Here's another dish that,IMO, has been ruined because it's more often prepared badly than well. The kind of bread pudding I like is chewy with a nice outer crust, served warm. The kind I've found is either hard like a rock or totally mushy and served cold with awful toppings. Any Chowhound recommendations for this classic dessert? Thanks.
I can not rave enough about this Brooklyn (Court Street) place's bread pudding. It is made with brioche and creme brulee. The topping changes, in theory daily, but it is almost always a sweet and tart raspberry syrup, rich with chunks of berries. It seems that Sweet Melissa's just uses better ingredients for this dish than anywhere I've tried lately. The brioche is not too dense and adds a wonderful spring to the texture.
Blue hill makes a very good chocolate one with a scoop of choc sorbet on the side. Etat Unis also has a tasty bread pudding. Neither are chewy.
If you're willing to make a pilgrimage to Cranbury, New Jersey (and imo it's worth it), the best bread pudding I ever had was from The Cranberry Gourmet, an out-of-the-way sandwich shop/restaurant. If it's still there, you have to turn just before the railroad tracks past the bank with the old Monroe Oak, and follow the tracks a few hundred feet. If it's still there and you arrive on a weekday around 11 am, you have a good chance of getting it warm from the oven. It's made with big chunks of great french bread and is gently sweetened, simple, brown, crusty and sublime.
Roetele A.G. in the East Village (Seventh St. between 1st and A)--also known for its fondue--has amazing bread pudding. A little brown and crispy on the outside, flaky and moist (but not soggy and custardy) on the inside, served warm. Even a la mode, if I recall correctly. Mmmmm.