The tres chic crowd that gathered Thursday night behind the signature chalky-green doors of the new outpost of Laduree, the French patisserie, probably didn’t need the tutorial.
But it never hurts to practice. “It’s maca-ROHN,” said Elisabeth Holder Raberin, Laduree’s co-chief executive along with her husband, Pierre-Antoine Raberin, enunciating the correct pronunciation of the company’s signature sweet, puffy, delicate concoction.
For the grand opening party of the company’s fourth U.S. location, in the busy M Street corridor, the pastel-colored goodies were being popped into the bouches of some of Washington’s prominent francophiles, fashionistas and food lovers.
“Definitely raspberry,” said French Ambassador Gérard Araud of his preferred flavor of the bite-size confection that practically does his job — of promoting French culture in the United States — for him. Laduree, he said, offers Americans a little bit of Parisian flavor. “It has that elegance, and it’s very classical,” he said, gesturing to the elaborate crystal chandeliers overhead. “But it feels quite modern, too.”
Others enjoying the sweets, as well as a sampling of the savory fare the Georgetown location will serve for lunch, included philanthropist and fundraiser Tracy Bernstein; investor George Lund and his wife, Kristin; former deputy protocol chief Natalie Jones; Politiquette blogger Marissa Mitrovitch; and local TV personalities Eun Yang and Andrea Roane.
Judging from the mobile-device-snapping by the guests, the shop’s large white marble counter fronting a rainbow of macarons might turn out to be a new favorite of the city’s legions of Instagrammers who are always on the hunt for a trendy backdrop for their curated photo shoots.
That’s perfectly fine with Holder Raberin: “It is very photogenic.”