Ok guys! This is a new thing I've wanted to try: pastry reviews. I live in THE city for pastries, chocolates, confections, cakes, macarons... you name it, and I should be EATING ALL OF THEM. And then well, of course, sharing.
Today my lovely friend and I went to Comme à Lisbonne.
Ouf, did this outing start off badly. I was late (per usual), I had just received not-so-fun school news (per usual), and I was extremely frustrated at a particular professor (per usual – I’ve written about this #$$&@^% before). After storming through the streets in the outskirts of the Marais with my perfectly patient, encouraging, and hungry pastry tasting partner, we arrived to Jacques Génin to taste their apparently flawless chocolate éclair (I've heard it is THE éclair to taste when in Paris).
Yikes. Well, they stopped making pastries entirely to focus on chocolate. You can eat their mille-feuille upstairs in their café, but I boycotted them as soon as I heard I wasn’t eating chocolate covered choux for my snack.
After failing to obtain “Paris’ best chocolate éclair” at Jacques Génin, we set off into the Marais.
There is something about a walk through the Marais in the sun with an amazing friend that turns your (awful) mood slightly around.
My friend remembered hearing about a pastry shop specializing in Portuguese custard tarts that was not too far away from us… After only tasting one in my life at a café in Montreal (the amazing Vasco da Gama on Peel St.), I was eager to try another variety!
We stumbled upon Comme à Lisbonne after making a few circles around the area (not because it’s hard to find, but because my friend and I are not particularly advanced in the art of map reading).
It was worth the Marais maze.
This café is adorable. The room is long and thin, and starts with the counter where the pastéis de nata (custard tarts) are displayed (2 euros per tart) and coffee is served. The small café then continues backwards to host a small bar for coffee drinkers and a wall shelved with Portuguese chocolates and small confections. To top it off, the serveuse (/waitress) was absolutely cheerful and charming. A smile from a stranger can really make your day, especially when living in Paris!
Now, let’s talk pastry:
My pastry-expert companion and I had the choice between cinnamon and plain tarts… we both shouted “cannelle!” when asked what flavour we would prefer.
Outside in the (rare) Paris sun, we dug into these little tarts.
The crust was flakey, but soft. It had the smallest salty tinge, which perfectly complemented the creamy interior. I was really surprised about how un-sweet these guys were… in a good way. The custard filling was thick but not heavy, and stayed in place when you bit into it. In my opinion: a very well constructed little package.
All of the pieces went together well, and the cinnamon on top was an extra bonus for those (like me) who like a little spice on the palate.
Comme à Lisbonne is a perfect escape away to Portugal if you’re looking for a light snack outside the realm of French pastries. The custard tarts are not anything like their French counterparts, which, in my opinion are a bit too heavy and much more sugary (take that, chocolate éclair). These pastéis de nata were flavourful with just the right amount of custard filling. I would definitely go back to try some more – and to sit in their café with a Portuguese coffee!
Tasting soundrack - tunes to inspire your inner gourmand(e):