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Pâtisserie Ceci Cela - not so much

Has anyone had a good experience at this place. I have stopped in at this place a couple times and have never been satisfied. i always get suckered in by their city search postive review and go back after I forget about the last thing I got there. I just got an eclair and it just plain sucked. the inside filling was thicker than frosting from a can. does anyone like this place? who is giving it positive reviews? everything always looks good which is what fools me, but I think I will not go back there again. just plain bad.

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  1. Never tried their tartes or eclairs, which always look pretty in the case, but the croissants are some of the best in the city. I know at one point, other acclaimed bakeries were actually carrying Ceci Celi croissants. That said, last couple times I went weren't as exciting as usual, but not as disappointing as Balthazar which has drastically changed some of my favorite items.

    1. When I want pastries for a special occasion I usually get them at Ceci-Cela. It is not quite what you would get in France, but awfully close. I get an assortment of petit fours, and the pear cake. I have had mini eclairs and agree they are not great. Buche de Noel was also forgettable. I think their strength is the larger cakes. Beautiful and tasty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rrems

        so i guess its hit or miss, and i've just mostly missed. i've never had their tartes and croissants, but i guess that's their strength.

      2. Hi Renguin,

        I agree with sugartoof that their croissants are one of the better ones in the city. I actually have never had their eclairs but I can understand your comments. In fact I don't think I have yet had a good eclairs yet in Manhattan (any recommendations, anyone?). I am now intrigued by the layered cakes recommended by rrems!

        Another item that I will avoid at Ceci-Cela is their macacrons. The fillings were weak IMO.

        1. I love Ceci Cela. The one on Chambers St closed,,but the one on Spring is still open.
          Some things are great there and other things arent. The things i like there are the Financiers, the croissants ( ham and cheese, ) and the almond brioche. The Cream cheese danish is excellent and the lemon tart too. Their cakes are great ,, they sell their goods to many places including sullivan st. bakery. Their coffee is good too.

          1. Aside from the croissant, they have a great strawberry dessert. I'm not sure what to call it but it's similar to a strawberry napoleon. The dense whipped cream is only very lightly sweetened which I love. I'm getting really tired of desserts that are too sweet.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              I think that's the financiers that foodwhisperer mentioned. I like the ones at Financier (the pastry shops in downtown that put their name to the pastry), but I didn't know Ceci Cela also has a good one. Next time I will definitely try it out!

              1. re: kobetobiko

                I thought financiers were more like a cake. This strawberry dessert is more like layers of puff pastry with fresh strawberries and thick cream. Whatever it's called, please try them out. I absolutely love it!

                  1. re: racer x

                    I think you're right. Thanks. I can order it by name next time instead of pointing.

            2. Oh my gosh! I LOVE the eclairs at Ceci Cela. I used to work in the area, and everytime we had anything to celebrate in the office we'd get some form of cake/tart from Ceci Cela. What made me go and stop in in person was the little packet of homemade truffles that someone ordered WITH a tart one day, and I've been hooked ever since. The eclairs taste the way I remember when I had them as a kid on vacation in Paris. The pastry is right, and the filling is not overly sweet, real pastry cream (which is rather dense) instead of the whipped cream or custard crap I've had at other bakeries. Which kind did you have? I favor the coffee flavored ones.

              If I'm on Spring St and they are open, I make it a priority to go in and get something! Been doing it for 10 years!

              6 Replies
              1. re: ballulah

                I got a chocolate one. did not resemble anything I've ever had in france. i frankly think they weren't as fresh as they could be, but the filling really was as heavy as a rock and the pastry a bit stale. just not very good. i think i will go back earlier in the day and try again since most people seem to be having positive things to say.

                1. re: Renguin

                  I have to agree with the OP. Haven't really even been impressed by their croissants.

                  1. re: racer x

                    I agree with the both of you as well. I had a croissant because of the recommendations of this board. Hideous would be the proper word to describe. It tasted stale.

                    1. re: bouffe

                      i have to admit its been a couple years since i've had croissants there. i wonder if things have gone downhill?

                      1. re: bouffe

                        I had a plain croissant there last December and it was horrid. Shockingly so, given the praise. Seemed stale and flavorless. I threw it in the trash.

                  2. re: ballulah

                    I'm with ballulah on this one. While it's certainly possible that success hinges on timing, I've had mocha eclairs from Ceci-Cela that have stopped me in my tracks.

                    1. agreed with previous posters that their croissants are some of the best in the city (along with les ambassades in harlem). a really good croissant is genuinely hard to find in new york and lends a lot of credence to a bakery in my mind (even if they fail in other ways.)

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: aahnnt

                        Wow, do you really think Les Ambassades is among the best in the city? I live right near there, and am delighted to have them as a local option, but their croissants are very hit or miss.

                        1. re: rose water

                          i've only had good luck with them. have you found any pattern to when they are a "miss" - e.g. at night or something? by the way, i also find their pain aux raisins to be amazing.

                          (i do find a lot of their other offerings to be hit or miss).

                          1. re: aahnnt

                            No pattern at all--I usually get croissants there in the morning, and what may be happening is that I'm getting fresh ones some times and yesterday's leftovers at other times. Some days they are buttery and crisp. Other days I wonder if they're made with butter at all.

                            The pain aux raisins can be very tasty, but I'm not a fan of the gelatinous glaze on top.

                            Their service is the biggest miss. I stopped in to get a sandwich to go a week or two ago, was told it would be 10 minutes, and had a seat and did some work. When I went to check in (after 30 minutes) the woman at the counter first had no clue, then claimed I hadn't been waiting nearly as long as I had, and only then went to check on the status of my sandwich. 45+ minutes, sandwich in hand, I was dismayed at how tasty it was. Condemned to go back. It was a chicken robsepierre sandwich; much better than the gristle-y lamb.

                      2. i'm curious too, b/c i had one of their croissants and it was on par with au bon pain! the "shatter factor" was non-existent, and it was very underwhelming. love the ambiance here but not a fan of their croissants after having experienced award-winning croissants in Paris.

                        1. I like their linzer tarts. Anything that's minature I've enjoyed. Don't buy the ice cream. I bought a cone from them, it was the tiniest scoop, and was about $3.25. Totally not worth it.

                          1. love their apple tart, hate their coffee

                            1. i use to work in the area and the company i worked for always got cakes from there whenever it was someone's b'day. every one i've tried has been delicous. i highly recommend.

                              1. Just had a croissant today with this conversation in mind, and um yeah they have really gone downhill. Same with Balthazars. I can't speak on the rest of their stuff, but the one item I used to swear by isn't as buttery or flakey as it used to be. Sad.

                                1 Reply