It was really by chance that we experienced the decadent wonders of Pâtissier Jean Philippe. Many moons ago, when we were young and able to stay up till 5 in the morning and sleep till 2 in the afternoon, we wandered the corridors of the Bellagio in search of something that resembled breakfast- namely a nice cup of coffee. And there, hidden away from the casino noise and designer shops was Palio Café. Charlotte and I grabbed some coffee and croissants and sat out overlooking the pools of Bellagio and for the first time I savored every last bite of my breakfast. Who knew then that something so simple as a flakey buttery croissant could be so satisfying and memorable. Charlotte makes the trek out each morning to pick up breakfast at Palio -most of the time I’m still sleeping.
Pâtissier Jean Philippe joined the glitz and glamour that is Las Vegas about 14 years ago as the Executive Pastry Chef of the Bellagio Resort and Casino and opened up Jean-Philippe Pastisserie in both the Bellagio and Aria. His kitchen is based out of Aria and daily shipments of pastries and confections are delivered to the Bellagio several times a day.
One thing to note is his world famous Guiness World Record holding Chocolate Fountain. The fountain can be found in his original pastry shop in the Bellagio just past the gardens. It’s fun and not camera shy at all. Gallons and gallons of dark, milk, and white chocolate cascade down this fountain 24 hours a day and always holds a rich silky gleam. Do they actually use the chocolate? Who knows.
I remember days in the past when he actually focused more on the pastries and confections. There was always an amazing display of the goodies and sweets, but unfortunately things change – I think towards making more money…. The displays of treats has now been converted to a crepe bar and gelato section. Don’t get me wrong, both the crepes and gelati is delicious here, it’s just a little sad to see that transition.
Since I was on a French confection mission, Jean Philippe was a MUST. His macarons are prepackaged and hidden in glass cases surrounding his shop.These macarons are the typical bite sized cookies – much smaller than Bouchon’s.
The shell was very crunchy and it was relatively chewy on the inside still. Beverly and I weren’t able to finish these while we were in Vegas and had left them for a number of days, they got very hard very fast.
As we had both Bouchon and Jean Philippe macarons available at the same time, Beverly and I were able to do a quick comparison. We decided that the flavor was much better in the Jean Philippe macarons. The buttercream filling was creamy and the different flavors were more visible compared to Bouchon’s. Bouchon’s though, gave me a warm fuzzy “made just for you” feeling.
They were light and airy when I first picked them up and the shell itself was smooth with no cracks. I knew that these were delicate little suckers but the shell did not crumble or fall apart when I picked them up. These macarons were definitely more travel friendly by the way of the packaging.
I must say though, that it was very sugary and sweet. At times, I felt like I was just eating raw sugar. There was also a little bit of artificial flavoring in the taste.
I’m not sure what the reason is, but I can almost taste the mass production of these macarons. I really didn’t like the fact that they no longer sold these individually in the shop and feel a little bit forced to purchase the entire box. I know that for the sake of my self-created “Macaronathon” I would have bought the box anyways, I just don’t like how I would need to buy the entire box the next time I am in town and want a nibble of sweetness. I am still in love with their croissants and adore his other buttery goodies of course. The macarons does not change my love for his pastries.