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"Chic" and "couture" aren't words typically associated with sweets, but one look at Simone Faure's edible works of art reveals that they are, indeed, sleek and stylish enough for the runway. Formerly the executive pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, with La Patisserie Chouquette Faure has gone solo in style, opening a patisserie whose creations emphasize expertise in technique and design in conjunction with bold flavor combinations (e.g., green tea with mango). In the "Bonaparte," Faure's rendition of a classic French napoleon, layers of housemade puff pastry stack beautifully with Tahitian vanilla-bean cream and mild rose-petal jam. No patisserie would be complete, of course, without the iconic macaron. But not all macaron options are bite-size. A larger, dessert version, called the "Amour," sandwiches delicate shells with raspberry mousseline and passionfruit mousse. Don't let the grandeur intimidate — as pretty as the presentations are, it's food, after all. So eat up, or, as they say, bon appétit!

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