New Sweet Shop in Paris & a Rediscovered Palmier
One of my favorite streets in Paris is rue de Buci in the 6th arrondissement. I’ve been making a detour there since 1999, when as a student, I would always get a grilled, flattened panini from my panini guy at his little stand, as well as magazines and fun paper accessories at Buci News. (Both stops are still obligatory whenever I’m in Paris – and the panini is still from the same guy.) There was another “must” on that street about which I waxed poetic on the blog back in 2008: a certain palmier, or elephant ear, at Bonbonnière de Buci. I still remember the day a few years ago when I stood, frozen, in front of an empty storefront in disbelief that this little gem of a pâtisserie had closed.
But my palmier is back ! Reborn, in the very same spot, thanks to The Smiths Bakery, a new sweet shop that just opened mid-May.
The Berthillon ice cream cart out front is certainly what caught my attention, and into the sleek, white and gray shop I went. Only to discover a tray of the most buttery, crisp, oversize palmiers I had seen since those at la Bonbonnière. And that was next to a plate of cookies ! You all know my love for cookies. I put my bags down and took out my camera, knowing I would be there for a while.
The shelves of this trendy little address are filled with sweet treats with a distinct influence – cookies, brownies and raspberry cheesecake being a few of the most popular items so far. (Aside from the house signature being that buttery palmier, a sweet specialty of pastry chefs Thierry Leveiller and Jeremy Feuvrier.) So why American & British style desserts in Paris ? “For a new experience,” the manager told me. The owners had previously focused on very French establishments, and decided to team up with an architect who wanted to work on a “London/New York style project,” plus they happened to be huge fans of the British band The Smiths, hence the name.
Chouquet’s Fingers, wrapped in New York Times paper cones, sitting upright like fries in a posh British pub were a favorite of mine for presentation. But no worries if you’re still craving real French pastry – they have tempting éclairs and other puff pastry delights, sweet and savory tarts, and of course the Berthillon ice cream out front, always a winner.
How about a blast from the past… If any of you remember that original palmier photo of mine in 2008, here is the same sweet snack overlooking the Seine, 4 years later. And just as crisp, buttery and delicious.
The Smiths Bakery
12 rue de Buci
open 7 days a week
9am-1am during the week & 9am-2am on weekends