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Sullivan Street Bakery--Pannetone review

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  • chelabella Dec 8, 2005 06:07 PM
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I went to Sullivan Street Bakery on Tuesday because I heard they had fresh pannetone baked on premisis (73 Sullivan Street location). Ideed it was fresh, and charmingly packaged (.5 kilo loaf wrapped in plastic, in green pannetone box ready to carry). But when I got home and opened it, I found that it was actually burnt on the top and bottom of the loaf. The bottom was burnt enough that the paper was unable to be peeled from it. It was so disappointing. Then I cut into it and found that the dough had been overworked (you could see the spirals of where too much flour had been on the bench in the shaping stage of the loaf). It was $14, which isn't unreasonable for a good quality, fresh pannetone. But the one I got was so, so disappointing. I will of course go back and try it one more time. But for now, I advise that you ask to look in the box before you buy one!

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  1. I'd take that one back to the shop and tell them that you really just want to exchange it. I'm sure they'll be more embarrassed than anything.

    Can't wait to hear how this turns out.

    Nosher

    Link: http://nycnosh.com

    1. And this is supposed to be the absolute best Pannetone in the City?
      Anyone know which Italian brand is best, as well as availablilty?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Fleur

        The preferred brand of most italians is Panettone Motta - I think its a Nestle brand...maybe balducci's or grace's carries it.

        1. re: snoodent

          sorry, but I cant accept the view that the best pannetone is going to be an imported, industrial product. OP should take her pannetone back and get a fresh replacement. Ive bought acceptable pannetone out at royal crown in Brooklyn, but Ive never searched around for the very best - maybe a post soliciting folks ideas on this will come up with a local solution.

          1. re: jen kalb

            of course a fresh, local panettone will be better. but fleur asked for an italian brand, ie, an imported industrial product.

            does anyone know of a bakery that makes pandoro?

      2. Does anyone have updated information about the best torrone and panettone in Manhattan? Thanks!!

        1. Sullivan Street Bakery (on Sullivan Street) changed ownership earlier this year. In fact, it was my understanding that the Soho store is no longer even called by that name. It is now Grandaisy Bakery and is owned by Monica Von Thun Calderón who used to be a partner with Jim Lahey but no longer is. They are now two separate operations with Lahey owning and running the Sullivan Street Bakery on West 46th Street. I tried the rightly-famous Pizza Bianca at Grandaisy soon after it switched hands and didn't think it anywhere near as good as the original so it wouldn't surprise me if other products don't hold up either.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            sorry, but thats just BS... i have been eating everything at the newly named location and it is all the same... i wouldn't be surprised if all the same bakers were still in back.

            1. re: t_bone

              You may be right that the same bakers are in back. I have no idea. But I'm certainly not the only one who discerned a decline in quality--at least as of a few months ago when the change in ownership was still new.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              1. re: JoanN

                I noticed a slight change in the Pizza Bianca in a few visits since the ownership change but they were fairly minor. Essentially, I noticed less rosemary and sea salt but the bread itself had the same flavor and texture. I noticed no particular difference in the quality of the loaves. The celery root pizza they have had this fall is also tastier than any of the pizza varieties I've ever had there before the shift.

                1. re: eca

                  I go to both stores almost daily. I have come to the conclusion that bianca and pecorino never ever come out the same period, and the differences can be rather dramatic even from the same bakery from the same day. I have also noticed that Grandaisy is a little more relaxed regarding the form or shape of the bread, while Sullivan is generally a little neater and uniform. Grandaisy is a little cheaper. In terms of taste and texture, there is absolutely no way to distinguish between the two. One more thing, Grandaisy has more sweet offerings.

          2. Thanks. Do you have any recommendations for good torrone and panettone?

            1 Reply
            1. re: rfelicello

              Please tell me it isn't true!! Their sesame bread and pizza bianca are one of my favorite items to eat. I just found this place 4 years ago and I am in heaven when I eat this bread. I haven't been to there in about 3-4 months. I usually go to the 46th ST. store. I am terrified.

            2. I live on 47th street and Sullivan Street Bakery is on 47th between 10th and 11th. At least that's the name that's on the glass. I've tried the pannetone and I thought they were excellent.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mustardseed1

                Have you folks tried the pannetone at Rocco's on Bleeker?
                It's OK. I find the brands that are owned by Nestle etc., make a more cake-like
                pannetone; where the Italian brands not owned by a conglomorate, make a more bread-like pannetone. Perhaps the cake type is to appeal to the American consumer. Buon Natale!

              2. I won't argue with you that burnt is burnt. That said, the commercial brands also have a black bottom and the paper usually adheres to it. Maybe it's like the charred bottom of pizzas at John's. Some of us ASK for it charred on the bottom, but to others it seems like a mistake. I have eaten Pannetone my whole life and the bottom is always the hard dark part. Still, you lost me at $14!