Yesterday morning my alarm clock went off an hour earlier than normal for a very good reason. I was invited to celebrate the grand opening of MacarOn Café's new location on Third Avenue. As you may well know by now, MacarOn Café is one of my favorite spots in the city for getting my macaron fix. I can always count on a variety of flavors, something new to try, and above all consistently perfect shells and fillings. My favorite location has been the 59th and Madison shop; it is on my way home from work, right by FIAF and has cozy seating in the back. The new shop, located at 750 Third Avenue (between 46th and 47th) may very well become my preferred location in the coming weeks thanks to an evening menu and another favorite of mine: wine. The pink-and-white shop is officially open now but the evening menu and wine will begin in the coming weeks. I can't wait to try it out and will be sure to report back when I do.
The Third Avenue location is in a great spot, right by Grand Central, and easily accessible from the north, east, south or west. Yesterday white and pink balloons encouraged guests to come in for a free macaron and maybe a perfectly made espresso beverage or a cup of Mariage Frères tea. I was glad to start my day with a balanced cappuccino complete with decorative foam on top.
Fortunately I was able to spend a bit of time chatting with Cecile and Arnaud Cannone, the chef and owners of MacarOn Café. Cecile and I spoke about the process of making macarons and, as always, ways of troubleshooting problems when baking the shells. She advised me how key controlling the humidity of the oven is and suggested not baking them in the summer when it is as humid as it has been in New York. We discussed some flavors- Cecile, like me, is a chocolate lover. I mentioned to her how I like that there are always new flavors to choose from when I come by. Most recently I tried the new Earl Grey, which I had bought for my friend Kyle. I don’t normally enjoy Earl Grey teas or bergamot in general so I didn’t try it until he told me it tasted like… Trix cereal! (They really do!) I told Cecile this but she hadn’t hear of our sugared-up American Trix. I suggest trying one out when you stop in.
In addition to speaking with Cecile I also learned more about the new space from Leah who works on PR for the company. The third location is the largest of the three spaces and thanks to that was able to be designed quite thoughtfully. Arnaud, Cecile’s husband, came up with the idea of U-shaped macaron bar with macarons in the middle and cashiers on both sides. The idea is to have a better flow of people within the space, which is great considering how narrow the 59th Street location can be when it is full of macaron lovers. Throughout the shop there black leather benches with café tables and chairs that match the ones at 59th as well as a high bar table just behind the counter. This is perfect for standing and enjoying a macaron and a café express while feeling very Parisian without having to get out to JFK first.
The counter and most of the fixtures were custom made in Italy and brought over. One of the most remarkable details are the blown-glass light fixtures throughout the café. These hot pink lumières were carefully designed to imitate macarons. The pink “shells” encase a darker or lighter strip of glass “ganache” that creates a stunning effect—I cannot wait to see them shine at night! More light effects come in the form of a translucent wall that will have bottles of wine behind it and shifting mood lighting after dark. MacarOn Café has created what I think will be a perfect spot to go with co-workers after a long day, catch up with old or new friends, and most importantly a great place for a casual first date. I’m sure the evening menu will be just as delicious as the lunch menu they serve at 59th (if not even better!).
This fabulous new location brings together macarons and a swanky atmosphere that will invigorate anyone who pops in for a sweet treat, a light dinner or a glass of wine. Be sure to visit now for breakfast and lunch and very soon for the still under-wraps evening menu and wine selection.
MacarOn Café also has excellent timing by opening another spot days before Bastille Day (the 14th) when so many of us are thinking French thoughts already! If you are looking for a way to celebrate with a crowd be sure to head to East 60th Street where the FIAF party will be going on all day! MacarOn Café will be there with their signature bleu, blanc et rouge macarons to honor Bastille Day! I will be there so Tweet me if you would like to meet up!
750 Third Avenue (between E. 46th and E. 47th)
New York, NY
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