Bravo's Top Chef: Just Dessert winner and pastry world sweetheart Yigit Pura opened his first retail venture on the 3rd floor of Macy's Union Square in early September. Tout Sweet Patisserie, designed by Tecta Associates, is reminiscent of contemporary, upscale Parisian patisseries in both the décor and the pastries. Delectable-looking treats, ranging from Negroni-inspired pâtes de fruits to Pura's signature macarons, make Tout Sweet a playful departure from your average department store cafe, but it is still a department store cafe. Will Pura's winning streak continue into the retail sector? And do his desserts taste as good as they look on TV? To the Early Word for some answers.
The Location News: "Union Square is sadly lacking in good places to sit down for coffee and a snack," says Serious Eats: Sweets' writer Carrie Vasios, and "Tout Sweet provides a welcome option, for tourists and San Franciscans working downtown alike." Janelle Bitker over at Inside Scoop adds, "You'd never know you were surrounded by ladies' sweaters on the third floor of Macy's," with its "upscale, European feel."
The Decor News:SFoodie describes the pastry case as a "jewel-like display," while Serious Eats addresses the "pink and white accents" which "make it a friendly, child-like space...inspired by Pura's favorite book The Little Prince."
The Macaron News: SFoodie's Anna Roth thought the salted caramel macaron was especially "tasty." And on the flipside, Serious Eats commenter Nataku found the Parisian cookies to be "a bit lack luster," observing that "almost all of them were hollow, and the ratio of cookie to filling was off." While Chowhounder jsaimd said her selection of macarons "had a delicate shell, with a bit less chew than I prefer," Yelper Jennifer H. said that "the main problem is the texture," because "the cookies crumble too easily."
The Tesla Tart News: "We are struck most by his finessing of citrus flavors," said Tasting Table. "The acidic charges of Meyer lemon and passion fruit curd in his Tesla tart oscillate in vivid symphony." SFoodie's Anna Roth also sang praises of the Tesla tart, saying it was her "favorite by far," and "an amped-up version of a traditional lemon tart," which gave "the taste buds a jolt." She also said its passion fruit marshmallow garnish was "one of the best marshmallows we have ever eaten." "Conversely, Karen L. in her three-star Yelp review, was less impressed: "While I really like my tarts lemony, the Tesla Tart was way too sour."
The Other Sweets News: "We can't recommend enough his sea-salty, delicious chocolate-chip cookies," said Grubstreet. However, Chowhounder hhc was not as thrilled: "Not enough chocolate flavor for me and just a soft cookie." Meanwhile, another Chowhounder Melanie Wong devoured the namesake, Tout Sweet cake, noting that it was "very tender to the bite" and "unlike any chocolate cake I've had before." And Dario B. concisely Yelped: "Tout sweet = too sweet." He adds, "I guess sugar has to be in desserts, but a couple ladles less?"
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· All Tout Sweet Patisserie Coverage [~ ESF ~]