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THE BEST: Pastries in New York


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#61 Todd36

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 04:25 AM

Lexington is one block east of Park; Madison is one block west of Park.

Does anyone know what bakery chiantiglace could be thinking of?

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Bread is a different world, not talking about that in this post.

Probably Coronodo Pastery (not spelled quite right) at Grand Central Market is what they are thinking of. They have some pretty good stuff, but they are a consolidator (meaning they sell things made by other people), not a bakery. Not sure they are that special.


Financier Patisserie is better than most places, but a little out of the way for most people.


Petrossian, although not thought of as a bakery, is quite good for that sort of thing, and has a significant wholesale business to better places. Might be best crossisant in NYC.

The newest incarnation of Bouley Bakery (I have not yet been there) is a good bet as a place worth a trip.

The Upper West Side has Silver Moon and Georgia's Bakeshop (related ownership), both of which are pretty good, but not worth a long trip.

Upper East Side has Two Little Red Hens, which is worth a trip if you like things like blackout cake.

Lady M on the upper east side is very good and different from the usual. Lots of heavy whipped cream with fruit type things.

In my opinion, none of the Italian style places in Manhattan are noteable except for bread type items at places like Sullivan Sttreet.

Payard is OK.

Ceci-Cela is OK.

Amy's bread makes some pretty good other things in the sweets catagory. Better cake I think than say Magnolia Bakery.

Donut Plant for great donuts, but out of the way location.

Little Pie Company makes some pretty good pies.

People have strong preferences as to their favorite bakeries....

Edited by Todd36, 07 June 2005 - 04:26 AM.


#62 Daniel

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 05:29 AM

French Macaroons = Fauchon

#63 SethG

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 06:45 AM

Thomas Keller's opening a bakery in New York?

The new Bouley Bakery is definitely worth a visit.
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#64 mascarpone

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 08:57 AM

For the best Pecan Pies, made to order, contact Elysean Foods in advance at elysehf@hotmail.com. She is an independent baker on the upper west side who bakes the best Pecan Pie in the City, hands down.

#65 mascarpone

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 09:14 AM

For a change of pace, you might check out some Asian bakeries. Cafe Zaya on 41st, between 5th and Madison, has an interesting Japanese chiffon style cheese cake, greet tea cake, tiramisu cake, as well as Papa Beards Cream Puffs.

Also, check out Taipan Bakery on Canal Street. Interesting variation on Napoleon.

For Mexican Pandulce, try Leon Bakery 695 9th Avenue (47th and 48th streets) 212-489-6677.

I like cafe Bruno @ Lafayette just south of Bleeker for Italian pastery, particualrly the fruit tarts.

#66 JohnL

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 09:24 AM

William Greenberg Jr (Madison and 83rd Street).
Sweet Melissa in Brooklyn
also--
there a a number of places on Arthur Ave in the Bronx: Egidio, Artuso etc.

#67 mascarpone

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 09:25 AM

Another interesting place, Chikalicious, is at 203 East Tenth. This is a dessert bar run by a Japanese dessert chef, Chika, who was trained in Paris. I highly recommend the Fromage Blanc. You will ge a three course dessert meal (mind you , this is not a meal in itself). The coffee, particularly the iced coffee (with espresso ice cubes), is excellent.

#68 Daniel

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:13 AM

For the best Pecan Pies, made to order, contact Elysean Foods in advance at elysehf@hotmail.com. She is an independent baker on the upper west side who bakes the best Pecan Pie in the City, hands down.

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Website or store?

#69 mascarpone

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:48 AM

For the best Pecan Pies, made to order, contact Elysean Foods in advance at elysehf@hotmail.com. She is an independent baker on the upper west side who bakes the best Pecan Pie in the City, hands down.

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Website or store?

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Neither. This an individual who bakes out of her apartment. The pies are so good she went into business. Her name is Elyse and, if I am not mistaken, is a fellow egulleter.

#70 Daniel

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:51 AM

Ahh yes i have seen her online.. She is in charge of the burger club.. I would love a list of potential pies as well as how far i would have to go for them.. I remember someone selling them on the street on the upper west side on this board.. I think it might have been her..

