Behind its elegant gray façade, the astutely named Pâtisserie des Rêves is the most buzzed-about pastry shop in town this fall. Philippe Conticini, the former Michelin-starred chef at the restaurant Petrossian, is a man who knows how to whet his customers’ appetites and the decor here is every bit as delicious as the day’s bake. Individual cakes are presented under giant glass bells suspended from an ingenious pulley system designed to ride up and down like horses on a carrousel. Conticini has plundered his childhood memories for pastry-baking inspiration, too, putting his own personal spin on twelve classic French pâtisseries including the Saint-Honoré, the Millefeuille du Dimanche and the Paris Brest (a traditional dessert said to have been created in honor of a famous bicycle race). Conticini also offers do-it-yourself pastry kits — my favorite includes two cute little babas ready to be soused with their own miniature bottle of rum. Conticini claims to be on a mission to “reach people’s souls through their taste buds”. Many a gourmet soul might consider being sold for a bite of Conticini’s melt-in-the-mouth Tarte Tatin, served with a dollop of lime-flavored chantilly mascarpone. If, as the name indicates, this is a dream, please don’t wake me.
93 rue du Bac, 7th, 01.42.84.00.82
Originally published in the November 2009 issue of France Today.
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