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June 30, 2009 5:15 PM

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Au Revoir, Payard

Payard Pâtisserie & Bistrophoto courtesy of Baltz & Company In the ongoing fight of tony restaurants to stay afloat, the Upper East Side has incurred another casualty: Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro. The eatery's owner François Payard announced its closing...

Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro
photo courtesy of Baltz & Company
In the ongoing fight of tony restaurants to stay afloat, the Upper East Side has incurred another casualty: Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro.

The eatery's owner François Payard announced its closing this past Sunday -- citing "untenable rent increases being levied by the landlord" -- and for me that means Saturday morning breakfast will never be the same.

Though the Lexington Avenue boite catered to all manner of culinary cravings, from lavish dinners to sandwiches, chocolates, sorbets and of course, their tantalizing tart selection, it was the weekend petit dejeuner that always had me sold. A brioche, café au lait and seat at one of the front room's small tables was the perfect civilized -- and luxurious start⿹to a leisurely day, a promise that no manic Starbucks could match with their leaden, calorie-counting croissants (what's the point of indulging to spend the whole time tabulating its toll?).

And I am not alone. Debbie Bancroft was a fan, Jill Kargman loved their pains au chocolat and even Miranda Hobbs on "Sex and the City" couldn't resist, spending one episode grappling with her éclair addiction.

Payard will continue to run his international outposts (he has restaurants in Brazil and Korea among others) and his wholesale business. Meanwhile, Upper East Siders will mourn the patisserie's passing -- though their waistlines may be trimmer for it.
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