The sixth is the center of our Parisian universe.  Though we take up just a tiny sliver of its 0.8 square mile (about 300 square feet to be exact), we have spent a large chunk of our dining hours within its boundaries, everywhere from hole-in-the-wall joints to nicer sit-down restaurants to the well-frequented Monoprix supermarket for a meal back at home.  There remain many known and unknown gems to be sampled but we have no doubt that we will get through most of them, or fail trying.  After all, we love eating as much as we love living where we live.
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Four Baguettes
21, rue Bonaparte
M° Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Euro - 8 or less
What came first?  The colors of our favorite macarons at Ladurée or the colors we chose for our upcoming wedding?  From this venerable pastry shop, the closest location to us is the one on rue Bonaparte near the Church of Saint-Germain, we always get citron (light yellow), mangue jasmin (dark orange yellow), pistache (light green), and noix de coco (off white).  For our wedding, we have decided on the color theme of light yellow, dark orange yellow, light green, and off white.  Perhaps it is a mere coincidence or maybe it’s divine intervention from the pastry gods.  Whatever it is, it is surely convenient when it comes time to get the macaroon tower for the wedding.  (Cakes are so last year.)
  A random selection of five colors:  (Clockwise from upper left) pistache, fruits rouges, citron, framboise, caramel au beurre salé, and pistache.
  Yet another permutation of the colors of Ladurée:  (Clockwise from upper left) noix de coco, pistache, citron, mangue jasmin, noix de coco again, and fleur d’oranger.

In the dim interior of the shop, whose décor evokes the warmth of the old world, we would queue up with fellow faithfuls before a long display case of all kinds of desserts, the most alluring of them all are the mini macarons sitting in trays of like flavors.  We tell the gloved attendants our selections and they gather up their offering with utmost care.  The most economical approach is to get a bag of 100g of macaroons, which translates to six, for 7.20€.  (Individually, the mini macaroons cost 1.50€ each but you cannot just have one.  You will want more.)  They cost more in the beautiful little boxes but they make great gifts to those who appreciate them.

The promotional materials declare that this “little round cake, which is both soft and crunchy at the same time,” is “le produit emblématique de la maison Ladurée.”  We absolutely agree.  We only found out recently that there are permanent flavors (e.g., pistache), season-specific flavors (e.g., citron for winter, noix de coco for summer), and novelty flavors (e.g., mangue jasmin).  And, in the vein of Le Petit Prince, the novelty flavors are éphémère.
  A favorite summer flavor:  We never forgot to order at least one noix de coco each time we got our bag of seven.  Note the coconut layer between the upper shell and the middle filling section.
These little wonders taste as good as they look.  The almond-based “sandwich” is more moist than the airy look it gives and blends effortless with its varied fillings, feeling like one indivisible unit.  The mangue jasmin has a certain heft that you feel when you hold on in your hand.  Its filling is of a thicker variety and the taste of mango is clearly present.  We aren’t sure what jasmine tastes like but we surely could taste the flavor.  Similarly, the filling of pistache has the same consistency with small chunks of pistachio present.  Give Ladurée credit for not making the filling too sweet and overwhelming like so many other pretenders.  In contrast, flavors like citron and rose have a soft, lighter cream filling.  The former that gives off a slightly tangy hint of lemon, the latter betrays a taste of rose petals.  All in all, they taste best in tiny bites.

Nez sums it up nicely:  “This is seven euros of heaven.  The best seven euros you’ll ever spend in Paris.”
  A favorite summer flavor:  We never forgot to order at least one noix de coco each time we got our bag of seven.  Note the coconut layer between the upper shell and the middle filling section.
  Light and dainty:  The rose is a mastery in the art of subtlety and bewitching in its lingering fragrance.
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