Updated: Apr 24, 2019
Nestled between La Maison du Croque Monsieur and Parson's School of Design is a quaint shop known as Pâtisserie Fouet. Like its name, this pâtisserie and its elegant french flair are sure to whisk you away to another world.
Lately, it seems as though fusion foods, especially that of the Asian variety, have been steadily increasing in demand across Manhattan, and for good reason. All sorts of different combinations of foods have been created as a result of these cultural intersections, and many cravings have been fulfilled as a result. However, while the culinary scene seems to be going strong with a variety of fusion restaurants, the baking scene doesn't seem as robust. I'm sure we've all heard about Spot Dessert Bar, the dessert chain that shot up in popularity because of their innovative Asian-fusion creations. Aside from that, however, not many other fusion dessert places seem to come to mind. Fortunately, I was able to stumble across a hidden gem right in the middle of Union Square.
Pâtesserie Fouet presents an interesting duality, for those eager to try out new and unique food combinations. Spearheaded by their Executive Chef, Yoshie Shirakawa (who has previously worked at prestigious restaurants such as Luxee and Bohemian), this pastry shop showcases an interesting combination of Japanese-French fusion desserts during the daytime, then becomes a dessert bar by night.
The Sweet Selection:
Right off the bat, I want to start with one of their signature desserts: the Pear Compote. Sitting on the plate is a pear compote infused with jasmine cream, accompanied with a beautifully plated chocolate mousse, a half dome of spiced chocolate sauce, and a quenelle of salted caramel ice cream. The combination of jasmine cream infused pear and salted caramel ice cream was something I never knew I needed in my life until now. It may seem like an overwhelming blend of flavors, but each one seems to have achieved a peaceful unity with the other flavors, something that seems to be highlighted by the delicate aesthetics of the dish.
Another must-try dessert is the Basil Green Apple, an ambitious yet mouthwatering combination that consists of a white chocolate mousse containing apple jelly, caramel, and basil paste. Usually one wouldn't even consider experimenting with basil for desserts, mainly because of its prominent earthy and herbal taste. However, this unexpected twist seems to have worked for Pâtesserie Fouet, and is now one of their signature desserts. I dare you to look at that beautiful cross-section and tell me you feel nothing.
Equally tasty is the Shiso Fromage Blanc Mousse, Pâtesserie Fouet's unique take on cheesecake with the inclusion of raspberry mousse, streusel cookie, and shiso jelly. For those unfamiliar with shiso, it's similar to the Korean perilla leaf, both of which could loosely be defined as the Asian basil, as they tend to accompany savory dishes like sushi. And even if it's used in desserts, it's usually a garnish, or part of a fruit salad. Here, it's incorporated directly into the dish, and leaves a refreshing aftertaste, which pairs well with the fluffiness of the mousse. It's the perfect treat for the sticky, humid summer days to come.
In the end though, it wasn't only the desserts and pastries that left such an impression on me—it was actually the shop's interior design and ambiance. I actually visited twice, once during the day time and once at night, to experience both the café and dessert bar. Much like the duality of its dishes, the vibe of Pâtisserie Fouet seems to shift when the sun sets. In the morning, it's a cute, tranquil café with natural light pouring in from the windows and the occasional customer enjoying a treat or coffee. At night, it becomes livelier, full of warm, yellow lights, and of people catching up on each others' days over the occasional soufflé and glass of wine.
It's an odd little thing, the dichotomy of this shop, but that's what makes Pâtisserie Fouet so unique. Hopefully there will be more fusion dessert spots to come, but in the meantime, you can find me right here.