NYC — Winter 2015: Ladurée Soho

Friday, February 20, 2015
When I found out that Ladurée had opened its first full-service restaurant in the States, which just so happens to be in Manhattan's Soho neighbourhood, I promptly made a lunch reservation there for this trip. Going in, it's everything you expect it to be: super-French, super-luxe, and super-gorgeous. The front room is filled with their colourful pastries, famous macarons, gift items, signature mint green boxes, decadent marble floors, and cloudscape ceilings. The restaurant in the back has plush dark carpeting, luxe mahogany walls, pastel- and gold- lined plates and tea cups on every table, with almond-scented candles gently wafting through the air. It's Ladurée personified.

Club Saumon

For lunch, they offer relatively light fare: salads, sandwiches, and, of course, desserts. I'm not a believer in ordering salads (they should be a side dish or a starter, but not an entrée), so I decided on the Club Saumon as my main. Essentially, it's the most decadent egg salad sandwich you'll ever have. Layers of plush smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs, crunchy cucumber, and crisp salad between perfectly toasted bread, served with "Ladurée Pommes Pont-Neuf" (basically thick-cut fries) and mesclun salad. If it looks impossible to eat, don't fret — you can easily split it in half if you look carefully at the layers to turn it into two shorter sandwiches. So, was it tasty? Absolutely. Was it worth $23? Mmm, no, probably not. But, hey, you're paying for the name, presentation, and ambience.

Tarte Cacao Praliné

Of course, you can't go to Ladurée and not order dessert. It's practically blasphemy. I was torn on several options (a glorious problem to have, really), but as I was already really full from all the pastries we ate at Dominique Ansel on top of the huge club sandwich, I decided on a seasonal offering, the Tarte Cacao Praliné: a sweet hazelnut puff pastry with crispy praline, praline chocolate smooth cream, and hazelnut nougatine. It's like a super-fancy, elaborate, French pastry version of a Ferrero Rocher, and the perfect size to indulge in at lunch. It's not their prettiest or most elaborate dessert option, but it is reliably delicious as most praline-chocolate combinations are, and one that I would whole-heartedly order again. 

Macarons: Chocolate Grenada, lemon, praline sesame, strawberry candy marshmallow, chocolate coconut marshmallow, and salted caramel

Finally, we had to get some macarons before leaving. I'm kind of over this whole macaron trend right now, but I will say that the ones at Ladurée are always worth getting. Their shells are crisp but never crumble or fall apart, and the centres are always soft and smooth and perfectly flavourful. Plus, they have some of the truest flavours, and the quality remains the same up to three days so you don't have to eat all of them in one go. I was disappointed that they were sold out of pistachio that day, but I made up for it by getting some of their awesome seasonal flavours. All in all, I don't regret going to Ladurée for lunch because it was a really cute, decadent experience, but I don't know if I'd go there again for a full meal. It is, however, well worth stopping by for afternoon tea. And macarons, of course.

Ladurée Soho
398 W Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(646) 392-7868
4 comments on "NYC — Winter 2015: Ladurée Soho"
  1. Looks like a good place for photo ops but I'm over macarons, too. They're adorable but way too sweet and insubstantial. This one I'll avoid, lol.

    1. They're good if you're in a cookie-ish mood but don't want something as heavy as a cookie. I find the ones at Laduree are excellent compared to the ones I've tried in TO. I mean, if you don't like macarons at all, then there's no point, but as far as they go, these ones are great and not too sweet. :)

  2. You're killing me with these food posts, Denise! I am all for full fabulous meals, but I think a good salad as an entree can also hit the spot sometimes when I'm craving something crisp and fresh. And macarons! I like them because they're delicate and sweet with a nice crunch, but I agree, the fad needs to be done, lol. Too many crap macarons out there because of it!

    1. I like a good salad as a side, but I dunno, I just don't like 'em as entrees! Maybe because I eat so much salad at home, I never think it's worth it paying more than $10 for a salad at a resto. :P

      And yes, soooo many bad macaron imitations. I think I can justify the price for Laduree because they're genuine French macarons; these are what most other macarons are based off of. But I have eaten far too many over-sweet, over-crunchy, and even stale macarons. If macarons are the new cupcakes, then what will be the new macarons? Cronuts, perhaps?


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