very different. It was the filling that stood out. For one thing, you could taste it. Without mounds of dough or whipped cream to hide behind, the slightly bitter coffee filling complimented by the dark chocolate frosting dominated the flavor profile. It was balanced and that is a word that does not usually equate with eclair. And thank god it was not overwhelmingly sweet.
Best eclair? I don’t know. It was so far removed from what I think of when the concept of an eclair comes to mind. I need to go back again and figure this out with a repeat tasting. Maybe a different filling too.
Care to nominate your best eclair in Paris? Please post a comment. I’ll be sure to enjoy one next visit.
51 rue Montogreuil 75002
01 42 33 38 20
30 minutes from the Yellow Flat. Take metro 8 direction Creteil and transfer at Opera station to line 11 direction Mairie de Lilas and exit at Sentiers (the reverse of the way we went that day). 5 minutes walk from the Metro.