As beloved as it is, the Upper West Side does not have the cobblestoned alleys, lavish bridges, and charming boulangeries of Paris. However, as of this weekend, it does boast its very own Macaron Parlour.
Located between 87th and 88th streets on Amsterdam Avenue, the new Parlour is an extension of its pioneer in the Lower East Side, where all of its macarons and pastries are baked. With a bare and clean design, the store boasts a friendly staff eager to discuss with customers the Parlour's many flavors, which range from familiar classics to surprising reinventions, such as a Cheetos-flavored macaron. The macarons tasted had a perfect texture, with crunchy shells, chewy centers, and melting fillings, even though they are not produced freshly at the patisserie.
The Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese offers a great reward for courageous customers. The bacon perfectly complements the maple cream cheese filling, giving the macaron extra edge and strength. Though the savory bacon flavor is still present, the overall intensity of the smokiness is unexpected and may overwhelm some. Another salted reinvention is the Caramel Fleur de Sel, whose crunchy exterior complements the melting buttercream filling with a rich and sharp salted caramel flavor. The equally untraditional S'mores macaron combines the soft texture of its marshmallow filling with its slightly chewy body. The bitterness of the dark chocolate and the sweetness of the sugary ingredients produce a delicious treat that is not too sweet.
On the other end of the spectrum, the simple Red Velvet is a rich and mouthwatering macaron that feels like an old classic. The same can be said of the Carrot Cake flavor, with its slightly spiced dough that brings another not-too-sweet but equally delicious option to the menu. The classic Pistachio was well-executed yet uninventive. Although it boasts a delicious white chocolate coating, the Party Time promised a dulce de leche filling that could be better described as plain fudge.
Though somewhat lacking in ambiance, Macaron Parlour offers seating for patrons as well as fresh espressos and other rich coffees from its La Marzocco espresso machine. Customers can indulge in alternative desserts and savory pastries, which are reasonably priced and quite tasty. The chipotle, scallion, and cheddar scone offers a deliciously spicy, crumbly, and reasonably large treat for only $3.50. Customers can even bring their pets for a specially tailored snack.
The macarons go for $2.50 apiece, with boxes of six, 12, and 24 for slight discounts. The Macaron Parlour is well worth the trip, whether for a hard-earned treat or for a thoughtful gift “made with love in NYC,” as the box promises. The store's grand opening is Feb. 19.
Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly said that Macaron Parlour was located on Amsterdam Avenue. It is located at 560 Columbus Avenue. Spectator regrets the error.