Watch Your Back, Macaron! The New Canelé by Céline Brings Other Classic French Pastries to the UES

An image of a display case of the dark chocolate and caramel canelés

The Macaron has enjoyed an unrivaled place at the top of the French pastry mountain lately, with excellent boutique bakeries opening up all over the city, from the funky Macaron Parlour in the East Village to the fabulous Ladurée on the Upper East Side. And no wonder: macarons come in lots of appealing flavors, fun colors, and, bottom line, they're freaking delicious. But wait! What about those other French classics, like the financier chewy/custadry canelé? They deserve some NYC love too, oui? 

An image of 3 caramel canelés from Canelé by Céline on a napkin.

Céline Legros Nails The Canelé Every Time

Enter Canelé by Céline, a brand new bakery on East 82nd that's serving up fantastic little treats in both traditional and more creative varieties. The best canelés have that wonderfully caramelized exterior protecting a luscious, creamy core, and proprietor Céline Legros nails it every time. I went to Canelé by Céline one afternoon to sample the goods. I was a bit disappointed by the less-than-welcoming atmosphere. There's really no place even remotely inviting to stay and enjoy your coffee and pastries, which made me think it might have been nice to configure the store horizontally, with a counter and stools by the front window. Either way, I definitely am a fan of the sweet canelés and the terrific mini financiers.

Pink Praline French pastry at Canelé by Céline in Manhattan.

A More Satisfying and Less Expensive Treat

Céline Legros got into the French pastry racket, so the story goes, after a fluky encounter with none other than Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who tried a few of her creations and asked where he could buy some more. Legros subsequently quit her corporate lawyer job and launched her line of canelés, which you can order online, at various retail outlets and, now at this UES storefront. Anyway, I tried three of Legros' savory canelés–a Chorizo, a Truffle, a Parmesan Cheese–and while they were fine, at about $2 each (and one canele = one bite) not worth it as an on-the-go snack. The sweet Canelés by Céline were much more satisfying (and less expensive!), both the Caramel and the Dark Chocolate. My favorite sweet treat of the pastry feast might have the Financier Pink Praline, with a sneaky crunch and great depth of flavor. 

A close up image of the display case at Financier

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