Edited by Daniel, 07 June 2005 - 10:53 AM.


#71 Moopheus

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 11:46 AM

For the best Pecan Pies, made to order, contact Elysean Foods in advance at elysehf@hotmail.com. She is an independent baker on the upper west side who bakes the best Pecan Pie in the City, hands down.

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Website or store?

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Neither. This an individual who bakes out of her apartment. The pies are so good she went into business. Her name is Elyse and, if I am not mistaken, is a fellow egulleter.

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I got to have one of her pies once, and I would agree that they are indeed among the best pecan pies I've tasted.
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#72 zeitoun

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 01:24 PM

Not to forget Patisserie Claude in the village although good frenchman that he is he closes one full month in the summer (July I think). Must tries in my opinion are Cafe Sabarsky and Petrossian, maybe Payard for the experience.
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#73 TarteTatin

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 07:42 PM

For Austrian/Viennese style pastries and cakes make sure to stop by Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Gallerie ((Upper East Side) 1048 Fifth Ave. at 86th St. 212-288-0665).  The cafe also has a beautifully authentic atmosphere that will transport you to Vienna.  The last time I was there I had an excellent chestnut, whipped cream and meringue torte.

edited to add link to menu

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Oh, my, Cafe Sabarsky a few weeks ago was fantastic!

Also, for simple Bagels, there's nothing like NY! It doesn't have to be fancy French pastries.
Living in Philly----I have to say, there's nothing like NYC bagels! With butter! I'm sure people can recommend the best. My favorite because of location when I come in via Penn Station, is a block or two south of Penn Station on 7th. Can't remember the name. Bagels something....
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#74 Todd36

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 04:03 AM

Patisserre Claude is an interesting place in the village, but not worth a big trip.

Cafe Sabarsky is worth a trip, and an interesting room to eat in as well.


Chikalicious is very good, but its not really a bakery (neither is Cafe Sabarsky I guess).

If you want Japanese desserts, Cha An at 230 east 9th is a good bet, its a cafe, not a bakery. Cafe Zaya is fine for what it is, which is basically one step up from a good supermarket bakery, its interesting culturally but not fine pastry. Same for Panya Bakery on east 9th (both are Japanese).

Chinatown is a whole world of bakeries onto itself, someone should give some suggestions.

I haven't tried Williams Greenburg, Jr. in a long time, but they've been sold several times and have not been in their prime for more than 10 years.

You have to watch for freshness, but the bakery counter at Dean & Delucca (the real ones, not the cafes), have been known to have some good stuff.

#75 Pan

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 05:30 AM

We should talk about some Arab bakeries. I've enjoyed this place:

Damascus Bread & Pastry Shop Limited
195 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 625-7070

(Address and telephone number courtesy of www.superpages.com)

#76 mascarpone

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:57 AM

What was the name of the dessert you had at that Middle Eastern restaurant in Brooklyn that made your date somewhat ecstatic. I seem to recall the place was reviewed in the Times and it was not around Atlantic Avenue but was way out in Bay Ridge.

Do they have that at Damascus? Is it as good as at the restaurant?

Was the dessert called Knafe?

I also like the Baklava at Mamoun's Falafel Restaurant
Middle Eastern

119 MacDougal St, New York 10012
Btwn Bleecker & W 3rd St

Phone: 212-674-8685

Keep in mind that this place is a closet, extremely small.

#77 Pan

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 10:35 AM

What was the name of the dessert you had at that Middle Eastern restaurant in Brooklyn that made your date somewhat ecstatic. I seem to recall the place was reviewed in the Times and it was not around Atlantic Avenue but was way out in Bay Ridge.[...]

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You have a good memory. The name of the place is Tanoreen. And yes, the dessert that made my dining partner ecstatic was knafeh (their spelling).

Do they have that at Damascus? Is it as good as at the restaurant?

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Knafe is a standard dessert at Middle Eastern bakeries, and I'm just about positive I've seen at least one version of it for sale at Damascus. The thing that was most unusual to me about Tanoreen's rendition is that it was hardly sweet. I really can't compare Tanoreen and Damascus, because Tanoreen is a full-service restaurant and one serving more unusual foodstuffs (for New York, anyway). As a bakery, Damascus is quite good. As I note below, it's a good side trip if you're going to Sahadi's or the Yemen Cafe & Restaurant across the street.

