Jul 29, 2009

Hamptons Sweet Summer Guide

When running away from the city this summer, bring this list of fresh, tasteful sweet tips with you. Here are some great places for you to have delicious treats:

For gelato:
Saint Ambroeus - go for their gelato and pastries with or without a meal.
30 Main St, Southampton

Cita Nuova - have the gelato either with iced tea on the counter, at the table after a relaxing lunch or at the bench in the side walk. Absolutely refreshing.
29 Newtown Ln, East Hampton

For old style ice cream:
Scoop du Jour:
you’ll feel like a child looking at a large selection of ice creams and toppings. Hot fudge is highly recommended.
35 Newtown Ln, East Hampton

Candy Kitchen – the oldest ice cream place of the Hamptons has the best blueberry ice cream, creamy and tasty. No need to try their food though.
2391 Montauk Hwy - Bridgehampton

For coffee and muffin:
Golden Pear - choose between seating inside the store on their little tables or on the bench in the side walk to have their flavored coffee and muffins.
99 Main Street - Southampton
111 Main Street - Sag Harbor
2426 Montauk Highway – Bridgehampton
34 Newtown Lane - East Hampton

For decadent bread:
Levain Bakery – opens only at summer time. Go for their delicious brioche with chocolate chips.
354 Montauk Hwy Wainscott

For candy cravings:
Dylan’s Candy Bar: it’s summer time, relaxing time, kids time, candy time!
52 Main St, East Hampton

For cakes and tarts:
Citarella – so that you don’t go to your friends house empty handed, Citarella offers delicate and tasty tarts and cakes.
2209 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton
2 Pantigo Road, East Hampton
760 Montauk Highway, Watermill

For sweet fruits:
EECO Farm - among others in the region, the East End Community Organic Farm sells organic fruits such as peaches and blueberries in a charming store right off the road. They also have great smoothie combinations.
55 Long Lane, East Hampton

Jul 21, 2009

Momofuku Ko

This 12-seats restaurant requires patience and persistence to score a reservation. At 10am precisely 6 days in advance, you must enter in the website and try to get a slot for this unusual but very successful restaurant. The young chef David Chang offers a 2 hour dining experience: 8 courses in a counter that reminds a sushi bar. The kitchen is open and the chef cooks everything in front of your eyes. The only choice you have is to say which food you are allergic to. The rest, leave it up to Chef Chang`s ingenious creativity.
Momofuku Ko
163 1st Avenue
(212) 500-0831

Jul 17, 2009

Murray's Cheese, pasta, bread, honey, nuts...

This cheese paradise on Bleecker Street offers the most amazing selection and a trip into decadence. You begin by filling your shopping basket in the cheese counter, making sure to taste a thin slice of the each and every one. Then you go to the cooked and cured meat section, where ham and salami aren’t simple: they come spiced, with herbs, from Spain, from Italy . . . Then you go to the pasta section and buy it by weight, the best way to match the perfect pasta to the perfect recipe. You might think this is it but on your way to the cashier you’ll find yourself lost looking to the fresh pastas, cheeses and yogurts at the dairy counter and to a beautiful selection of honey, jam, dried fruits and nuts, just a perfect combination. Don’t forget to pick up some freshly baked bread right next to the exit.

· 254 Bleecker St. (between 6th & 7th Ave.)
(212) 243-3289
· Grand Central, 43rd St. & Lexington
(212) 922-1540

Jul 15, 2009

Spotted Pig

Just a few years ago, a PUB was synonymous of cheap beer and below average food. This fact has dramatically changed when Chef April Bloomfield opened Spotted Pig in the West Village in 2005. She coined the new trend of "Gastro Pubs", where a cool vibe meets artisanal beer and great non pretentious food. Ask to be seated downstairs, and while you wait (YES you will wait) ask for a cold “Brooklyn Local 1” (made in the nearby neighborhood). Then order the mouthwatering Burger, covered with Roquefort, delicious and juicy. Finish the meal with the flourless chocolate cake, it has a subtle and light texture, with intense chocolate flavor. Once named the best chocolate dessert in New York.

