The first 2 attempts I made to try the macarons at Laduree were foiled by 45 minute lines that went out the door. Today, I got lucky and happened to walk by when there were only a few people inside. As I waited, I noticed the VERY Upper East Side looking crowd. The clientele was basically made up of UES ladies with bleach blond hair, Prada over-the-knee boots and nose jobs-a-plenty or their nannies with the children they were caring for- coming in for their overpriced after school snack. I felt slightly out of place in my Old Navy yoga pants and sneakers, but that wasn’t enough to stop me from experiencing this very well-reviewed French treat. Ten minutes later I was at the front counter, looking at an array of beautiful choices just waiting to be eaten. Hooray, it was my turn to order.
I looked over the macaron map on the counter and chose 3 pieces: chocolate, salted caramel and pistachio. The other flavors all sounded wonderful but I wanted to limit myself, both calorically and monetarily, to a reasonable number. I got up to the cash register and paid my $8.10 for the 3 cookies. WOAH. I could have a 2 maki sushi roll lunch special, complete with miso soup and shumai for $.40 more than that. Amazingly expensive treats indeed.
The cashier gave me back the change from my ten spot, saying ‘You don’t mind the nickels’ with a smile and a chuckle. a $1 bill and $.90 in nickels. He explained that he was out of other change. Um, THAT was annoying. 30 seconds later as I was leaving, I heard and saw him crack open a new roll of quarters. Heh? Gee thanks. Perhaps the big coins are reserved for the customers wearing designer clothes.
I stepped outside and took a quick photo of my macarons before eating them. I started with the pistachio which was unfreakingbelieveable. The meringue shell practically melted in my mouth and the pistachio cream inside was almost like marzipan. The chocolate one was not too sweet, and though the filling’s consistency reminded me of fudge, the flavor was more like fine cocoa powder. The salted caramel wasn’t particularly salty- actually, I didn’t taste the salt at all, and the caramel was a slightly more firm than the other flavors but again, the shell was total perfection. These are truly exquisite, decadent, and worth every over priced penny. I’m not entirely sure I’ll go back give the fact that they cost more than double what they cost everywhere else, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend at least one visit to you. Enjoy!