Monday, April 19, 2010

"Patisseries of Paris" at Petite Thuet

Petite Thuet is a small bakery/cafe located on 1 King Street West at the corner of Yonge and King (they have another location on 1162 Yonge Street). I have always wanted to try this place because 1) it is so close to my work, 2) I've been to the married couple's (Marc Thuet and Biana Zorich) Conviction restaurant a couple of times now, and Petite Thuet is another one of their creation, and 3) Marc Thuet is pretty well-known for his breads and pastries. I've actually walked by the Petite Thuet many times, and was always hesitant to go in - it's certainly not your average coffee stop - you know you can't get just get a regular coffee in better order something fancy like a cafe au lait with a croissant or something (all adorned with the French accent of course). And also, there's hardly ever anybody in there whenever I look in! However, I did venture in on time and bought some macaroons for my colleagues =)  Those were pretty yummy (but I still like the ones from Nadage better - they had more unique flavors there like pistachio, rose, poppy, etc).  Anyway, my friend Julia and I decided to pay Petite Thuet a visit at lunch one Thursday afternoon.

I was waiting for Julia to arrive so I took a few pictures outside. It was a rainy day.

Across the street

What Petit Thuet offers in a nutshell

After passing double doors, this is what you see on your left:

That's basically all the seating! Well some additional ones by
the window.

Very high ceiling

OK, so on with the food. Once you walk in, this is the view on your right.

Sweet pastries on the counter.

The bread display cabinet



Also on the right, but below eye level, their charcuterie / butchery section

Their terrine section =)

Salads. They also have other prepared foods at the back such as:
lasagna, soup, cous cous,pot pies, curries, sandwiches, quiches, etc, 

which they would heat up for you.

Some of their beverage selection

Their own jams, gelee, dressings, oils, seasonings, syrups, and sauces.
Got in trouble for taking a picture of this. 

Julia and I both ordered a small salad for lunch:

Beet goat cheese and pecan salad

After the salad, we were full. So we diligently went back to work.

I hope none of you believed me...because to do that would be almost sacrilegious! I saved these dessert pastries pictures for the end.

I think Julia and I literally stood there for 3-5 minutes pondering just what to get. We even asked the girl who worked there what each pastry was. But still, it was hard, too much selection! We finally decided...after what seemed like ages.

This is called "Hazelnut Cream". It's not a "Hazelnut Cream Donut"
(God forbid having a donut at a French bakery!), or a "Hazelnut Cream
Eclair", it is just "Hazelnut Cream". This was fabulous!

This is a Chocolate Torte. I don't know why I ordered this since
there was so many other more unique pastries there. I totally regret it =(
But I think at the time, my rationale was "let me order something
ordinary, and see if Petit Thuet can blow my mind away with it".
Nope. Did not happen. The chocolate torte was very,
very, ordinary. 

Beside the chocolate torte, the hazelnut cream was indeed very tasty, and so was my salad. But would I go back again for lunch? Definitely not! My small salad was $4.00, and the dessert pastries there range from $5 to $8 each. So if you wanted a lunch like mine, prepare to spend anywhere from $10-$15 (be mindful that I did not order a beverage either). No wonder it's soooo empty in there! Honestly, people in downtown during lunch time would rather go to one of the many food courts, or if they wanted an actual meal with colleagues or clients, they would opt to go to a restaurant, which this area has plenty of as well. And for a coffee or a snack break, there are tons of Tim Horton's and Starbucks in the area. Lastly, who would be coming down to the financial district on a weekend to enjoy a cup of a coffee and pastry???

I am not sure opening a Petite Thuet here was a wise decision. Although it offers catering services...but again, what company in the right mind would order French bread, charcuterie, cakes, and salads at their prices? Especially in this economy? Even with a group catering "discount" I'm sure businesses these days would rather spend it elsewhere than on French pastries for their employees. 

I guess what I'm saying is that "Patisseries of Paris" will always come with a Paris price tag (bare in mind though I'm also assuming that Petite Thuet's pastries are up to par with those in Paris, something I cannot vouch for). And whether or not you think their prices are reasonable or a total rip-off, there will always be loyal customers that love their's just a matter of whether there are enough of these customers to keep Petite Thuet in business =)

Petite Thuet on Urbanspoon