As of late I have been on a pastry binge. My most recent stop was Au Peche Mignon located in Market Square off of Timberlane Road. My first attempt to stuff my face was thwarted when I pulled up and discovered they were closed on Mondays. I returned the next day during lunch. Parking was easy enough to find and I made my way towards the shop excited about what I might find inside.
The shop is located in the same section of Market Square as Gordo’s, Tally’s Grille, and Southern Seafood. Instead of a sign bolted to the side of the building, Au Peche Mignon opted for a tasteful red awning and overhead lamp. It definitely stands out when compared to the other shops in the plaza. Opening the door I walked in and immediately noticed the large refrigerated case at the back containing pastries, cakes and chocolates. Behind numerous kinds of coffees were stacked along the rear wall. To the left was the cash register, and behind it several loaves of bread were laid out.
The floors were a light colored wood and several small tables dotted the area in front of the desserts. Hearing my footsteps on the floor, a smiling clerk came around the corner and greeted me. She asked if I knew what I wanted. The number of options at Au Peche Mignon was overwhelming and I took a few minutes to survey their offerings. Two rows of pastries sat under a group of cakes. I noticed Mice, Napoleons, and fruit tarts. I asked the girl what she recommended, and she suggested a Dacquoise and a L’Opera. She placed them into a small white box and affixed a gold seal to the top.
When I arrived at my destination I carefully opened the cardboard box. At the bottom the two pastries were nestled against one another. The Dacquoise consisted of two layers of hazelnut meringue filled with chocolate cream, and a thin layer of sponge cake drizzled with Gran Marnier. The top was dusted with powdered sugar and dusted with cocoa powder. The L’Opera was almond sponge cake soaked in coffee held together with chocolate ganache. The top was covered in a chocolate glaze and sprinkled with gold. A flourish of whipped cream sat in the middle, and on top was a coffee bean also dusted in gold.
The pastries looked as good as they tasted. The Dacquoise was delicate and decadent. I was anticipating more of an orange note from the Grand Marnier, but it was still very good. The L’Opera was beautifully constructed, and the combination of chocolate and coffee was amazing. Of the two, the L’Opera was my favorite, and it went great with a strong cup of coffee.
I liked the L’Opera so much I have returned on two additional occasions since my first visit. The majority of their pastries have been wonderful, while one missed the mark, the Baba au Rhum. The liquid that surrounded the pastry tasted like pure inexpensive rum. It was so overpowering that my friend and I could not finish our desserts, and we ended throwing them into a trashcan. I suspect it was just an off batch, and one sub-par pastry will not prevent me from making a return visit. Au Peche Mignon is open Tuesday through Saturday and can be found on the web at http://www.aupechemignon.com.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: