March 13, 2012

Macarons on Madison Ave

The urge crept up on me yesterday. The weather was beautiful so we spent all morning at our neighborhood playground. After Savvy's nap, she quickly began asking for the swings again ("weeeng") but I just didn't want to go back. We have fun on the playground but it can be dismally boring for me at times. I can only handle one trip per day before I zone out.

But with perfect weather, I wanted to be outside as much as she did. I decided to take Savvy for a walk without her stroller, our adventure mode, which quickly turned into a ride on the M86 crosstown bus. I didn't have a destination in mind but when the Madison Avenue stop was announced, my ears perked up. We headed to Juice Bar on Madison and 79th for fresh squeezed pear and banana juice, my favorite combination, then kept walking a couple more blocks, window shopping, until Savannah came to a shop that she decided to enter. When she grabbed the door handle, my first reaction was to stop her, but then I read the sign. She chose the door to La Maison du Chocolat. How could I say no?! It was snack time after all.

The staff was incredibly welcoming despite the rigid feel of the shop and suggested I buy a raspberry macaron to match Savvy's pink purse, which she carried the whole afternoon over her shoulder.  After I paid for her treat, she unzipped her purse so I could place the baggie in it. The staff got such a kick out of her with her bag! One of ladies offered Savvy a piece of chocolate, and when she tried to hand it to her, Savvy pointed to her purse. So naturally, I opened her bag and put the chocolate in. Savvy started shaking her head no. "You don't want the chocolate?" "No." I have no idea why carrying the chocolate made her so uneasy, but she removed it from her bag and handed it back to the shop lady. I guess I don't need to teach her not to accept candy from strangers!

Perusing the macaron selection at La Maison du Chocolat

Examining her sweet raspberry pillow

Look at that stance. Could she be more nonchalant?

How freaking cute is she sitting at the bus stop?! (Madison & 79th, heading home)

This accidental macaron encounter reminded me that my friend Liz, the blogger at Travelogged, suggested I bring Savannah to Laduree for macarons as a Parisian staycation. So that's what we did today! Sucre overload for Savvy!

Savvy matches the window decor at Laduree!
While La Maison du Chocolat had a stuffy stiff-upper-lip, trop cher, "our chocolat is art, not food" vibe to it, Laduree was incredibly inviting, whimsical, and appealed to all the senses. In addition to their macaron rainbow, they sell parfum, candles, miscellaneous paper goods and tea. I felt comfortable allowing Savvy to walk around and explore the shop because it's something of a tourist destination. There were people there with luggage; everyone took pictures, so I didn't feel judged for snapping iPhone photos or taking our sweet (pun intended) time before making our selection.

Macaron rainbow
Laduree macaron flavors, March 2012. I chose Cherry Blossom for me and Orange Blossom for Savannah. 
Their gift boxes are beautiful keepsakes 
$38 notebook. This is Madison Ave.
Savvy's Paris t-shirt from Target (tar-jay)
We spent a lot of time sniffing parfum. Love the atomizer!

We left the shop and walked a block to Central Park, hung out in the playground opposite the Frick, then set out on foot for an idyllic location to enjoy our snackarons. (I'm tired and delirious, can you tell?)

Surrounded by crocuses and sitting on bedrock, we enjoyed our treats. I LOVED the Cherry Blossom flavor. The outer hyper-flavored chewy pillows had a pleasantly floral bite that was muted and rounded out by the creamy, white coconut filling. I didn't enjoy the bit of Orange Blossom Savvy shared with me -- too sugary, too floral -- but she ate the whole thing so it was a win for her. Orange (ahhn-yaa) is her latest fruit addiction, so I'm glad I chose it for her.

We left the house at 10am and were home by noon -- it's amazing how short our outings are compared to how they feel. Exhausted, Savvy took a nap and before joining her, I turned on the tv just in time to see Barefoot Contessa create a simple cheese plate -- Brie drizzled with honey, baked at 350 degrees until it began to ooze, served with crackers.  The perfect prelude to dinner and end of our French staycation.

Barefoot Contessa Baked Brie

Oozy brie. Oui, oui.


OverMom said...

Her with the purse is adorable!

FrenchTwistDC said...

Orange blossom is one of my favourite flavour EVER! Great chose. Though I will say, the vanilla macaron from la Maison du chocolat is probably the best vamilla macaron I ever had! Savvy looks so adorable in front of LaDuree. Do you know they make little baby bibs and onesies? I think it's a sign it's ok for me to have kids now ;-)

FrenchTwistDC said...

choice not chose ;-)

Baby Shopaholic said...

So cute! Little Diva! Saw you on Baby Makin Machine

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