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St # 1
(212) 620-0393

Jul 7, 2009

Churros con Chocolate

This traditional sweet fried dough is a remarkable souvenir of hispanic childhood. Although not easily found in NYC here is a place where you can delight yourself with it: at Boqueria Restaurant, either on their location in the Flat Iron District or in Soho. Their Churros come warm and crunchy with hot chocolate sauce on the side to be dipped in. A very happy ending to the various tapas presenting the cuisine of Catalunã and other Spanish regions in a laid back and attractive atmosphere.

53 West 19th Street
171 Spring Street

Jul 6, 2009

Dylan's Candy Bar

This store is a dream come true for children around the world, actually not only children, parents also go crazy. They have the most delightful assortment of candy ever. Owned by Dylan (Ralph Lauren's daughter), who was inspired by the colors from her childhood memory when she saw her father doing all those cashmere sweaters and colored shirts. The store has a private party room, party favors, fashion apparel and the latest addition, beauty products. In the summer, the line for the ice cream is long and requires patience, but take the chance and go, it’s delicious. Also, sit down and take a moment to enjoy the thrill and happiness shown in every kid's eyes while choosing which Candy to taste first. It's a nice way to escape "grown up" issues for a brief period of time.

Dylan's Candy Bar
1011 3rd Avenue
(646) 735-0078

Jul 2, 2009

European Cafe

Cafe Angelique is a place that makes you wish every day is a Sunday, where you can sit down, have coffee and sweets and just let time go by.
Opened in 2003 by Jerusalem-born Isaac Ben Avram, this European-style coffee bistro offers you delightful pastries and sandwiches for your coffee break, lunch or even a late snack.
Not to be missed: the croissant ham and cheese sandwich and the eclair au chocolat.

68 Bleecker St
(212) 475-3500

Jun 30, 2009

A Sustainable Seafood Restaurant

Fishtail is the new adventure of David Burke on the Upper East Side. Located in a historic Townhouse, where the ground floor is an oyster bar and on the second, you will find a colorful dining room. The menu is divided between Fish Dishes, where Burke showcases his innovations, and Simply Fish, where fish are served either roasted or grilled, with a simple sauce on the side. The interesting fact is that 80% of the seafood on the menu is caught through sustainable fishing measures. At the end, be sure to ask for the Can o` Cake, a molten chocolate cake, baked to order with caramel sauce. It is actually served in the can, where it is baked and made to share. Also, if you are lucky enough, you can even spot a celebrity, Jack Nicholson was right beside our table the other night.

135 East 62nd Street
(212) 754-1300

Jun 12, 2009

Bouchon Bakery

While shopping, working or simply walking during a rainy day at Columbus Circle, a stop at Bouchon Bakery for a coffee and a sweet is essential. A variety of pastries, breads, chocolates and simple sandwiches are amazing. Created by renowned Chef Thomas Keller, the bakery was founded in Yountville, where he would prepare breads for his restaurants. As a consequence of the venture’s success, nothing better than to repeat the recipe in NY, just a floor below Per Se (this one, I’ll save to write later on). Don’t forget to try the Chocolate Bouchon, similar to a brownie that melts in your mouth in a perfect bite size. The sandwiches are also a good option for a quick meal and the prices are reasonable.

Bouchon Bakery
Ten Columbus Circle, Thrid Floor

Jun 4, 2009

Artful Cookies

They are so pretty you feel sorry to eat them, but once you do…Surprise, they taste good too! The most beautiful hand decorated cookies in town are made by Eleni’s, for sale at Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and at their own store at the Chelsea Market. Choose from their large design variety or have it custom made. Either way these cookies are a great idea for party favors and gifts.

