In mid-September, Monique and I were invited to a preview event to taste winter chocolate creations at Un Dimanche à Paris, a restaurant located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. When we arrived there for the tasting, we discovered that it is much more than a restaurant.
Located on a narrow 18th-century cobblestone walkway called Cour de Commerce Saint-André, the establishment houses a number of enterprises that are a-buzz with activity: a restaurant, a pastry shop, a salon de thé, and a pastry school. And to our great joy, we learned that the common theme around which all of these activities focus is chocolate—in all of its forms.
Upon entering the pastry shop, we were ushered upstairs to a large kitchen where the new winter creations were on display…and all were available for sampling!
Anna Maury of the business communications office greeted us and handed each of us a cup of thick, delicious hot chocolate. We were off to a good start!
I took one of the “Sapins de Noël” (Christmas trees) from the display and bit into it. Resting on a shortbread cookie called sablé Breton, this small confection contained chocolate mousse (50% cocoa), vanilla cream, and milky gianduja encased in a thin layer of chocolate and wrapped in a soft green cocoa-butter velours. Very rich and quite filling! The pastry will be on sale at the boutique from December 8 through December 31.
Monique tried the “Bûche – Ecorce de Chocolat,” a dessert shaped like a Yule log enrobed in an irregular chocolate pastry shell fashioned to look like the bark of a birch tree. The log contained chocolate mousse (66% cocoa) and mandarin-flavored cream glazed with dark chocolate. The whole rested on a base of crunchy chocolate cookie enhanced with fleur de sel (sea salt). The pastry will be on sale at the boutique from December 20 through December 31.
I had the pleasure of meeting Pierre Cluizel, director, and Nicolas Bacheyre, pastry chef and chocolate maker.
Pierre Cluizel, son of renowned chocolate maker Michel Cluizel, worked for twenty-five years in the family’s business. He launched Un Dimanche à Paris as a concept store in 2011. In the dining room, he uses chocolate as a spice, and each dish contains some form of this ingredient.
Before coming to Un Dimanche à Paris, 30-year-old Nicolas Bacheyre worked for Fouquet’s (a famed restaurant on the Champs-Elysées), for Le Quinzième (a restaurant owned and created by Cyril Lignac), and for Fauchon (an esteemed caterer) as sous-chef.
The core philosophy of Un Dimanche à Paris is the concept of gourmandise raisonnée, exemplified by the creation of light-textured pastries that contain less sugar and are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. After this tasting, we can affirm that their pastries meet these noble goals.
Un Dimanche à Paris
4-6-8, cour du Commerce Saint-André
Tel.: 01.56.81.18.08 (boutique)