ICI Macarons opened last September in Old City, and had I not been looking for it, I may have missed it. The unassuming storefront opens to a cute and comfortable cafe. When I was there, a small group was quietly celebrating an engagement in the back while I nibbled on my treats at the small bar–top overlooking the street.
While the macarons ($2 each) were a bit heavier than I was expecting and the filling more creamy than buttery, I was impressed by how well the bakery’s unique flavors came through in each bite. I began my tasting (hesitantly) with the Lychee Rose. It was a cookie I would never have selected for myself, but I was pleasantly surprised. The two, delicate flavors paired together nicely while retaining their distinct tastes. It was a good starting point—not overwhelming, but intriguing.
Next, I took a bite of the pistachio (another flavor I wouldn’t have picked). I’m not a fan of pistachio flavoring, so I was not surprised that I didn’t love this cookie. The larger issue than the flavor, however, was the cloying sweetness. I put it aside and set my sights on the neon green mint chocolate sandwich. As soon as it hit my tongue, I was transported back to my kitchen table at home with a bowl of Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice cream before me.
I saved the most aesthetically appealing for last—peanut butter and chocolate. The crumbled peanuts on top provided a nice crunch to an otherwise perfectly smooth treat. A standard and safe flavor combination, the macaron nailed the balance without being too sweet.
Had the server not suggested it, I probably wouldn’t have ordered the croissant. I had, after all, come for the macarons. But wow, I was glad I did. The moist, buttery pastry stole the show. Even after sampling four macarons, I finished the entire thing. It flaked without crumbling, was flavorful without too much sugar. This croissant was easily the best I’ve had in Philadelphia.
The quiet, comfortable environment would be perfect for meeting a friend or doing some work. I’ll be counting down the days to when I can get my hands on another one of their croissants.