Let's be honest. Italians tend to be very romantic people. They often make extravagant romantic gestures and adore the concept of being in love. La Festa di San Valentino (Saint Valentine’s Day) was present all around the city, from old ladies dressed up entirely in pink to the bouquets of flowers on the side of the road.
Unfortunately, though, Italians tend not to have the best breakfast options for dates. Most of the time, people here will take a quick espresso standing up at the bar and then a cornetto (criossant) on the way to work. So, for Valentine's Day, I decided to treat my boyfriend to a not so Italian breakfast: Ladurée.
Ladurée is a French bakery and bistro which was founded in Paris in 1862. They sell a variety of high-end sweets and pastries and have since opened shops in London, Miami, Tokyo, and Rome, as well as other big cities around the world.
Ladurée was the birthplace of the macaron (different from macaroon). The French macaron derives from the word “ammaccare,” which means to crush in Italian, based on the main ingredient in macarons - almond flour. The macaron is composed of two cake-like coins with a melt-in-your-mouth candy coating. The two coins are then joined together with a creamy sweet filling. Ladurée makes macarons in an almost infinite variety of flavors, from rose to salted caramel to chocolate, raspberry, and pistachio.
With such a history of high quality deliciousness, I thought Ladurée would be the perfect place to go for Valentine’s Day. I was even more impressed than I had expected to be. Upon entrance, I was greeted with the sweet smell of pastries even before the friendly host swiftly offered me a table. The interior was sleek, elegant, and adorable - purple plush couches, hints of pink in the white walls, and a pink rose on each table.
For Valentine’s day, Ladurée offered many deals, all of which included a complimentary plate of chocolate covered strawberries. My favorite festivity was the hot pink, heart shaped, rose flavored macaron that came atop my ginger flavored drink. For my boyfriend, however, the French toast with raspberry coulis and Chantilly cream could not have been a more perfect meal.
With all the pink, I feared that it might have been too "girly" for him, but the perfectly pillowy French toast made him forget all about it. In fact, I don't think the French toast was on his plate but two minutes before it was all gone!
In the end, our bill was around fifty euros, which wasn't too bad. For one plate of French toast, five macarons, and two alcoholic beverages at a high end restaurant, I'd say it was quite the treat! If only I could afford this meal every day!