Thanks to the advice on this board and from a New York Times review of the place, I carved out a fair amount of time to head to Jacques Genin this week. And I have to admit, I was a little disappointed.
First, I should say, some of the chocolates and caramels were divine. The mango caramel was like pure mango, but with better consistency than the fruit. And the dark chocolate with mint was simply amazing. Superb. I don't know how he made it taste like a mint leaf suspended in chocolate, but it tasted as if I picked the leaf from my garden and melded it with chocolate. Fabulous.
We arrived shortly after a rain storm, after wandering around for a while looking for the store. It's a bit off the beaten path -- at least a half hour's walk from the main tourist area around Tuleries/rue de Rivoli/the Louvre. No problem there -- we bought umbrellas and made it an adventure. But when we walked in the door, I felt as if our appearance (a little rained on, slightly disheveled, but we were in no way part of the fanny-pack wearing hordes of tourists) I felt immediately as if we were ugly Americans who bounded into their home. It was the only time my entire visit to Paris and the surrounding area that I felt like the staff was cold and unwelcoming.
We still managed to spend 30 euros there, for a water, a plate of chocolates, and caramels. Of the seven chocolates on our plate, there was only one I would want again -- the mint. The caramels were fabulous; I haven't had one yet that I don't like (peanut was yum.) But was it worth taking such a huge chunk of time out of my trip to sit in a stuffy chocolatier so I could be mostly ignored for a half hour? Probably not. I'm certainly not saying don't go, but look at a map and make sure you want to head that far out of the city center before walking out there. Maybe if I'd taken a taxi the whole situation would've been better - we'd have looked nicer, we'd have spent less energy getting there, and maybe the staff would've at least not marched around us pretending as if we didn't exist for the first 10 minutes.
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