75 Ninth Avenue (at Chelsea Market)

May 28, 2009

Lady M

Lady M is a cake boutique located on the Upper East Side just in the middle of designer stores and renowned museums. So it’s a must visit if you are around that area. The ambient is clean and modern; it reminds of a jewelry store where the cakes are displayed like precious pieces of art. Their signature cake, the Mille Crêpe Cake, is made with more than 20 hand-made crêpes layered with a light and creamy custard, delicate and marvelous. Each season, they have a special version with different ingredients like coconut, chocolate or chestnut. They also serve sandwiches, salads and a good variety of teas and coffee.

Lady M
41 East 78th Street

May 21, 2009

Back to the beginning: Magnolia Bakery’s Story

The most celebrated cupcakes in the city were born in 1996 at Bleecker Street. Magnolia's bakery was opened to offer breads and rolls, but owners changed their minds when they realized that the space was far too small for that and began to make cakes instead. The batch of the cakes became their famous cupcakes, now made in different colors and flavors. Originally the store was open from 8 to 6, but it's open hours had to be adjusted, since cakes where made at night when the store was closed and people would pass by and beg for cupcakes. The lines got bigger and bigger as the shop was featured in Sex and The City and the film The Devil Wears Prada.
In 2000 co-owner Jennifer Appel parted ways with partner Allysa Torey and opened Buttercup Bake Shop, which now has two stores in the city. Later on Magnolia was sold to Steve and Tyra Abrams. Nowadays, both locations (Midtown and Downtown) gather large lines, with customers eager to taste their sweet treats.

Magnolia Bakery
401 Bleecker Street
200 Columbus Avenue
1240 Avenue of the Americas

Butter Cup Bake Shop
973 2nd Avenue(Between 51st and 52nd Streets)141 West 72nd Street(Between Amsterdam and Columbus)

May 14, 2009

Minetta Tavern

Keith McNally, who has brought Balthazar, Pastis and Morandi to life, succeeds yet again in his new venture, Minetta Tavern. This fully restored mix of tavern/restaurant was opened this spring. If you are not a model, make reservations; otherwise the bouncer (yes there is a bouncer) will not let you in. The menu is not too extensive, but offers good options, like the lobster salad, bone marrow and a succulent veal chop. Of course, if you look at the dessert menu first (just like us), try the Soufflé, Grand Marnier or Chocolate, both are delicious. It is definitely a place to see and to be seen, but the good food is not forgotten.

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal Street

Recession Free Sweets

These tough times are no excuse to stop indulging yourself, family and friends with special delicacies. You can save a lot by doing it yourself at home. All you need is a good pastry cookbook and a little professional equipment. First, buy the bible: Desserts by Pierre Hermé and choose your preferred sweets to bake (making sure you start with the ones with low level of difficulty if you are a beginner). Then run to NYC’s amazing stores such as New York Cake and Baking Distributors, Williams-Sonoma and Broadway Panhandler to buy different shapes of cake pans, baking cups and everything else you need to bake a truly professional dessert!
New York Cake and Baking Distributors
56 W 22nd St
Broadway Panhandler
65, East 8th Street New York NY

May 6, 2009


Back to chemistry class! This was how I felt dining at wd~50. The awarded chef Wylie Dufresne applies his cutting edge culinary techniques playing with ingredients textures and flavors. So many dishes to describe, that I am going to pick the favorites of the table. The famous reinterpretation of Eggs Benedict, where the yolk is cooked very slowly to intensify the color and taste and the hollandaise sauce is frozen in cubes, breaded in English muffins and then deep-fried, resulting in a extraordinary experience. At the end, we had a tasting of three desserts where the winner was the soft chocolate cylinders with peppermint ice cream and coconut foam. A good tip now is the Bacchus Bail Out, 50% off every bottle of wine when having a tasting menu.

