Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Swoon for Macaroons!

I have to apologize for my lack of posts lately. I took a little hiatus in Vegas for my birthday, but while I was there I had some delicious food! I wish I could recount the whole weekend for you, but we don't have all night. Instead I'll just tell you about one of my favorites.

I love the Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." And several weeks ago when I saw an episode where Wolfgang Puck described coffee macarons from Payard Patisserie & Bistro in Caesar's Palace, I immediately called Nicole and told her we had to go there to try them. You can watch the segment yourself to see why I was so tempted.

We had brunch at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill on Sunday (my birthday!) which is also in Caesar's, so we found Payard afterward. Clearly the macarons are popular because there were only two packages left behind the counter. So Nicole and I waited in a very slow-moving line behind some non-English speaking tourists, eyeing those two packages. And the tourists bought them. Just our luck. I asked if there were more and was told they wouldn't be ready until 3:00 or 4:00. Unfortunately, Nicole was leaving that afternoon so she was going to miss out. But I went back the next day and struck gold.

Payard has several varieties of macarons, only one or two of which they seem to offer on any given day. The day Nicole and I went they only had regular French macarons, but I was specifically hoping for the coffee variety Wolfgang had talked about. And what did I find when I went back on Monday? Coffee macarons! It's like it was meant to be.

There were a few people in line ahead of me again, so I kept my fingers crossed and hoped for the best. Luckily, no one else noticed them. The good news is that they were just as amazing as Wolfgang made them out to be. The bad news is that I only ate one and saved the rest for later, and ended up squashing them in my purse. So I now have two flattened macarons left over that are just as delicious, but not nearly as pretty.

In case you're wondering, these are nothing like traditional macaroons (which is why they're French macarons, with just one "o"). Don't get me wrong, I love coconut macaroons. But where those are dense and sticky (and best when dipped in chocolate!), French macarons are light and airy with a creamy filling.

When I first saw Wolfgang's segment, I wondered why he was talking about coffee macarons on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Nutty" because there didn't seem to be anything nutty about them. But then I learned that French macarons are made with almond flour, hence the nuttiness. I have no idea where I'm going to find almond flour, but I need to do so stat so I can try my hand at these delicious little pastries!

And speaking of Wolfgang, on Friday afternoon we ate at one of his (many!) restaurants, Postrio, at the Venetian. Lunch was delicious, but just as notable was dessert. We shared a Grand Marnier Creme Brulee, which had a layer of pastry crust, a layer of jam, and layer of creme brulee with caramelized Grand Marnier. OMG. I need to figure out how to make this.

1 comment:

  1. Vegas seems right behind New York in terms of FOOD cities. I wouldn't know where to start! Coffee macarons seem like a better place than any, though. And brunch at Bobby Flay's restaurant.. I need to put that on my list! And Wolfgang Puck has a bunch of places in LA, right? I think I'm gonna need to check those out next time I'm there. All this good eating can only prepare you for one thing.. marathon shopping. Am I right? I think so ;p

    I'm glad you had so much fun!