i've been to france many times, but i have only been to ladurée once, with ludo and blanche. it involved some very fancy fragrant tea in a formal setting, and frivolous desserts made for marie antoinette (or at least the film). but, ladurée is REALLY famous for its macarons.
i have just finished reading au revoir to all that, the book i began months ago about the decline of french food. of course, author michael steinberger mentions ladurée; it's a spectacular, incredibly french experience that one cannot miss in their lifetime. in the book, one learns that mcdonald's (which is part of the reason for the fall of french food) sells macarons. and! they are made by holder, the company that bought ladurée in 1997. it's distressing in a way that i cannot actually describe, though at least mcdonald's knows what is good for it.
and i not going to believe that the era of french food is really over, maybe just plateaued for now.
i love macarons. and i will not be able to return to france any time soon, but almondine is opening a location in park slope. michelle and i have been anticipating its arrival for some time, as the dumbo location is just too inconvenient for any person who doesn't live on the waterfront. almondine is the closest a new yorker can get to a ladurée macaron. in walking distance. yes.