Everyone's got a collection these days

I couldn't resist the siren call of La Maison Du Chocolat yesterday when I walked by, but I thought I showed real restraint when I bought only two things: a slice of lemon tea cake and a box of five French-style macarons described in the shop as "The New Collection." I had moved from The Restaurant Collection of the Time-Warner Center to the macaron collection at LMDC.

The lemon tea cake, which didn't seem to be part of a collection, was moist and light (a hard combination to achieve), but I had to eat the whole slice before deciding it didn't have much lemon flavor. The glazed lemon cake my wife makes (the recipe is in the new 25th Anniversary Silver Palate Cookbook) is a far superior lemon cake product.

The macaron collection was pure pleasure. The Quito Macaron was pure chocolate decadence. The Quayaquil was the French macaron equivalent of a black and white ice cream solda. The Romeo is an intense coffee-chocolate combo. My favorite is the Rigoletto, which tastes like the greatest salted caramel chocolate dessert you've ever had. Only the Salvador, with its weak, overly sweet raspberry flavor, disappointed.

The macarons looked great standing at attention in the brown Maison Du Chocolat box, but before I could take a picture (sorry, Adam K.) I took bites out of each of them. A half-eaten macaron does not a pretty picture make.

La Maison Du Chocolat 1018 Madison Avenue (between 78th and 79th Sts.) New York, NY 10021 Ph: 212-744-7117

30 Rockefeller Plaza (West 50th St.bet. 5th and 6th Aves.) New York, NY 10020 Ph: 212-265-9404

Tags: Chocolate, Macarons, Pound Cake