BACKGROUND: Andrew Liang and his mother, Julie Yi, both Gaithersburg residents, opened Lavande Patisserie in November on North Washington Street, near Rockville Town Square. The clean, bright, modern
bakery sells all the French favorites, including pain au chocolat, canelés
and one of the best almond croissants to be had—buttery, chock full of
almond paste and delightfully caramelized. That they serve Compass Coffee indicates that high quality is the order of the day. Four composed
sandwiches are also available.
THE CHEF: Romain Cornu, 25, who emigrated from France five years
ago and now lives in Rockville, is the pastry chef and maître chocolatier.
THE GOODS: Cornu’s work, evidenced by the stunning pastries lined up
in display cases, is clearly top-notch, but the standouts here are the éclairs.
They are long and thin, neatly piped with a star-tip and well crisped. He
slices off the top third of each, fills them generously and decorates them
lavishly. Ingredients are the very best, including flour imported from France,
Valrhona 64-percent cocoa content Manjari chocolate and Sicilian pistachios.
TASTE TEST: The chocolate truffle éclair ($4.95), filled with chocolate
mascarpone and topped with chocolate mascarpone rosettes, chocolate
truffles and chocolate shavings, is a boatful of pleasure—rich but not
too sweet. Another winner, teeming with verdant pistachio mascarpone
and strawberry yuzu filling, is crowned with fresh raspberries, tiny piped
meringue swirls and a dusting of raspberry powder ($4.95).
WHERE TO BUY: Lavande Patisserie, 275 N. Washington St., Rockville,
301-424-6100, www.lavandepatisserie.com. P H
Emma Perez, owner of the popular La
Limeña Peruvian (and partially Cuban)
restaurant in the Ritchie Center on Rockville Pike, announced plans to open a
similar but larger outpost in the former
Potomac Grill space, also on the Pike.
Among notable closings, Parva Cocina
& Tequila Bar on Bethesda’s Woodmont
Avenue was shuttered in January.
At Chevy Chase Pavilion, Aggio, the
upscale Italian restaurant by chef Bryan
Voltaggio inside the American eatery
Range, closed in December.
So did the Asian-Filipino restaurant
Urban Heights, which chef Robert Wied-
maier and his RW Restaurant Group
opened on Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda
in April 2015. Tommy Joe’s owner Alan
Pohoryles is moving his Montgomery
Lane sports bar to the space, partner-
ing with the RW Restaurant Group on
Beloved restaurateur Jackie Greenbaum
announced in January that she would
close Jackie’s in Silver Spring in March,
after an 11-year run. Its adjacent bar,
Sidebar, will also close.
FOOD FIND: LAVANDE PATISSERIE
Romain Cornu is
the pastry chef at