If a good barometer of a French bakery is the quality of their viennoiserie, then Eclair Bakery, a new outfit in Midtown East, has a bright future.
Their Pain Au Chocolate ($2.80) is as solid as they come. The exterior is baked to a beautiful, inviting, golden brown. The thin vein of dark chocolate, buried under layer after layer of crisp laminated dough, is of high quality.
I also tried Eclair's Salted Caramel Macarons ($1.85) and found them to be superb—especially at less than $2 each. The shells, in particular, struck the perfect balance between softness and crispiness. The salted caramel filing features a pronounced caramel flavor with only a touch of salt.
Given the limited choices for this level of pastry in Midtown East, I think Eclair is one to watch. I'll be checking back in with them soon to try their signature item: eclairs.