50 Clinton Street
(212) 477-2900

Apr 30, 2009

Italian Ice Cream

And the moment we’ve been waiting for….ice cream season! Here are three wonderful places to have Italian style ice cream:

With two locations, one in the Upper West Side and another in the West Village, Grom is an Italian brand who started in Turin in 2003 and later expanded to Paris, Tokyo and New York. Last summer lines could reach 90 feet long.
2165, Broadway (and 76th) (212) 362 1837
233, Bleecker Street (and Carmine)(212) 206 1738

This American style shop offers an amazing selection of Italian style ice cream, ranging from sorbets to creamy and milky flavors. With a very efficient staff, lines during summer move fast and the shop stays open until 1am.
272 Bleecker St.
(212) 414-1795

Sant Ambroeus
An Italian restaurant who also serves delicious ice cream at their balcony. Originally from Milan, Sant Ambroeus was established in 1936. Their two celebrated spots in NYC, in the Upper East side and West Village, are a trendy address for lunch, dinner, coffee and ice cream!
1000 Madison Ave
(212) 570-2211
259 W 4th St, New York
(212) 604-9254

Shake Shack

Located at Madison Square Park, Shake Shack has a great atmosphere and it's a good option if you are looking for a satisfying meal. Don't feel guilty and go for the shackburger or the New York hot dog with crisps french fries. And if you are a chocoholic, don't forget to ask for a shack attack, made with a delicious chocolate custard and a hot fudge sauce, chocolate truffle cookies and a valrhona chocolate chunks, otherwise, you will have to face that huge line again. If you want to save time, check the webcam on the site.

Shake Shack
at Madison Avenue and 23rd Street
(212) 889-6600

Apr 22, 2009

Au Revoir La Goulue

One of New York’s favorite French restaurants will close its doors this June 24th. Apparently, the landlord is to blame for not renewing the lease. Always a stage for celebrity and Upper East siders, La Goulue was established on Madison Avenue and 64th St in 1972 and has since pleased Jackie Kennedy and Catherine Deneuve among others. Glamour apart, this Parisian style bistro has a helpful (and French!) staff, as well as the best Profiteroles in town - drowned in a rich chocolate sauce and filled with creamy vanilla ice cream.
The good news is that La Goulue owners plan to reopen at a new spot. Meanwhile, run to grab you last bite!

746 Madison Avenue
(212) 988 8169

Apr 16, 2009


When the best French Chef in NY says something, just do it! Mentioned by Chef Daniel Boulud in a recent lecture, this small and elegant restaurant with only ten tables is located on Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street on the Upper East Side. The Owners Ron Suhanosky and his baker wife Collen keep the tradition alive by offering simply yet savory Italian dishes. The desserts can definitely be shared and the tarts of the day are amazing. But if you want to keep the tradition go for the bread pudding made with raisins and served with a delicate touch of creme anglaise.

Sfoglia Trattoria
1402 Lexington Avenue
(212) 831-1402

Apr 15, 2009

Brigadeiro, Brazilian Sweetheart

It is almost unanimous: 9 of every 10 Brazilians will start their sentence with hmmm when asked about brigadeiros. The famous typical sweet from Brazil is made of condensed milk, butter and chocolate powder. Some recipes add honey, milk or heavy cream. In the shape of tiny balls, they are covered with chocolate sprinkles and are a constant presence at children's parties. The love of it starts in childhood and comes from the Brazilian taste for very sweet treats.
In NYC you can buy them in Little Brazil. One great place that sells it is Emporium Brazil Restaurant, on 46th St. There, brigadeiros are available by unit or as chocolate cake toppings, in the also famous “Bolo de Brigadeiro”. Both absolutely Brazilian and delicious.

15 W 46th St
(212) 764-4646‎

Apr 9, 2009

Pâtisserie Claude

When the French owner and chef Claude decided to retire and close Pâtisserie Claude the entire West Village panicked. Some people worried about missing their wonderful croissants, brioches, palmiers, éclairs and mille-feuilles bought up as much as they could. The story has a happy ending as his long time assistant Pablo took over the shop and continues the tradition.
Located on West 4th St. between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue this modest pastry shop in the middle of tattoo places and tacky T-shirt stores doesn’t win you over until you enter its doors and the scent of the delicacies rising in the oven overwhelms you.

