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Jul 5, 2006 03:02 AM

best dessert/pastry chef?

I am a NYC native visiting from SF. I will be here @ 8 days and am looking to eat desserts by some of NY's top pastry chefs. Any must eats? I was a big fan of Claudia Fleming's work, like bubble teas and fill my hot day cravings with coco helado. I think I will be eating lunch at Il Laboratorio del Gelato tomorrow and will go to Chikalicious at least once, if not 2-3 times.

Would love to know why you like what you do and where I just can not miss while I'm here. Thank you!

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  1. Well, if you are going to Chikalicious, you have to try Room 4 Dessert on Cleveland Place. Also a multi-course dessert only place, chef Will Goldfarb did some time at El Bulli so expect some foam garnishes. Also in this vein, try WD-50 for its dessert prix fixe.

    If you are going to Laboratorio, you should give equal time to the gelato at Otto and the South American-style gelato at Cones. The three currently make up the gelato trinity in this town.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pupster

      Second Otto - the gelato is really quite unlike any other that I've tried. I got the hazelnut, pistachio, and mint chocolate chip (3 scoops to an order).

      1. re: Pupster

        Also worth checking out:
        Payard, the patisserie/cafe of the former Daniel pastry chef
        Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven, in Tribeca or Dumbo, Brooklyn, with the former Le Cirque pastry chef. The Dumbo location also has a pastry shop called Almondine.
        The various handmade chocolatiers including Kee's
        Perhaps City Bakery for Maury Rubin's tarts

        Also, FYI, Claudia Fleming recently opened an inn/bed&breakfast place somewhere out in Long Island with her husband, also a chef. Called North Fork Table and Inn, if you wanted to track her down.

      2. I've been disappointed with Chikalicious on several occasions, so procede with caution there.

        A new guy at Gramercy has filled Claudia's shoes. The tapioca is still on the menu, but the new pastry chef, Nick Morganstern, has a very different style. He was previously at Daniel and Nice Matin, and co-owned a chocolate company prior to joining the Gramercy team. If the orange blossom creme caramel is on the menu when you go, get it! Avoid the chocolate ice cream.

        I really like the desserts at Le Bernardin, but don't know if you can get them a la carte.

        Check out the Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Building. If you are from SF you may have been to the one in Yountville. It's a bit different in NYC--similar products but since local ingredients vary (butter, other dairy, produce, etc) the end products are a bit different. Plus, certain items are "New York-ified." Try the tart au chocolat at the walk up counter. If you sit, there are a few other choices.

        Craft is fantastic for desserts, too. Give CRU a try, too, although it can be hit or miss there. WD-50 is interesting/inventive but I've never had a dessert there that tasted good, so what's the point of being playful?

        What part of town will you be in? There are tons of hole-in-the-wall gems I could recommend, but might not be worth the detour if you are on the wrong end of town.

        Enjoy! And report back!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Non Cognomina

          How recent was the change at Grammercy Tavern. We ate there in March or April and the desserts were unbelievable! Every single one of them...

          1. re: zGustibus

            Nick Morganstern was hired as the pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern about a year ago, so the desserts you had in March/April were definately his.

            Do you remember what you had?

            1. re: Non Cognomina

              The Coconut Tapioca, which was awesome- and I know was mentioned earlier on this thread. The Peanut Butter Opera Cake, The Milk Chocolate Mousse with Coffee Caramel, Crispy Rice and Coffee Ice Cream, and the Warm Apple Tart (which I think was the best apple dessert I've ever had).

              Every one was delicious, with no exceptions... although I have to say, while I love dessert, I usually over order the savory items and never have room- so I really have only had dessert at restaurants with Prix Fix menus where the dessert is included. (Had a great one at Telepan the other night).

              eGustibus Food Blog:

        2. Go to Jean Georges! The exec. pastry chef there, Johnny Iuzzini, just received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef! Awards aside, I can say firsthand that his dessert menus are inspired and interesting, but not at the expense of being absolutely delicious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carignane

            Have to say, Johnny is amazing. He recently arranged three flights of desserts for my friends and me, with five different choices apiece. His creativity and ability to juxtapose flavors is sublime. And he makes killer marshmallows and chocolates.

          2. i think iacopo falai makes amazing desserts. (he's the former pastry chef of le cirque.) i love the baba au rhum at falai and cannot get enough of it.

            68 clinton st at rivington

            falai panetteria
            79 clinton st at rivington

            1. I agree with almost everyone regarding desserts, although there are a few places I haven't been. I won't repeat what others have already said.

              If you're in the mood to dress up, you can always eat a dessert tasting at Daniel's bar area.
              The Tartufo at Batali's Lupa is unbelievable in my opinion as well.

              Good luck and happy hunting!