I just did a search and found an old thread about Damascus Bread & Pastries. In the first post of the thread, I describe the thing I've liked most there:

[...]I had a nice, hearty early dinner at the Yemeni restaurant across the street, and followed it with a trip to this great bakery. I bought a little date cake (sorry, I forget the Arabic name), and I loved it so much that I immediately went back with my partially-eaten cake and bought 4 more. It had some rose water in it and some wonderful combination of spices. If you're in the area, you really owe it to yourself to give this place a try. It's just about right next to Sahadi's.

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#78 David McDuff

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 11:02 AM

Payard at 74th and Lexington.  The bistro in the back is good but the real artistry here is in the pastries and chocolates, for sale to carry-out or to indulge in at the bar or in the cafe seating area up front.  The place has a great reputation and the staff know it -- they can sometimes be a bit "oh so very...".  Don't let that stop you.  It's worth many visits.

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Have you been recently? I stopped going there after I detected a sharp decline in the quality of the pastries a few years ago.

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Not being a native or resident New Yorker, I only get to Payard two or three times a year. That said, I've been going for several years and have never been disappointed by any of the pastries or other confections.

#79 mascarpone

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 11:19 AM

Although not exactly a baked item, I will mention the budino di castagne con salsa cocciolata (or was it hazelnut ?) at:

Gnocco
Cucina & Tradizione
Italian

337 E 10th St, New York 10009
Btwn Ave A & Ave B

Phone: 212-677-1913
Fax: 212-477-7610

(Perhaps call ahead to check if they still serve this item.)

Edited by mascarpone, 08 June 2005 - 11:20 AM.


#80 zeitoun

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 12:00 PM

Knafe is a standard dessert at Middle Eastern bakeries, and I'm just about positive I've seen at least one version of it for sale at Damascus.

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Just a quick note that if you like Knafe there is a Jordanian bakery on Steinway Street in Astoria called Laziza that makes an excellent rendition of it. They also make excellent baklava, mamoul, ghraibe etc..

The bakery was featured in this Newsday article last year.
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#81 mascarpone

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 12:23 PM

Wow, great article. Thanks for the tip on this place.

#82 Luna Calvados

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 12:51 PM

I, too, second Payard Patisserie ( website at http://www.payard.com/) at 1032 Lexington Avenue, but would pass on Fauchon. However, my favorite French pastries--mostly chocolate, of course--are found at La Maison du Chocolat (website at http://www.lamaisonduchocolat.com/) at 1018 Madison Avenue (between 78th & 79th Streets). LMdC has a small selection of delicacies, including items such as eclairs, lemon pound cake, macarons, etc., which are displayed in the front window and can be eaten in the back room with a chocolate drink or taken away.
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#83 mpav

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 01:45 PM

I would confirm all those who have mentioned Payard. If you like Italian try Veniero's on 11th between 1st & 2nd. Or is it 2nd & 3rd? I don't really like Italian pastries, but when I pass by I must bring home a few pignoli cookies and a cannoli or two.
I don't know of any pastries I'd spend the calories on in GCT; ditto The Little Pie Company or the Doughnut Plant.

#84 Pan

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 01:54 PM

I would confirm all those who have mentioned Payard. If you like Italian try Veniero's on 11th between 1st & 2nd. Or is it 2nd & 3rd?[...]

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It's 1st and 2nd, and I think it's fine but not exceptional. I haven't checked out DeRoberti's for a long time. Truth be told, it's been some time since I've been to Veniero's, too, even though I live about 4 blocks away.

#85 mascarpone

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:10 PM

Although both are good, I prefer the fruit tarts at Cafe Bruno to those at Veniero's. The crust of the tarts at the later are the hard-as-steel fork bender kind that are not to infrequently flung across the dinning room by accident in an effort to cut a off a bite size portion.

#86 ludja

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 10:18 PM

Has anyone been here? I've never been there but wonder if it is worth checking out sometime for the pastries or cakes. I gather it's an institution of sorts but not sure if that is based more nostalgia.


