Chef Francois Payard triumphantly returns to the Upper East Side on Monday with the opening of his new flagship store/restaurant hybrid FP Pâtisserie. After a rent dispute, the original patisserie was forced to close in 2009, so this new opening serves as a homecoming for Chef Payard and for neighborhood devotees deprived of their favorite pastry for the past three years. The new location opens on Third Avenue at 74th Street, just a few blocks from the original incarnation.
Inside the Pâtisserie, cheery yellow walls are adorned with custom mirrors and a whimsical painting from partner Marlon Abela's private collection, illuminated by orbed sconces from the original UES location. A magnificent orange and brown chandelier—imported from the Vegas outpost, and it looks the part—dangles above the bar, looking more like a sugar and chocolate sculpture than a light fixture. The back "Salón de Thé" is cozy and warm, with leather banquets and a few marble-topped tables to seat around 30 people. It's elegant without being fussy, the kind of place you'd take a visiting relative to impress them with your sophisticated taste.
Any sweet tooth will be in heaven as soon as they walk through the door. Chef Payard's gorgeous pastries, chocolates and macarons beckon from behind a glass display. A small gelato bar offers a few frozen treats and boxes of prettily wrapped truffles and macarons sit on dark wood bookshelves. There are savory options available for order at the bar and salon, including mainstays from the original location like Niçoise and Roasted Chicken salads plus a classic Croque Monsieur and a few riffs with salmon, prosciutto and black truffles. A Braised Beef Short Rib dish bulks up a menu consisting mostly of soups, salads and sandwiches. All the pastries are available for on-site consumption as well, including a line of savory macarons (squid ink, cream cheese and olive tapanade!) plus a selection of wines, wine cocktails and caffeinated beverages.
The bakery and bar open weekdays at 7:30 a.m for downing a quick espresso or taking a croissant and café to go. Breakfast, lunch and a Sunday brunch ($25 for two courses) are served in the back Salón as well as a Saturday tea service for $21, which includes a pot of tea, sandwiches, pastries, etc. There's no official dinner service but the bar and salon remain open until 8 p.m. on weeknights for a light supper or to grab dessert to go.
1293 Third Avenue at 74th Street // (212) 717-5252