26 Jan THE EATORIALIST: CANDLE CAKE CONUNDRUM
Even if the lemon tart was a bit too sweet and slightly too chilled, as a three way share it was Baby-Bear a-okay. The gateau Basque impressed, the croissants satisfied and the macarons sated. All was fine as far as the French bakes are concerned at FPB (aka Francois Payard Bakery).
As far as his shop goes, too bad Mr. Payard just can’t keep it simple….
Somewhere in the transition from the overly wrought Rococo splendor of the Upper East Side’s now deceased Payard Patisserie and the trying-too-hard-to-be-hip industrial designed space on the border between Greenwich Village and Soho Mr. Payard’s branding went into overkill.
Yes, with Valentine’s day around the corner, heart shaped boxes of macarons make sense, even if they are a bit too thematic. And the chocolate squirt bottles – think high end dermatologist sunscreen packaging – are odd, but it’s not too much of a squeeze from his core bakes business, sort of. Candles? Well, that’s a different story.
I am not sure where Mr. Payard found these cloyingly Glad-like bougies but there they were front and center 0n the products display wall, a setting that was more gift fair than patisserie. “Gourmet Candles” with scents (or, should that be flavors?!) like “Cranberry Compote”, “Chestnut Souffle”, and “Lemon Biscotti” were all olfactory offenses that reeked of cheapness.
Mr. Payard walks the thin line between confection and affectation. Candles inspired by the teashop and perfumery are examples of when scents make sense. Food flavored candles in the bakery are an example when they do not.
FPB (aka Francois Payard Bakery) 116 West Houston Street, between Thompson & Sullivan Streets, NYC. Tel. 212.995.0888