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Modern Pastry

anyone catch the new TLC show, "Best Food Ever" last night? Modern Pastry was ranked number one for best bodacious bakery in the country.

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Modern Pastry
257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

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  1. didn't catch it but we all knew this before the show aired anyway (: thanks for the note

    1. I don't understand the all the fuss about Modern or Mike's Pastry for that matter. I think they are just average as far as the products they sell...That being said, I do rank Mike's over Modern. I have had things from Modern that seemed like day old stuff.

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      Mike's Pastry
      300 Hanover St, Boston, MA

      23 Replies
      1. re: MeffaBabe

        You may have had a bad day, and it may not be the Number One in antything, but have you tried:

        - Napoleon
        - Cassata
        - Macaroons
        - torrone and the chocolate truffle torrone
        - rectangular mille feuille thingie

        They really are top notch and WAY better then the industrial mix based stuff that Mikes serves up.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          ...ricotta pie and florentine cookies too.

          I don't eat much baked goods or seets of any sort, BUT, if I am going to give in or if I am called upon to bring desert... Modern is the place. Mike's, not so much

          1. re: Northender

            WOAH ... the Florentines for sure. Friends who visit from NYC take back pounds of them.

            Camp Modern.

            1. re: yumyum

              How could I have forgotten them...

          2. re: StriperGuy

            Love their torrone, and their zeppole was great. I'm usually not a fan of whipped cream iced fruit filled cakes, but I ordered a strawberry one that was really delicious. I don't know how they got the frosting to be firm, and not taste like it had shortening whipped into it.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              Ditto. Modern is better than Mike's in that it is less "commercial". That said, both are Italian-American pastry shops. The pastry shops I've been to in Italy were much different than here. I think Scialo Brothers in Providence is "more" authentic in that regard.

              1. re: robertlf

                i lived in rome as a teenager and you are absolutely right. The Italy Italian pastry tradition is certainly a respectable one, though never as highly regarded, worlwide, as the French. I am guessing that the first italian immigrants here needed to save every nickel they could, so they used cheaper ingredients here ( like shortening instead of butter) and began a new tradition in the new world of, basically, JUNK. Cloying and overly sweetened non- butter based baked goods., whose primary ingredients are confectioners sugar, sugar, flour,cornstarch, and the generic form of Crisco. And a huge populace continues to support this abomination and call it delicious. Throw rocks all you want but i am just telling the truth.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  You've just never had the very finest Italy had to offer... a place called Lemmi in Cascina for example. Roman food never really impressed me.

                  Perhaps not on the level of my very fav place in Paris... but in the same realm.

              2. re: StriperGuy

                Still thinking about the fabulous Cassata cake I had for my b'day a few weeks ago.

                1. re: phonelady

                  Glad you liked it.

                  They will actually make that Cassata as a wedding cake. AMAZING!

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    IT WAS TO DIE FOR - I am not a big cake fan generally, but I could have eaten half of it - was pure deliciousness.

                    1. re: phonelady

                      Luckily, you can also get them for funerals...

                2. re: StriperGuy

                  hi stripes,(new pup and mum fine?)
                  i make a traditional Sicilian cassata: pound cake w/ layers of ricotta filling w/ choco bits and candied orange rind and maybe nuts) all glazed w/an amaretto-spiked dark chocolate glaze. does Modern's fit that description? thanks much; i wasn't aware of it before.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Nom, nom, yes that's it more or less (actually yours sounds better.)

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      So what would it take to get you to post the recipe of that bad boy over at the recipe board here?

                  2. re: MeffaBabe

                    i don't know about the mikes vs modern's controversy, but i agree with meffababe's general sentiment. neither place seems all that special or noteworthy to me. i never think to go to either of them when i'm looking for pastries; you can do much better in boston. i do like the ricotta pie & cannoli at modern.

                    caveat: i don't go/haven't been to either very often or very recently, largely on account of the maddening crowds and my assessment after our first 2 or 3 trips that there's not a whole lot going on there. though it is probably past time to pick up some more ricotta pie.

                    1. re: autopi

                      Where in Boston do you find "much better" pastries?

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        we've already had this conversation; if you want my views, refer to our earlier discussion.

                        1. re: autopi

                          Yeah, where is "much better? What "earlier conversation"?

                      2. re: autopi

                        Well, forgive my "hometown" bias but great cannoli and ricotta pie are pretty strong hallmarks of a superior bakery, but I digress = try the sfogliatella (sp) there and perhaps yhou will be turned around. And despite my handle, my favorite Italian restaurant was the original Sapporito's in Hull and nowis is Il Cappriccio in Waltham. As Yogi would say, "...you could look it up!".

                      3. re: MeffaBabe

                        What's your 'go to place' and what do they do best?

                      4. mikes definitely not. Modern's most addictive thing for us is their Quaresemali (i think they call them almond biscotti). unlike any other. with the proper toothsome chew/not dry dry dry as the bones they are named after!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          I think you're confusing Quaresimali (name comes from Quaresima = Lent) with Ossi dei Morti ("bones of the dead") - a different cookie altogether.

                          1. re: Allstonian

                            Aren't 'bones of the dead' pretty much a cookie for Easter?

                            1. re: treb

                              Actually, they're an All Souls' Day (November 2) specialty.

                            2. re: Allstonian

                              appreciate that info. whatever the name(they don't use either name at modern), what they make is quaresimali.

                          2. I've been going to Modern Pastry for over 20 years. I feel it's the best bakery I've ever been to. I have never been disappointed by anything except the renovations they made. That seems to have attracted more people. I am not suprised they are #1.

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                            Modern Pastry
                            257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

                            1. I like Maria's better than Modern for cannoli, but their hours can be weird.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: MrsCheese

                                Sorry. I wanted Maria's to win over. The shell was wet and chewy comparably, and the filing was like play dough. The Torrone, ricotta pie, carrot cake, and connoli's are probably the best I've had anywhere. Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Chicago bakeries are far behind. I hear good things about Toronto bakeries, but what I've had wasn't very good there. That being muffins, danish, connoli and carrot cake. Next hockey season I'll check again.

                                1. re: Guinness02122

                                  Yikes, wet and chewy shells are gross. I can't stand it when the shell is soggy. I've never had that experience at Maria's - as a matter of fact, I think I like them best because their shells are light and crisp - but it's been a while since I've been there. As I mentioned above, I find them closed quite a bit, so I usually go to Modern after dinner in the NE. One thing I really like at Maria's is that you can get pistachio (Modern doesn't have that option).

                                  1. re: Guinness02122

                                    The ricotta pie at Marias is the best in Boston IMO. I'll give the cannoli to Modern. The only things worth while at Mikes are the pistachio macaroons and blueberry muffins in the A.M.

                                2. In terms of their colorful cookies, I'm at a loss. Any recs?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Piragua92

                                    niente. nada. rien. nothing! haven't you been listening to striper and others?!

                                  2. I really like Modern Pastry BUT #1 in the country is pretty pathetic. Anyways, the MEDFORD location is currently closed for major renovations. I look forward to a better cafe. I REALLY hope that they improve their coffee. It's terrible.

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                                    Modern Pastry
                                    257 Hanover St, Boston, MA