Don’t look to Jerome Colin to take a stand in cupcakes vs. macarons debate. Tout de Sweet, his new shop in Bethesda, features both bite size treats. Since my ears perk up every time macarons are mentioned, I just had to check out Tout de Sweet tout de suite and met up with Bethesda Foodie and One Vanilla Bean (you can read her review, and drool over pictures she took, right here) during their soft opening Saturday. If cupcakes take up a fair share of counter space inside the petite boutique, the outside belongs to macarons. Upon seeing the towers of mango, raspberry and chocolate macarons displayed in the window, I knew that Tout de Sweet and I would get along!
Tout de Suite means “right away” or “right now” in French and the cute pun doesn’t stop at the door, with some of the sweet treats served inside also bearing clever names, like Moulin Rouge for the red velvet cupcake. Chef Colin, whose resume includes include stints abroad working at Alain Ducasse’s Michelin rated restaurants or locally at the Sofitel and Bourbon Steak, decided to open his own pastry shop to showcase classic european confections and contemporary American treats. In addition to cupcakes and macarons, Tout de Sweet serves muffins and croissants that can be picked up with tea or coffee to go for your morning commute and classic French cakes like a red fruit Charlotte (one of my favourite cakes EVER) or Fraisiers. All the pastries served are made on site by Jerome himself. His wife Sofia, who manages the shop, made sure we got to sample a little bit of everything, including a biscotti and the chocolate crunch, a rich layer of chocolate mousse served with a hazelnut crunch. Everything I tasted was excellent, and I loved loved loved the charlotte though I prefer when the cake with a red fruit mousse instead of the more typical vanilla cream filling.
So the cakes are good, the atmosphere somewhat parisian… let’s move on to the important stuff: what did I think of the macarons? Well, I thought they were excellent. The perfect macaron in an expert combination of textures and flavours that many a baker has a hard time achieving consistently. Not Chef Colin. I tried the Mango and Raspberry macarons and both were lovely, though the buttercream fillings turned them into quite a messy eat, especially since they were a little more than a one bite treat! But hey, if you’re going to shell out $1.50 for a little taste of Paris in the middle of Bethesda, you might as well get two bites out of it, non?
Tout de Sweet is located at 7831 Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda, MD, just a few blocks away from the metro station.