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Patisserie Claude in the West Village


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#1 zeitoun

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 03:03 PM

while you're in the neighborhood go to patiserrie claude (mapquest it) and have the tarte tatain...or the napolian and grab some palmiers too...and whatever else you can fit into your bag/mouth etc. he's a crazy man, but it's well worth it. just dont talk on your cell, or too loudly, or in english, actually, just slide him the money and run with your score...
may god be with you :biggrin:

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I added this quote from a previous thread, which makes reference to Patisserie Claude in New York City.
Not sure if this french pastry shop was ever discussed on this forum, but I think it would be of particular interest to some of you in the city who are craving for good and cheap french pastries.
Patisserie Claude is located in the West Village, and has been there as far as I can remember, Claude himself is (as Luckylies pointed out) one illustrious grumpy Frenchman who sells affordable pastries ($2.50 a piece!), croissants, quiches and all sorts of “petits biscuits”.
I personally think that finding good french pastries in New York City is quite a challenge. I have to say that despite the owner’s bad temperament, his grouchiness and his notorious fits of rage (I have witnessed one man run for his life after he confronted Claude about a cake he had previously purchased), I still go to Claude for his delicious eclairs, operas, pear mousses and praline cakes. Claude (who is a very nice man once you break his shell) has a sense of refinement for pastry that many “Patissiers” in New York do not have. In this list, I would include Ceci-Cela, La Bergamote, Petrossian or even Payard.
Anyone familiar with the place? Any opinions?
"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler

#2 R Washburn

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 03:18 PM

I like it, although it is very simple and traditional. Claude himself can be very friendly, especially if he recognizes you as a regular customer.

Edited by R Washburn, 06 January 2005 - 03:19 PM.


#3 Bond Girl

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 06:03 PM

I've been going to Claude's for the past 15 years, practically watched his daughter became a young lady. The pastries does not look picture perfect and this is definitely not the highly stylized stuff of Francoise Payard, but they sure do taste good...and I always make a stop there wne I am in the area.
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#4 Luckylies

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 08:47 PM

ha! funny claude story. my mom went into claude the day before thanksgiving a few years ago...for something nice, hmmm what to get. she walked in about 30 seconds before a nicely dressed young man. She smiled at claude and asked if he had any tarte tatain left (the pastry case was practically empty) he says "for you, but of course" sells her two. the man behind her asks to pick up his order...claude tells him "I'm sorry sir, we have no record of you order of two tarte tatain" :shock: mom said she felt bad..but I didn't...soo gooood.

I love claude. I've never seen him be rude or unfair to anyone I thought didnt deserve it. heh.

I also used to love the petit fours at patesserie lancianni (now special order?) it may be in the meat market though..

also the quiche and the croissants, roast chicken, and madelines and some other stuff at marquet pateserrie (on 12 st) are very good. a bit expensive, but solid.

I need rainbow cookies (the layer kind) other than rocco's on bleeker any suggestions?
does this come in pork?

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#5 zeitoun

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:30 AM

The pastries does not look picture perfect and this is definitely not the highly stylized stuff of Francoise Payard, but they sure do taste good...

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I would even say that Claude, although not a restaurant, would be on my number one list of “tried and true” places, I am of course referring to the thread started a few days ago by Pan. It is true, Payard might have the looks but I find that in recent years it has gone down significantly in terms of quality . There is an inherent problem with french pastries in general in this city in that they simply tend to be too sweet and “rich”. Payard has in my opinion taken a deep plunge in that direction. I think Claude’s pastries are more akin to the pastries one will find in France as they tend to be lighter, less sweet and heavier on aromas. Yes, an éclair might be simple and traditional in concept but there is a world of difference between a good éclair and a bad éclair.
"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler

#6 Bond Girl

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:48 AM

This is going back 10 years ago...but Claude used to go on about the "super size" trend in america ("everything is big and too sweet...so the people get big..."). You'd think he's on a personal crusade or something, but may be that is why his pastries and pear mousse are a world apart.
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#7 zeitoun

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:54 AM

This is going back 10 years ago...but Claude used to go on about the "super size" trend in america ("everything is big and too sweet...so the people get big...").  You'd think he's on a personal crusade or something, but may be that is why his pastries and pear mousse are a world apart.