187 W. 4th St.From 8 am to 8 pm
(212) 255-5911

Apr 1, 2009

Baking in School

The French Culinary Institute and The Institute of Culinary Education are NY’s best culinary schools. You can either study to become a pastry chef or take amateur classes. From tarts to chocolate truffles, croissants, cakes and cookies, their hands-on courses teach you (in a fun and delicious way) how to bake marvelous sweets in as quickly as 1 week.

The French Culinary Institute
462 Broadway

The Institute of Culinary Education
50 W 23rd St.

Mar 27, 2009


The Viennese Apple Strudel is a popular pastry in Austria and in many countries in Europe. It’s no surprise you can find it in NY. Where? In two great restaurants: Blaue Gans and Wallsé, both owned by chef Kurt Gutenbrunner. Try Blaue Ganz for lunch and Wallse for dinner. The former offers a delicious $20,00 pre fix lunch menu in Tribeca, where the latter has a charming ambience for dinner in the West Village. In both of them, the Apple Strudel is the way to go.

344 West 11th Street

Blaue Gans
139 Duane Street212-571-8880


Mar 18, 2009

11 Madison Park

Set in a beautiful art deco dining room with an amazing view of Madison Square Park seen through a tall antique glass window, charm is in every detail at 11 Madison Park Restaurant.
Kind and friendly Chef Daniel Humm prepares a delicate, creative and exquisite dessert: the Vermont Quark, a vanilla soufflé with passion fruit sauce. The sauce is poured at your table and as the ingredients combine the dessert becomes better and better.

11, Madison Avenue

You’re in Charge of Dessert

Whenever you are in charge of bringing dessert to a friend's dinner and you didn’t order days in advance there is one place that will never let you come up empty handed: Dean & Deluca.
I would give you the same advice when you are responsible for cheese, bread or appetizers because Dean & Deluca has a large variety of gourmet products.
Among the best desserts are: the Gateau Nuage Cheesecake, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Chocolate Mille Crepes, Chocolate Mousse Cake or the American homemade style Blueberry Pie. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

560 Broadway (At Prince Street)
(212) 226.6800

Mar 12, 2009

NY's Best and Sweetest Kept Secret

Eric Girerd is a 3rd generation chocolatier from Annecy, France. After many years working in 3 star Michelin restaurants around the world he decided to come to New York and bring his recipes and creativity with the purest cocoa and the best ingredients.In his charming L’Atelier du Chocolat store on 22nd St between 5th and 6th avenues he offers the most amazing chocolates in New York. From the crunchy dark Chocolate Caviar sold in beautiful transparent tubes to the delicate bonbons with more than 30 different fillings and the incredible chic brown boxes, everything in the store is special and unique.
This is for sure NY’s best and sweetest kept secret (until now).

L’Atelier du Chocolat
59 West 22nd Street
(212) 243-0033

Mar 5, 2009

Emergency Chocolate

Sometimes it happens when you are home alone on a Sunday night, other times you just need a little piece for instant joy or maybe you need your daily dose of it. It could happen to anyone so, be prepared. Whenever you need chocolate, Emergency Chocolate is there for you. You just have to keep it in your medicines cabinet in case of well, emergency.
The New Zealander Company Bloomsberry & Co offers not only Emergency Chocolate bars but also Climate Change Chocolate bars, Instant Gratification bars and many others for every occasion you might NEED them.
Have your emergency kit ready and enjoy!

Feb 25, 2009

French Toast From the Brick Oven

Here’s what you’re going to do: go to Blue Ribbon Bakery, sit down, ask for a glass of water and go immediately downstairs. Come then back to the table where now the same bread you just saw coming out of the oven downstairs and whose smell you went crazy about is waiting for you. Thanks to the discovery of a 135 year old abandoned brick oven located in the basement of what used to be a closed bodega, everything is made at Blue Ribbon - who opened at this location in 1997 - from the Ciabbata to the Challah or the Raising Nut Bread French Toast. This last one comes with fresh berries and Vermont maple syrup butter.

