PATISSERIE MANON – So Very Very French

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Do you love good pastries?

We do.

Do you love what the French have done over the past four hundred years to the art of refined sugar, white flour, butter, cream, chocolate and dough?

Let’s face it who doesn’t?

Have you been consistently disappointed with the baked goods at the West Charleston Whole Foods in the past year (ever since it changed suppliers)?

Let’s face it who hasn’t?

Do you hate supermarket bakeries with a passion?

Of course you do.

Assuming all of the above questions were answered in the affirmative (and if you’re reading ELV, we assume you have the brains/good taste to do so) then you need to make a beeline to the space formerly housing Bleu Gourmet (right behind Fleming’s) where Jean-Paul Layden and his wife Rachel have opened a pastry shop that brings superior baked sweets (and savories) to the neighborhoods.

Layden hales from Dunkerque in northern France, and his missus was born in Brittany — making them as French as La Marseillaise. They operate two patisseries in Tahiti, of all places, and apparently thought those environs were too confining for their talents, compared to our humble burg, so east they came to raise Vegas’ pastry IQ.

And raise it they have, with delicate, intense macarons, eclairs from heaven, nice croissant (and pain au chocolate), and a bear claw-like “almond croissant” that is soft, nutty, chewy, and worth going out of your way for. On our croissant-o-meter, these rank a half a click below Payard’s, and maybe a notch less buttery than those at the patisserie just to the west of the entrance to the Gare du Nord in Paris (France, not Kentucky)…but that doesn’t mean they aren’t darn good.

Also worth a trip are the daily quiches and specials, ranging from a béchamel-infused croque monsieur, to the occasional cassoulet.

But there is a problem.

Because the previous operator in this space was operating a restaurant much larger than its lease and business license allowed, the Layden’s have had to re-configure the space and get additional approvals before they can operate a café here, as opposed to just selling their wares over the counter. Everything is on track, but it may still be some days (or weeks) before you can sit down on premises and enjoy these superlative pastries.

In the meantime, you’ll just have to stop by, say “bonjour,” grab a baguette, and experience a little slice of Paris in a town that needs more of them.


8751 W. Charleston Blvd.

Las Vegas, NV 89117


Also with a Boulder City location:

534 Boulder Highway

Boulder City, NV 89005


PAYARD BISTRO Reviewed in Las Vegas Weekly


Payard’s tomato mozzarella salad

Photo: Beverly Poppe

If this place was easier to find, it would have a line out the door all day long. As it is, you can stand directly in front of the pâtisserie portion of the operation and not be aware there’s a cozy, comfortable and kick-ass 40-seat bistro adjacent to all those wonderful pastries and chocolates.

Continue reading “PAYARD BISTRO Reviewed in Las Vegas Weekly”