Ourse: The Rise of the Designer Patisserie
Through good times and bad, we can always count on sugar! Enter the posh patisserie, a welcome new urban trend to tickle all our senses – not just our tastebuds. With an interior décor to rival a boutique hotel, Ourse in Glyfada flaunts a refined ambience every bit as delectable as their upscale festive treats. Clean lines, Tiffany-inspired robin egg blue designer boxes, pastries that look like works of art – all smack of sweet indulgence. Angela Stamatiadou goes on a dessert quest.
Small elegant tarts that could pass off as works of art enclosed in glass domes, an alluring range of St.Honoré, Mont Blanc, Parisien flan, chocolate bars, millefeuilles, chocolates. As you walk into Ourse, your senses are enticingly distracted in every which direction. Tucked away in a quiet area of the southern suburbs, this beautiful boutique patisserie is the creation of chef Stefanos Tsoukalas, confectioner Vicky Dalagianni, and Spyros Pediaditakis, an extremely talented pastry chef who until recently worked at Spondi, the celebrated 2 Michelin Star restaurant.
Expect a creative take on pastry classics, seductively presented. Everything is crafted from scratch, with carefully sourced ingredients such as high-grade Cacao Barry chocolate. The recipes here are just on the right side of sweet, a welcome departure from the Greek tendency to make desserts almost cloyingly sweet. The play on textures – crunchy bases flirting with creamy centres – takes the food sensory experience to a whole new level – as does the fusion of French pastry-making techniques with distinctive Greek ingredients.
The Aegina pistachio, for example, inspires Paris-Aegina, a Greek version of Paris-Brest. (Paris-Brest is a French dessert created in 1910 to celebrate a cycling race from Paris to Brest and back. A crispy ring of choux pastry filled with praline mousseline cream and decorated with crunchy flaked almonds and powdered sugar, imitating the shape of the bicycle wheel.
At Ourse, pistachio also stars in a tart with four tantalising textures ‒ cream, praline, crumble and dacquoise. It was one of the desserts I singled out on my first visit along with the charming chocolate version of St. Honoré (with gianduja and milk chocolate ganache).
Ourse also stocks delectably light and airy macarons, beautifully presented in stunning blue and white or white and gold boxes, the same colours as the boutique, designed by interior designer Gladys Trezou. They also come in Greek flavours, such as Chios mastic, Greek coffee and lemon τhyme. Special ice creams include kaimaki with goat’s milk, tsoureki with cherry and salty pistachio (we are curious to try this one too!)
And since we are in peak Christmas season, there are also mounds of festive treats to succumb to: melomakarona, kourabiedes, Cretan kserotigana, Christmas logs but also an interesting take on the marzipan-filled galette de rois, the traditional French dessert of the ‘Three Kings,’ as interpreted by the three confectioners!
Ourse, 39 Mistra, Glyfada, Tel: 212.106.7019. Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10am-10pm.