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 Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, France

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 Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, France

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.

The Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, France

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, Paris, FranceThe Smiths Bakery, Paris, France

The Smiths Bakery
12 rue de Buci
75006 Paris
France
open 7 days a week
9am-1am during the week & 9am-2am on weekends

13 Responses to “New Sweet Shop in Paris & a Rediscovered Palmier”

  1. Emma says:

    Aww, living legends are reborn!

    Speaking of which, it seems like its very ‘in’ to be into The Smiths in recent years. They’ve become such a big deal in retrospect that they… inspire baked goods. Sounds like the sweet life to me:)

    What are Chouquet’s Fingers? I can’t even begin to guess.

  2. Samantha Angela says:

    What exactly is Berthillion ice cream?

  3. wandering educators says:

    Need.To.Go.

  4. valentina says:

    I love that street. I only once failed to walk its pavements. What is the secret of a perfect palmier? roll it out very thinly? Another address to my lifelong list. Incidentaly I’m in the process of booking a weekend in Paris for early Sept.Hope you are doing terribly well. Today I finished the two stacks of El Ceibo that I bought when in Zurich – the one with salt and the other one with coffee. sorr for the random commment.

  5. Kerrin says:

    Emma, funny about the Smiths, didn’t know that. Nor them for that matter, in fact… Good question on the Chouquet’s Fingers – I should have mentioned that above. Chouquettes are a classic French pastry; they look like little weightless balls of puff pastry, hollow with big sugar crystals. (http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2003/10/sugar_puffs.php) So these are elongated versions of those, like chouquette fingers.

    Samantha, another excellent question ! Berthillon is a brand of ice cream in Paris, what many would say is the city’s very best. http://www.berthillon.fr/

    wandering educators, agreed !

    valentina, you too ! 🙂 The secret of a perfect palmier – the (huge) quantities of butter and sugar, that’s for sure. And yes, keeping it super flat and crisp I would say. I don’t like palmiers that actually puff up. How exciting that you’re heading to Paris this fall. You’ll have to have a palmier for me ! Uh oh, no more El Ceibo chocolate ? Come back ! Not a random comment at all – love all sweet discussions for sure. And I’m feeling great – muito obrigada, querida !

  6. Lani says:

    My favorite street too! Thank you thank you for taking me there! I miss just wandering around that area and tasting and experiencing the sights and sounds of Paris! A Palmier is my most favorite dessert!!! The most perfect Palmier….the melting butter, the sweet sugar and just the right texture make it all so perfect. Thank you for sharing!!!!! The photos are just amazing…

  7. Yeye says:

    Mmmmm … I know this exact same Palmier and just love it! But your pictures are so beautiful that I absolutely need a Palmier now! Your pictures are making me crazy 🙂 Thanks Kerrin for keeping on sharing your lovely food & travel stories with us.

  8. Anne says:

    I’ll have to add rue de buci to my ‘must-do-in-paris’ list. I always try to go to the Ile Saint Louis – and yes, it is for the Berthillon ice cream!

  9. Mardi (eat live. travel. writ) says:

    I was JUST at The Smiths yesterday on the Context Paris chocoolate walk 🙂 (just finished writing it up!). Though we just had icecream, it’s on my list to go back to!

  10. Scribetrotter says:

    I am such a palmier fanatic! I especially like the overcooked bits – crunch, dark, caramelized. In Geneva I get a dirty look when I ask for one…

    “Ici ça s’appelle un coeur de France, madame!” Hmph.

  11. The Smiths Bakery says:

    Many-many thanks…

    Kind regards, The Smiths Bakery

    http://www.facebook.com/TheSmithsBakery

  12. Tonia says:

    Wow! These truly are the best palmiers I’ve ever tasted! I know this may seem like a silly question but do you think they would ship these internationally? So many products these days can be now but I’m trying to find the best way to get in touch with them – any ideas? I’ve tried on their facebook page to no avail 🙁

    By the way Kerrin – LOVE your work, what an amazing job you have!

    Thanks,
    Tonia

  13. Bolliskitchen says:

    früher gab’s noch einen sehr guten volaillier, die charcuterie alsacienne, wenn ich mir die rue de buci, die genau bei mir un die Ecke leigt, sehe, kann ich nur sagen: la grande m……….diese bakery ist nicht mein Ding, abe besser als der Souvenirshop der dort nach der Schliessung der bonbonnière war!

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