January 22, 2012 § 3 Comments
Lately, whenever visiting New York City, I’ve been more interested in exploring small, cozy coffeeshops (or places that serve afternoon tea, which is a topic for another time) or casual bakeries as opposed to more formal, sit-down restaurants (my wallet has been grateful). One such place that Laura and I visited was the relatively new Dominique Ansel Bakery tucked in the Soho district. Ansel used to work at the famous Daniel Boulud, including when it won its first three Michelin stars, four-star New York Times rating, and James Beard award but then decided to venture out on his own by opening a neighborhood cafe.
The space was much bigger than I anticipated, with plenty of indoor seating and a covered atrium with heating, and as with all great bakeries, there were cases of Ansel’s beautiful pastries, cakes, and desserts, a feast for the eyes.
The bakery also has a decent amount of savory offerings for lunch, so Laura and I ordered the roasted pork club, the truffle grilled cheese, and a Paris-New York pastry for dessert. The roasted pork club came stuffed to the brink with surprisingly tender and flavorful pork, halved hard-boiled eggs, tomato, lettuce, and a killer spicy mayonnaise that tasted slightly of chipotle. Laura’s truffle grilled cheese was an inexpensive indulgence, with slices of garlic rosemary sourdough bread slathered in butter on the outside and oozing with mozzarella, Gruyere, and Fontina cheeses on the inside. I’m considering buying a small tub of truffle butter to attempt a recreation at home. Our Paris-New York, a twist on the Paris-Brest, was a beautifully-presented pate a choux dough filled with peanut (the candied peanuts on top, so tasty!), caramel, and chocolate. What more could a girl want?
Places like Dominique Ansel – with their calm atmosphere, excellent and beautiful food, and friendly service – always make me a little (read very) jealous of my sisters living in the city, especially Laura, who lives close to Union Square and could easily walk to Dominique Ansel. How nice would it be to spend a day window-shopping and wandering in Soho and then indulge in some eclairs and coffee? Summer in New York can’t come soon enough, but in the meantime, I’m stuck in the frigid cold subsisting on painfully ordinary food.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Sullivan Street (btw Spring and Thompson)
New York, NY 10012