Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert Macarons

Coffee Macaron – Payard Patisserie (Francois Chocolate Bar)
FC Chocolate Bar

"[She] becomes All About Eve meets Cruella de Vil when she's having a party.  It becomes like psycho Nazi warfare." -Bethenny Frankel

The second weekend in June means one thing and one thing only to Vodka and her long-suffering friends: Vodka’s annual Tony Awards Rager.
This Pretty Much Encapsulates Ginger's Behavior at the Party
Vodka, having been obsessed with Broadway shows since seeing Cats at age five, goes full-tilt crazy on Tony night, naming each of her sixteen dishes after the nominated shows and drowning her guests in Bernadettinis and Rogeritas (and if you can’t figure out who the drinks are named for, you have not been paying attention*).
We Also Finally Tried Vodka's Namesake. It Tasted Like Toothpaste
Needless to say, the Tony Awards Rager is not for the weak of heart.

Now that this Best Thing I Ever Ate quest has taken over our lives, however, Vodka decides to try to incorporate an untasted Best Thing I Ever Ate dish into her menu.
Upscale Sandwich Cookies
For this reason, we encounter a great deal of opinions concerning the star-rating of Wolfgang Puck’s favorite NUTTY dish, the coffee macaron from Payard Patisserie, from the various party guests.  Rest assured, these opinions are not factored into our final rating as, in the words of Vodka’s infamous high school band director, “This is not a democracy, it’s a benevolent dictatorship."
And Only Those Who Buy the Goods Get to Have Opinions
The coffee macarons, which Vodka actually purchased from the Payard offshoot, the Francois Chocolate Bar in the Plaza Hotel, are given the label “Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert” (which is different from the Broadway show by one letter.  Good luck).
I'd Like to Buy a Vowel
When Vodka bought the macarons, she was told that they should be refrigerated until use.  Fine.  What she was not told is that they should be left at room temperature right before service, or biting into them will be reminiscent of charging through a gummy version of a Klondike bar.  Note to all: warm up your macarons before consumption.
Unless You Have a Thing for Gummy Ice Cream
Once these delicacies are back at normal temperature, they’re quite good: the “crust” is flaky and soft, and the coffee-infused insides are sweet and comforting.  Tan in color, they are less visually interesting than their more colorful macaron siblings, but this blandness does not distort their taste.  Despite being featured on the NUTTY episode, they taste mostly of coffee.  If anything, the coffee flavoring overwhelms any other taste, and it may even be a bit heavy-handed.

Perhaps it is ironic that such a delicate pastry finds itself saddled with the moniker of a Broadway show about drag queens, but on Tony night, the showtunes rule both the palate and the party.
Macarons In Need of a Feather Boa
*Bernadette Peters and Roger Bart.  Really, if you had to check for the answer, you should be ashamed.

Payard Patisserie (Francois Chocolate Bar)’s Coffee Macaron: 4 stars

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