La Fabricant brings the news that Francois Payard is back. The illustrious pastry chef’s Upper East Side restaurant and patisserie closed in April following a rent dispute, leaving socialites and sugar fiends in a state of mourning. Payard will resurface on November 4 when he opens Francois Chocolate Bar in the Mauboussin jewelry store on Madison Avenue and 63rd Street. The 25-seat bar will carry a limited line of chocolates, hot chocolate, and pastries. While it’s nice to see Payard resurrected, this feels a bit like a consolation prize: Instead of another high-ceilinged temple to decadence, the chef gets crammed in amongst the baubles and display cases. Perhaps this is what’s meant by making the most of reduced circumstances; desperate times, it seems, call for jewelry store chocolate bars.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 27, 2009