No one could accuse Amelie’s French Bakery of not being creative. After all, this is the restaurant that first brought the charm of the Parisian Left Bank to an old warehouse in NoDa. It’s the restaurant where a tree hangs upside down from the ceiling in its Uptown location and where many of the cold drinks feature floral flavors.
The bakery’s newest creation may be its most unexpected yet, though. Now, at the Uptown and Carmel Commons Amelie’s locations, diners can order savory macarons at the bar.
That’s right. Forget what you think you know about the traditionally sweet confections in flavors like caramel, pistachio, or strawberry. These savory versions are currently only on the bar menu, but will show up soon in the bakery cases. Currently, there are three versions: Black sesame with wasabi, cracked pepper with herb goat cheese and sundried tomato with pesto.
Do a Google search and you won’t find many other examples of savory macarons. Amelie’s came up with the idea for them in its Uptown test kitchen, where the chefs are constantly trying out new and innovative creations.
“We have talked about and played with several different savory options over time and we finally decided to move forward,” says Mary Jayne Wilson, Amelie’s executive chef. “There has been lots of trial and error. With the cookies being so sweet, it was challenging to find things that blended well with that sweetness. We tried smoked salmon on the one with herb goat cheese and that was too far.”
The resulting concoctions turned out just as tasty — and unusual — as they sound. The wasabi comes with a slight kick, while the strongest flavor is in the sundried tomato. And because it’s impossible to make macarons without some sugar, there is a hint of sweetness in all of them.
They’re available a la carte ($2.29 each), but they work best as a trio — and with a glass of wine.
Photos: Sarah Crosland; Courtesy of Amelie’s