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Newday's best chocolate cakes and chocolates

mcf Mar 19, 2009 08:34 AM

I can't say I've eaten cakes from any of the bakeries listed in todays's article about the best chocolate cakes, but HUH?

I live in Huntington, which is a tad more than a tiny speck on the LI culinary landscape, and has one of the best bakeries I've ever patronized, and I remember the old Glen Oaks Garden Bake Shop of decades ago.

How does Port Washington rate three bakery listings when Fiorello Dolce on Wall St. in Huntington village get overlooked? For the record, they make the most fabulous, not overly sweetened chocolate truffle cake you will find anywhere, with huge truffles edging the entire top, one for everyone! It's a sight for the eyes, too. I have no affiliation with them, btw, except as a customer who's thrilled that Huntington finally has such a fabulous bakery and wants to make sure they stay put. They also make a wonderful flourless chocolate cake.

In this same vein, Newsday routinely trots the same old tired chocolate shops, including the sub par Bon Bon in Huntington. I live in Huntington village, but I drive to Azure chocolate in Centerport for chocolates that beat Bon Bon's and Vosges in every way by a country mile.

I guess I'd like to know how many bake shops that haven't shown up on previous Newday lists and in articles were sampled for this feature. What total number was winnowed down to the usual suspects and what criteria were used? Tasting notes would be helpful, too.

Sorry to sound a sour note, but I take my chocolate VERY seriously, and I want detailed taste and texture descriptions, not just price lists and addresses.

  1. m
    motoeric Mar 19, 2009 01:41 PM

    If I remember the article correctly, the first chocolate place listed was The Chocolate Lady in Oyster Bay. She's only been there about 9 months.

    Hopefully that indicates that they do take a look at new places.

    Eric

    3 Replies
    1. re: motoeric
      mcf Mar 19, 2009 01:53 PM

      I think you may be right about that inclusion.

      1. re: motoeric
        s
        Scott_R Mar 20, 2009 12:07 PM

        Are we talking about two different articles? The one I saw (online) was for chocolate cakes only and didn't mention The Chocolate Lady, which was mentioned in an article about five weeks back.

        1. re: Scott_R
          mcf Mar 20, 2009 12:36 PM

          Yes, the reference to chocolate makers was to past articles.

      2. sbp Mar 19, 2009 05:52 PM

        I also live in Huntington, and you're right on the money re Fiorello (and Azure, for that matter). There used to be a bakery/restaurant in the same plaza (where Black and Blue is) called Trios. It had bread that rivaled Sullivan Street Bakery and pastries and cakes that were amazing on all counts, particularly taste.

        Trios closed down about 10 years ago -- a real shame. But it turns out the baker at Fiorello's is the same guy!!!

        PLEASE, everyone, go out of your way and patronize this place! Stop for an almond croissant or cheese danish for breakfast. Pick up their bread for dinner. This is one of the few places I'd buy a special occasion cake from instead of making it myself -- lots of places make cakes that look great but taste awful. Fiorello's cakes look great and taste better.

        DON'T ALLOW THIS PLACE TO FOLD!!!

        1. e
          emarcus Mar 20, 2009 01:26 PM

          Fellow hounds, I appreciate all the feedback (hey, in these times it's good to know people are reading the newspaper!) but can I set a couple of records straight?

          First of all, I am a huge fan of Fiorello Dolce and have written about Gerard a number of times including this article that ran only four months ago:

          http://www.newsday.com/services/newsp...

          There were a number of bakeries whose cakes I tried that I didn't think rated inclusion in the chocolate cake article, as well as bakeries--like Fiorello Dolce and Diane's in Roslyn and Spiga in Bellmore and Malverne Bake Shop--that I just didn't have room to include and/or I'd written about them too recently. And of course there are bakeries that, because I am not omniscient, I do not know about. Hey, I eat about as much as I can...

          On the chocolate-candy front, I had never written about Bon Bons before the piece I wrote in February. Whereas I have been writing about Azure (which was also featured in that article) ever since they opened.

          4 Replies
          1. re: emarcus
            sbp Mar 20, 2009 01:28 PM

            No criticsm here of anything you've written -- just taking the opportunity to draw more attention to Fiorello.

            1. re: sbp
              e
              emarcus Mar 20, 2009 01:33 PM

              Well I am all for that! No offense taken; Long may Gerard and his croissants wave!

