The stretch of Dupont that Frangipane Patisserie occupies is a motley collection of businesses, restaurants and chiropractic clinics. The crooked sign looks fresh and bright on the grey street so it consistently tricks me into thinking, "what's that new place?" even though it's not new and I've walked passed it many times.
But not everyone plays this game, it seems. Frangipane is a well-frequented little place. A steady crowd of customers passes through the award-laden doors. Most of them know exactly what they want and are out in a second. Many customers want only coffee, which pleases me. I like a place with a solid coffee. One customer asks where the bread's at and is told, "we don't make bread anymore." But the customer is quickly distracted from his disappointment by the tart rack, "Oh. What's that?"
The pastry I purchased moments before has caught this man's eye; a sour cherry tart with almond frangipane ($4.95). It's expensive, yes, but gigantic. It's dense and almondy, really sweet, tart and a bit sour. The cherries are fresh and explosive. It satisfies two.
I'd preceded it with a Gruyere tart ($4.75) opting for pure cheese, though it also comes, enticingly, with onion and prosciutto. It has an overwhelming (good) amount of golden baked cheese, and a hint of black pepper that cuts through the greasy (good) richness.
At Frangipane's urging, I purchase a single Parisian macaron ( not to be confused with macaroon ) with pistachio ($1.75). This tiny green thing has a nutty, fresh crunch, and goes nice with a coffee ($1.75). Regrettably, I did not try the salted caramel Parisian macaron, a misstep. And I covet the most expensive little tart in the case, the one with a full pear poached in ice wine ($7.95).
I sat in Frangipane for a couple of hours with my laptop. The tall tables (two, only) do not invite this sort of loitering, but this is precisely what makes it a quiet place to work. The soothing sound of the
and joyful noises coming from the back kitchen make Frangipane a nice place to stick around in.
Photos By Alyssa Bistonath