I always like to joke that I don’t have a sweet tooth… I have 32 of them, and they have all been longing to bite into the sweet stuff that was bound to come out of the newly opened Patrice Pâtissier. The shop is the pride and joy of whiz pastry chef Patrice Demers and his lovely fiancée, sommelière Marie-Josée Beaudouin, who have been hard at work on it for the past few months while every sugar-dependent creature in the city was waiting with bated breath. Patrice Pâtissier has now finally opened its doors and it’s not just for the dessert lovers among us since this beautiful new shop in the heart of Montreal’s Little Burgundy will also be serving some savoury treats. In fact, the multi-functional space is divided into several areas. There is, of course, the boutique side, which will be selling pastries. There’s also the café side which will be serving more elaborate plated desserts, lunch (starting Tuesday February 25th) and dinner (starting March 7th). Patrice will be presiding over the kitchen crew and the food prep while Marie-Josée will be taking care of the wine list and the front of the house. In the back of the store is a great big room with a beautiful cookbook library ready to accommodate the demos and classes that are planned.
I recently visited the beautiful boutique on their opening night and tasted some of the sweet and savoury items that will be on their menu: tiny tarts filled with goose liver mousse and topped with the most delicate beet chip, Jerusalem artichoke pancakes with goat cheese and mushrooms, and a delicate caramel and banana chou à la crème. If you go, I urge you to taste Patrice’s choux à la crème, whatever the flavour might be that day. They are just absolutely delicious, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and filled with a deliciously airy cream, my favourite flavour being the burnt caramel. The choux at the boutique will be filled à la minute when you order them to prevent them from sitting in the glass counter and becoming soggy.
As I was leaving the party, I just had to buy a couple of the desserts that were displayed, which I promptly proceeded to eat as soon as I got home. The individual kouign amman are buttery, flaky and crunchy just as they should be. The lemon and camomile pot with Anicet honey gelée and tiny fennel meringues is the perfect balance between sour and sweet and a reminder why Patrice is one of the best in the business in Montreal. I was also offered a scrumptious and nutty maple financier, which I saved for breakfast the next day. I love financiers but they are very rarely well made. They almost never taste of beurre noisette (brown butter) and are always too soft and cakey inside and out when they should be crunchy outside and moist inside. Patrice’s are textbook perfect and thanks to some of the pointers he had given me a couple of years ago, mine are almost as good as his 😉
For a city that prides itself in its gastronomy, there are unfortunately very few great pastry shops in Montreal and I for one, am very happy to have one more sweet spot to indulge in.
2360 Notre-Dame West, Local 104
514 439 5434