33 Bedford St.
(212) 242-1086

Feb 21, 2009

Chocolate Blind Test

Let's be honest, sometimes you eat a piece of chocolate and you love it just because you're craving for any chocolate. Or you go to an amazing chocolate shop and everything there is so pretty, from the counter to the boxes that you could even eat the packaging. Last week I invited friends from different ages and nationalities to take a Blind Test of chocolates from the 7 chocolate shops in NYC that are in my opinion the best ones.
These are the brands analyzed by the brave participants:
La Maison du Chocolat, Pierre Marcolini, L'Atelier du Chocolat, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, MarieBelle, Jacques Torres and Kee's Chocolates

And the winners are:
(and we only have winners here)

The Excellents
Pierre Marcolini
L'Atelier du Chocolat
Kee's Chocolates
Jacques Torres

The Very Good
La Maison du Chocolat

The Good
Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Feb 13, 2009

Save Room for Dessert

Desserts aren’t usually something that you think of when going to a Japanese restaurant but don’t forget about it when going to Matsuri. Not only it is an excellent excuse to spend a few more minutes appreciating the beautiful decoration of its high ceiling salon but it is also like having the best of Japan and France in the same meal.

Don’t miss the fabulous Banana Tart with chocolate ice cream. The bananas are delicately caramelized, the tart is filled with a soft crème patissier and the chocolate ice cream tastes like a chocolate mousse. Finalize with their selection of teas and special sakes.

363 W 16th Street


Feb 4, 2009

The Little Owl

Walking in the neighborhood of The Little Owl is part of the experience of eating there itself. Historical landmark houses and small streets full of trees and silence are some of the characteristics of this charming part of West Village around Bedford St. and Grove St. Curiosity: Little Owl's building is the site of the fictional home of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
The entire menu is absolutely delicious but since I’m focusing on desserts I shall recommend the Pear Crisp: caramelized pears covered with a crunchy crust and with Vanilla ice cream on the side. Eat slowly; each spoon is a little piece of heaven.

The Little Owl
90 Bedford Street

Jan 31, 2009

Patisserie et Boulangerie

Every French I knew in New York would tell you the same thing when asked about a good French pastry shop in the city: You can't find one. It might be due to the butter they use in France or to the humidity of the air but one thing is certain: it would never be like in France as you don’t go home with the baguette under your arms, you don’t eat your croissant while facing the lake at Jardin du Luxembourg and nobody tells you “merci, bonne journée” on your way out. But, besides all that, there are a few places in NY where you can eat amazing French specialties. Try Bouley Bakery and I’m sure that after you eat the Chocolate Almond Croissant and grab a Pain de Campagne for tomorrow's breakfast you will feel a little bit of the joy of being in France.
Try also the Cannelés, the Macarrons, the Éclair au Chocolat and their version of the classic American Muffin with the French touch: with white, milk and dark melting chocolate pieces.

Bouley Bakery
163 Duane Street

Happy Hour

Leaving work and looking for something sweet, crunchy, fast, easy and reasonable in terms of calories and price? You will find it at Starbucks and no, I am not talking about coffee. Go straight to the counter and grab a small cute package of covered Graham Crackers. Although sometimes you can't find them in every store don’t give up, they are wonderful. Don't feel bad if the cashier finds it weird that you are only buying crackers.
Available in milk and dark chocolate.

Jan 25, 2009

In the Mood for Desserts

Either if you are up to a sweet treat after dinner or if you are one of those people who could exchange a plate of food for a plate of cake, take for granted what only NYC has to offer you: a dessert bar. One of my preferred ones is Chikalicious. When going there, sit on the counter so that you can see Chika herself and her assistants prepare delicious and delicate desserts. It's not only about having dessert but being in a desserts only restaurant, which gives it its charm.

204 E. 10th Street

L'Atelier du Chocolat: 59 W 22nd Street

Pierre Marcolini: 485 Park Avenue

La Maison du Chocolat: 1018 Madison Avenue

Voges Haut-Chocolat: 132 Spring Street

Jacques Torres: 350 Hudson Street

Kee's Chocolate: 80 Thompson Street

MarieBelle: 484 Broome Street