Over many pages, the author of "Ready for Dessert" and "The Sweet Life in Paris" will lead you to more than 300 addresses for the city's best pastries, chocolates and sweets. He's done the research (that's the sweet life) and includes his reviews and tips on each shop’s specialties. Each entry also includes the full address, closest metro station (essential), phone, hours, Web address—and Google map link.
Lebovitz explains, "Having lived in Paris for close to a decade, I've had time to whittle down my favorites and the places included in this application are selected from over 1,200 bakeries and chocolate shops in Paris. Some are outstanding and I would cross the city to visit them, others I reserve for certain specialties, like shops that might carry a favorite chocolate-dipped marshmallow or bake an exceptional chausson aux pommes (apple turnover)." Lest the visitor be overwhelmed, he designated his top 25 shops with an asterisk.
And until Valentine’s Day, he’s putting it on sale for $2.99. After that, it goes for $4.99—even so, quite the bargain when you consider you can barely buy a madeleine or two in Paris for that price.
I’m holding off reading it, not wanting to pore over the photos just yet, as I’m attempting to stave off a possible trip to Paris and let my good friends go without me.
"Paris Pastry Guide" is also available as an iPhone app at the iTunes store in both free (LITE) and paid ($4.99) versions. Same information, just a different format. The advantage with the app is that you can search by category and neighborhood and make use of zoomable offline maps.
"Paris Pastry" eBook, $4.99 ($2.99 until Feb. 14); Paris Pastry app, LITE (free) or $4.99; http://www.paris-pastry.com/.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photos: EBook cover, David Lebovitz taking notes from the owner of Le Bonbon au Palais. Credit: David Lebovitz and Paris Pastry.