early on a sunday morning, my husband and i hopped onto the number 12 metro in the direction of mairie d’issy and emerged a few moments later out of the rue du bac stop. starting at about 2 blocks proximity from the shop, we started to observe a hurried retinue of pastry devotees scuttling by us with bright pink bags in hand. the parisian obsession with pastries never ceases to amaze me. in a city where most stores (including supermarkets) remain staunchly closed on sunday as a matter of national culture, pastry shops of all sorts are almost always open. perhaps parisians dream of pastries at night and must then hurry out to satiate those nocturnal cravings first thing in the morning. not a bad life! after making a few turns and ambling down mostly quiet residential streets, we too found ourselves in front of the source of all those pink bags: philippe conticini’s la pâtisserie des rêves, or the pastry shop of dreams.
the center of the shop features immaculately constructed gâteaux displayed on a 6 foot round silver table with each creation covered in a glass dome. surreal to say the least — almost as if one had stumbled upon an alien mother ship about to abduct the pastries for an intergalactic exploration. after paying the gâteaux due respect, we moved onto the viennoiseries. we giddily picked three to taste: (1) a hazelnut financier, (2) a lemon madeleine, and a (3) chausson aux pommes. there were some others like the brioche feuilletée that looked quite amazing but prudence got the better of us. the financier oozed with hazelnut flavour in every bite. in terms of flavour, the madeleine was really quite pedestrian but the sheer size of the treat is remarkable. i don’t know if you can tell from the pictures above, but the mutant madeleine was larger than my hand (probably had been exposed to gamma radiation on its way back to earth); if i had to gander, it probably measured 5 to 6 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide with a 3 inch hump on its back. the chausson aux pommes was our favorite. it tasted like the flakiest croissant stuffed with the perfect apple compote.
we’ll have to go back on another trip to taste the other lovely desserts in the shop. as a side note, we did not see any macarons at la pâtisserie des rêves. maybe conticini hasn’t dreamed of them yet?
La Pâtisserie des Rêves
93 Rue Du Bac
Sundays: 8am to 2pm
Tuesdays – Saturdays: 10am to 8.30pm