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I think he is right. I would be curious to know how you would compare Claude's pastries with Payard's in terms of flavor and sweetness. Do you know of any other pastry shop that does a decent job in your opinion?
"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler

#8 Bond Girl

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 10:40 AM

I am the wrong person to ask about Payard. I don't like them, think he is over rated. The chocolate stuff is too rich and sickeningly sweet. overall, I think the pastries there lack depth and gets really boring after a while.

I buy a lot from Balthazars but I don't love it. The old Bouley's bakery was fantastic but that's no longer there. I heard Lady M supposedly do a decent job but I've never been there.
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#9 zeitoun

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 11:05 AM

I heard Lady M supposedly do a decent job but I've never been there.

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Lady M's pastries are indeed more than decent, they are made by this European trained Japanese lady and are available at takashimaya on 5th Ave.
"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler

#10 jgould

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 11:21 AM

the idea of a quaint village patisserie is charming; however, the croissants were simply average - too doughy & undercooked.
its very difficult to find a "superior" croissant in this city from fauchon - to - ceci-cela - to - balthazar - to - payard - to - silver moon - to - pain quotidien - to - ????

also, would love to know where one can find the layered rainbow cookies :biggrin: ???

Edited by jgould, 07 January 2005 - 02:46 PM.


#11 zeitoun

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 11:53 AM

the idea of a quaint village patisserie is charming; however, the croissants were simply average - too doughy & undercooked, its very difficult to find a "superior" croissant in this city from fauchon - to - ceci-cela - to - balthazar - to - payard - to - silver moon
- to - ????

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Claude is far from being a quaint village patisserie, i'd say that everything there except the pastry is truly "mauvais gout"!
I would agree with you on the croissants though, Claude's croissants are pretty inconsistent in quality. I've had decent ones but also terrible ones.
As for the other places you mentioned, I would also second you on that. Good croissants are simply impossible to find in NY. Sad but true. The same applies to pains au chocolat, chaussons aux pommes or even brioche!!
"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler

#12 ckk9

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 12:37 PM

ha! funny claude story. my mom went into claude the day before thanksgiving a few years ago...for something nice, hmmm what to get. she walked in about 30 seconds before a nicely dressed young man. She smiled at claude and asked if he had any tarte tatain left (the pastry case was practically empty) he says "for you, but of course" sells her two. the man behind her asks to pick up his order...claude tells him "I'm sorry sir, we have no record of you order of two tarte tatain"  :shock:  mom said she felt bad..but I didn't...soo gooood.


Funny story, but hardly one to redeem the man! He's just obnoxious!

I like Claude's pastry, but it is highly variable in terms of its quality.

#13 Bux

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 12:53 PM

Croissants seemed to have peaked quite some time ago in NYC. My wife says she can't remember the last time I raved about any croissants I've in NY and I can hardly remember the last time I was willing to give one of my local places another try. There was a time I raved about Ceci-Cela's croissants and even looked forward to them again while traveling in France. When they changed, I found Pain Quotidien satsifactory for a while, but finally they too proved inconsistent at best and I forgo the disappointment, by avoiding croissants as if they never existed in NY. The pity is that great croissants arrived after great bagels disappeared. I'm waiting patiently for croissants' replacement.
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#14 Bond Girl

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 03:30 PM

While waiting for my dog at the pooch beauty parlor, I swung by Claude's this afternoon, and told him about the thread. He merely shrugged and went back to his eclairs. Bought home a bag of his cookies and after 20 years, they are still as delicious as ever.
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