            2. re: emarcus
              mcf Mar 22, 2009 12:00 PM

              Erica, I certainly didn't mean to single you out, I was referring to Newsday's coverage, not yours personally, though I know this last article was yours. I appreciate your openness to feedback and also understand that there's so much chocolate and cake and so little time! I'd love to see what criteria you used to judge for inclusion, so I'd know if they match mine. And more towns included, rather than three in one town. But definitely not my intention to criticise you personally.

              1. re: mcf
                e
                emarcus Mar 23, 2009 09:55 AM

                MCF, feel free to email me at erica.marcus@newsday.com and we can continue this offline.

            3. l
              linsue Mar 21, 2009 01:45 PM

              I have tried some of the bakeries listed but not for chocolate cakes. St Honore in Port washington has a great plain chocolate marble cake, great individual pastries and a nice staff. I have tried Copenhagen's in Northport. Buttery? in Floral Park good cookies. none of these were spectacular. Still looking for that one. Will try Fiorello Dolce
              I do remember the Garden Bakery in Glen Oaks( I grew up there) great victory layer cakes.

              7 Replies
              1. re: linsue
                mcf Mar 22, 2009 12:04 PM

                When I was growing up, the most dangerous place to be was between any family member and a freshly arrived loaf of corn rye bread from the Garden Bake Shop. My birthday cakes with real butter cream were always from there. It was an all butter bake shop back then.

                I eat extremely low carb now for health reasons, and one of the very few exceptions I make is the chocolate truffle cake from Fiorello Dolce.

                1. re: mcf
                  m
                  msb916 Jan 27, 2010 02:03 PM

                  It's really nice to know that people still remember the Garden Bake Shop. My father and uncle started it in 1950 and sold it in 1980. It lasted about 12 more years after it was sold. The neighborhood had changed and the demand for those types of products had pretty much vanished. Someone told me there is now a McDonalds there. I have many good memories of working with my dad making some of those tasty delights you have mentioned.

                  1. re: msb916
                    mcf Jan 27, 2010 03:07 PM

                    Not only do I remember it, but I've mentioned it on occasion at gatherings and found so many others far and wide who remember it when it was all butter and that unbelievably moist, sour corn rye with the amazing crust was fresh and fragrant. The corn rye is a major childhood memory for more folks than I can count.

                    I was born a few years after it opened, and never had a birthday cake or giant chocolate chip cookie from anywhere else for two decades at least. For my 16th birthday, my single request was for my usual buttercream cake but without the annual appearance of the candy turkey and pumpkins on it.

                    Thanks for sharing those sweet memories. I wandered into it some years back when I was in the area, but it was The Garden in name only. Weren't the boxes yellow, with green trellis or markings and the name in green?

                    1. re: msb916
                      d
                      diamond89 May 24, 2010 09:01 AM

                      I was born in the 50's, grew up in Glen Oaks on 260th St. and I can remember this wonderful Bakery. I also can remember my mom went from 135 lbs to 260 lbs because of the wonderful cakes they sold.... Checkerboard Cakes, Brownies to die for. Cupcakes with cream inside, Black and Whites and of can't forget the 7 layer cakes... Yummmmmmmm.... I moved to Long Island in 1969 and we still frequented the bake shop only not on a daily basis..... As I grew up and got married my own children (in the mid 70's) had the fortune of tasting the incrediable delights from there. Would love to have some of the recipes.... If you can share them my e-mail address is jlemmey1@tampabay.rr.com... Thanks Jill

                      1. re: diamond89
                        s
                        Scott_R May 24, 2010 11:49 AM

                        Ooh, a spam-magnet... how masochistic! Best to slightly encode your address so spambots can't harvest it as easily:

                        jlemmey1 @ domain.com
                        remove spaces and replace "domain" with tampabay.rr

                      2. re: msb916
                        u
                        UWHusky Dec 22, 2010 03:19 PM

                        msb and others who remember The Garden Bake Shop, what a place that was. Your Father and Uncle certainly remember my ex Father in Law who worked there for years, Abe. He passed away in the mid 90's and I always wondered what happened to the bakery. Sorry it is gone. To whoever asked about the box color, they were Pink with Green Lettering and Green with Pink Lettering.

                        1. re: UWHusky
                          mcf Dec 22, 2010 04:46 PM

                          I remember them as yellow with green lettering, and some sort of lattice design on them around the border, in the 50s and 60s, anyway.

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