A new dessert shop is opening in North Dallas that promises to bring it European-style. Called Le Rêve Gelato & Pâtisserie, it'll do exactly as the name says, pastries and ice cream, at 12817 Preston Rd., in the same enviably-located Preston Valley Shopping Center at Preston Road and 635 as India Palace, Maple Leaf Diner, and the Penzey's spice store.
Le Rêve is from Andy Pham, a baker and 22-year-old entrepreneur who's taking his cottage business and advancing to that next step.
"I'm a recent college graduate and before this, I was in finance," Pham says. "But I love French pastry and the European style of baking. I'm Vietnamese, but my grandparents had a French connection and I grew up with an exposure to French culture."
Macarons will be the signature item. Pham says he began experimenting with macarons while still in high school.
"I started working on recipes while I was a freshman," he says. "It took me about a year to master it and I was able to make a perfect batch. By the time I was 16, I was doing them for parties. My mother said, 'You're doing these a lot, why don't you venture out and sell them.'"
And thus was born Andy's Macarons, his own business which he maintained throughout his school years before putting it on hold during the pandemic.
"Everyone has their own style and unique take on macarons," he says. "Mine are lighter and yet still have texture and body. Mine are also not as sweet."
In addition to getting the texture right, his macarons are very pretty, with special effects including trendy unicorn coloring, striping, and glittery icing.
His other big component will be gelato, and in this category, he's equally exacting.
"I took a class that helped me determine proportions and putting together recipes," he says. "They also taught about mixes and powders, which some gelato places use. I prefer to make it from scratch. I like using fresh ingredients and nuts."
He'll do about a dozen flavors per day, including his "go-to" flavor pistachio, plus blueberry cheesecake, hazelnut, chocolate, red velvet, and a rotating vegan flavor.
He'll also do a variety of French pastries including eclairs and small cakes. "It's not a set menu, it'll revolve and change with the seasons," he says.
Le Reve's final building block is espresso.
"I'll be using Vietnamese arabica coffee beans, there's been a newer trend towards using Vietnamese coffee beans, it's a Southeast Asian bean, and great for espresso and espresso based drinks," he says.
He's finishing the usual construction and permitting process but hopes to be open by the holidays.
"My vision is a modern French-style patisserie, with gateau, eclairs, and macarons - to bring that refined European touch," he says.