Hungarian Pastry Shop
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1030 Amsterdam Ave Manhattan
Phone: 212-866-4230
Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am - 11:30pm
Sun 8:30am - 10:30pm

"Located near Columbia University, the Hungarian Pastry Shop is a comfortable place to enjoy some unique desserts. You'll find Rigo Janci (a chocolate mousse Hungarian-style), Dobos Torte (a multi-layered yellow cake and chocolate buttercream torte on layer of caramel), sacher torte, linzer torte, and a traditional Black Forest cake, among the offerings. Don't forget to try the coffee. "
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

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#87 Todd36

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 04:18 AM

Hungarian Pastry Shop is not worth a trip I think, it's a local place.

Bruno Bakery is fine, but not that good and not that special. I don't think there realy is a good Italian pastry bakery in Manhattan.

La Maison du Chocolat is good but the selection of pastry is small.

Damascus Bread & Pastries is good, above average for that sort of thing, but not worth a long trip, its not that much better than average.

#88 bergerka

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 05:00 AM

Has anyone been here?  I've never been there but wonder if it is worth checking out sometime for the pastries or cakes.  I gather it's an institution of sorts but not sure if that is based more nostalgia.


Hungarian Pastry Shop
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1030 Amsterdam Ave Manhattan
Phone: 212-866-4230
Hours:
Mon-Sat 8am - 11:30pm
Sun 8:30am - 10:30pm

"Located near Columbia University, the Hungarian Pastry Shop is a comfortable place to enjoy some unique desserts. You'll find Rigo Janci (a chocolate mousse Hungarian-style), Dobos Torte (a multi-layered yellow cake and chocolate buttercream torte on layer of caramel), sacher torte, linzer torte, and a traditional Black Forest cake, among the offerings. Don't forget to try the coffee. "

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I would disagree with Todd36 (that's ok, I disagree with him about the Silver Moon, too...I frequently go out of my way to stop there) and say that the Hungarian Pastry Shop IS worth a pilgrimage, if only to eat some unusual (and delicious, did I mention that?) pastries while looking over at St. John the Divine and enjoying the bustling, college-town atmosphere.

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#89 Pan

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 07:05 AM

[...]Damascus Bread & Pastries is good, above average for that sort of thing, but not worth a long trip, its not that much better than average.

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I agree with your assessment (good, above average) and that it's probably not worth a long trip by itself, only in combination with a trip to Sahadi's or/and some other place(s) on Atlantic Av., but I don't know what kind of average place has those date cakes. They just aren't common in New York, are they?

My opinion is colored partly by the fact that whereas I've been to Naples (Italy, not Florida) twice and therefore know what real Neapolitan pastries are like (and they're way, way better than Veniero's), I have spent very little time in the Middle East and have never been to Syria (I was in Israel for one week in 1977 and unfortunately had a stomach virus for part of that trip but not before having some delicious Arab pastries in Akko/Acre). However, I spent parts of two summers in Nice, which has a large population of Jews and Muslims from Tunisia and excellent Tunisian bakeries. I love the Tunisian pastries with date or fig paste and wish I knew where there might be a Tunisian bakery in New York.

I've also been to Hungary, and never found the aforementioned Hungarian bakery that great even way back when it started as a sideline to the now long-closed Green Tree (and long before my trip to Budapest). I haven't been there in years, though.

Maybe we should have a thread about how visiting a country or region can make a person jaded in the presence of comparatively colorless renditions of those cuisines elsewhere.

Edited by Pan, 09 June 2005 - 10:17 PM.


#90 zeitoun

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:28 AM

[...]Damascus Bread & Pastries is good, above average for that sort of thing, but not worth a long trip, its not that much better than average.

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I agree with your assessment (good, above average) and that it's probably not worth a long trip by itself, only in combination with a trip to Sahadi's or/and some other place(s) on Atlantic Av., but I don't know what kind of average place has those date cakes. They just aren't common in New York, are they?

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The date cakes (mamoul tamr) you are referring to are available in the ME pastry shop i mentionned upthread. They also make them daily with pistacchio or almond filling. They are in my opinion some of the best in NY.
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