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The Best Eclairs in America

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Alessandra Bulow

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On New Year's Day we looked into our crystal ball of dessert food trends, beyond the cupcakes, doughnuts, handpies, and macarons of years past and predicted the next French-invasion pastry of the moment: the éclair. In Paris, the classic pastry was reborn in 2013 as a high-design dessert with creative fillings and glossy neon-bright glazes at L'Éclair de Génie and L'Atelier de L'Éclair. The chef behind de Génie, Christophe Adam, has his eye on opening a shop in the U.S. and at this month's opening of the second location of Ladurée in New York City, the macarons-haven introduced its éclairs to the U.S. for the first time. At the same time American pastry chefs are reviving the éclair with their own inventive versions. Here are some more of the awesome éclairs-happenings in America right now.

New Orleans: Macarons king Tariq Hanna's Sucré boutique is already starting to get overrun with Mardi Gras enthusiasts for its King Cake macarons but he also has stellar éclairs, from a traditional cream-filled chocolate-iced éclair to an over-the-top shimmering black-and-gold version filled with salted caramel. Hanna's so enthusiastic about the pastry that last October he only served éclairs in a campaign called "I Do Éclair."

SEE MORE: 10 Restaurants Parisians Won't Tell You About

Los Angeles: Coconut-lime is the latest éclair flavor to hit the LA outpost of Thomas Keller's amazing Bouchon Bakery. Introduced three weeks ago, perfect paté choux is filled with coconut cream, then topped with a coconut glaze, shredded coconut, and lime zest.

New York City: At his jewelbox Pomme Palais patisserie in The Palace Hotel--adjacent to his debut NYC restaurant Villard--chef Michel Richard's famous croissants are only trumped by his ethereal éclairs. His praline cream-filled éclair gets a glaze of coffee icing and another éclair gets a double dose of caramel with caramel cream filling and a luscious caramel glaze. Pastry chef Jennifer Yee offers six American-inflected éclairs at Andrew Carmellini's Lafayette: butterscotch coffee, lemon meringue, banana, apple pie, pecan pie, and key-lime pie.

San Francisco: In March, beloved pastry chef Belinda Leong is planning to roll out a collection of five or six éclairs at her year-old wildly popular bakery b. Patisserie, according to Eater.com. She told the site: "One of them is based on a Whatchamacallit candy bar."

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