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Aug 3, 2007 09:02 AM

Why can't NY understand the croissant?

I guess this is more an expression of bewilderment than a real question, but what is up with all those croissants wrapped in plastic wrap? That's like making someone a steak and serving it up on a bed of ice cubes. Are there any good places to get a real croissant (ie. not a mushy piece of bread wrapped in plastic) other than Patisserie Claude? And please tell your deli, croissants don't belong in plastic wrap!

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  1. La Bergamote
    I've also heard Ceci Cela and Balthazar mentioned but haven't tried the croissants there.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Lucia

      Balthazar's are "fair". Too soft, at least the one's I've had.

      1. re: Lucia

        La Bergamote has great croissants. This might seem ridiculous, but Pret a Manger croissants remind me of the real thing. Perhaps becuase it is originally a European chain. I think it's worth a try. Anything on the UES?

        1. re: leggers

          This is not on the UES, but a French/Senegalese place just opened up where the execrable Sparks Cafe used to be, on 22nd between 6th and 7th. I have not yet had a chance to try it for lunch, but it serves croissants - I think they are made there - and they are flaky and delicious. I have had good ones at Le Madeleine on 23rd between 6th and 7th too.

          1. re: eeee

            I think you're referring to Patisserie des Ambassades. I haven't been.

            1. re: Lucia

              yes, that's a patisserie des ambassades. they've been open longer on frederick douglass btwn 118th and 119th, and their croissants can be excellent, buttery, flaky and crisp or soft and overly eggy tasting. and despite the fact that i think their service just can't get slower, each time i'm there feels even slower than the time before--hopefully that's less of an issue at their chelsea location.

          2. re: leggers

            I also agree that Pret a Manger is not too bad either. I like how they keep it warm.

          3. re: Lucia

            Bergamote has a new location on 52nd between 10th and 11th Ave.
            Bigger brighter, definitely more uptown looking, but prices about the same , if not the same.

            1. re: Lucia

              Ceci Cela are GREAT

              Balthazaar are meh.

              I live near both, and my coffee shop of choice sells balthazaar's. I get coffee there and walk over to ceci cela. Sunday morning, must have the best of both worlds.

              1. re: 2slices

                I do the same thing some mornings, is your coffee shop Gimme Coffee?

                1. re: stuartlafonda

                  Yes, Gimme is in fact my coffee shop and they have changed to Ceci Cela! I walked in today and they had them, I'd recognize Ceci's pastry anywhere.

                  Back when they first opened I had told the owner he should be selling ceci cela. Apparently I wasn't the only one giving him the scoop. It's a one stop shop now, tho I might keep my sunday ritual unchanged. But weekday mornings I can get a good croissant on the way to work.

            2. I don't know if you are looking for a restaurant, but Pershing Square has excellent croissant and pain au chocolate. I think they buy them par-cooked from Dufour or somewhere else, and cook them every morning. They are the closest I have ever had to Paris. That being said, while their breakfast is pretty solid, the menu at PS is generally unimaginative.

              1. Most places use shortening instead of butter in their croissants (it's cheaper), which makes them dry out faster, thus the wrapping to keep moisture in. Wrapped croissant = pale imitation.

                Besides P√Ętisserie Claude, try Silver Moon bakery at B'way and 105th.

                1 Reply
                1. re: piccola

                  I agree Patisserie Claude on West 4th is the Best for croissants, fresh out of the oven hot in the morning, crisp, flaky, all butter, though now that Claude has retired, we will have to see if Pablo carries on the tradition.

                2. Chez Laurence on Madison and East 38th Street does them right too. Fresh every morning - real pastry chef in the kitchen. He was gone for many months, but he's back now making them as good as ever.

                  I wouldn't buy a croissant from any corner deli, ever.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: sivyaleah

                    Ditto. Recommend Chez Laurence in general - much better for breakfast than a diner, coffee is excellent.

                    1. re: Tubulus

                      Glad you like Chez Laurence, but I've found their croissants and pain au chocolat to be just slightly above Manhattan's average.

                      1. re: racer x

                        Never been to Chez Laurence, but have been curious to try. Met the owner a couple of times in a local bar near my work, and he was a really nice guy. He even gave my buddy some tickets to a knicks game last year because he couldn't go.

                        Have been meaning to go ever since, but its a bit far from work. Will have to check it out in any event.

                    2. re: sivyaleah

                      Chez Laurence is closed. They also had the best so full of fruit flavor home made jams which they served and sold by the jar.

                        1. re: chowmeow

                          +1 for Petrossian.

                          182 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019