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Restaurants settled! Now, need recommendations for Best French Pastry and Gourmet Food Stores!

Hello Fellow NYC Chowhounders, I'm back!!

For my upcoming short trip to your great city, thanks to all your valuable inputs, I have finalized my Michelin 'chow choices' to the following:

- Eleven Madison Park
- Gramercy Tavern
- Marea
- Momofuku Ko
- Tori Shin

Since I also have a huge sweet tooth, I intend to use some of my spare time in visiting some of the best French Pastry establishments in town. However, having lived and worked in Paris for a couple of years, I have developed quite a discerning taste for French Pastries. Does NYC has any pastry shops close to the calibre of say a Laduree, Lenotre, Fouchon or Pierre Hermes of Paris?! I would love to hear a few suggestions from fellow fraternity members!
As well, apart from Eataly, which other 'gourmet food store(s)' I should pay a 'must' visit? Citerella, Dean & Deluca ( which location?), Zabars, Russ & Daughters????

Thank you all in advance!!

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  1. NYC now has its own Laduree. I've braved the long lines twice. Totally worth it. If you like smoked fish, Zabars and Russ & Daughters are wonderful.

    BTW, glad you have two of my favorite restaurants on your list: Momofuku Ko and Eleven Madison Park.

    -----
    Russ & Daughters
    179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

    Zabar's
    2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

    Laduree
    864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

    9 Replies
    1. re: ellenost

      Wow! Laduree in NYC! Great to hear!!

      Inputs from fellow chowhounder who also love German Riesling!! Can't go wrong!!!

      Thx!

      1. re: Charles Yu

        BTW, Eleven Madison Park has a fantastic selection of German Rieslings at fair prices.

        -----
        Eleven Madison Park
        11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

        1. re: Charles Yu

          While you're at Laduree, might as well pop into Lady M bakery for the mille crepe cake.

          -----
          Laduree
          864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

          1. re: Charles Yu

            You should note that the New York outpost of Laduree does not sell the full range of pastry as its Paris counterpart. Besides macaroons, there's only a small selection of candies, ice cream and perhaps a few other non-notable products.

            Of the shops, I would recommend Russ and Daughters and Eataly, if you are in the neighborhood of the latter. Maybe the D & D on Priince, but, again, if it's convenient.

            -----
            Russ & Daughters
            179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

            Eataly
            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

            1. re: Nancy S.

              Agree that NYC's Laduree does not have the robust offering that any of the Paris branches has. Just setting expectations.

            2. re: Charles Yu

              Although this is an older post note that every summer the wine bar terrior (e village, murray hill and tribeca) has a "summer of reisling" promotion with more than a dozen by the glass (including a sparkling reisling!) and several pages of bottles

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                Terrior is always a riesling friendly destination, year round as well. It also helps that they carry some more obscure bottles, since Rieslings tend to be pretty economical, and it becomes difficult to order a pretty generic glass when you know what the bottle costs.

          2. Not a big fan of D&D or Citarella. Zabar's and Russ & Daughters are good. I like Chelsea Market, Despana, Union Sq Greenmarket, Kalustyan's, Murray's. For Eataly try to visit on a weekday. Mornings are best.

            For French pastry, second Laduree, but the NYC one supposedly doesn't have as good a non-macaron selection as other branches. I've never been to Paris so I can't comment.

            I do love the pastries at Mille-Feuille and have heard great things about Dominique Ansel. Unfortunately, Patisserie Claude has gone downhill since Claude left for South America.

            -----
            Russ & Daughters
            179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

            Murray's Cheese
            254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

            Patisserie Claude
            187 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

            Kalustyan's
            123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

            Union Square Greenmarket
            Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

            Despana
            408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

            Zabar's
            2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

            Eataly
            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

            Laduree
            864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

            Mille-feuille
            552 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

            Dominique Ansel Bakery
            189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

            2 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              We are missing something VERY important.

              SABLES 2nd ave between 77-78th street
              Best Smoked Salmon and Lobster Salad in NYC hands down.

              Russ & daughters is great but Sables is in a class of its own.

              Sushi:
              Tamoe 172 Thompson not open on mondays.

              1. re: bombadilio

                Love the appetizing and lobster salad at Sable's--especially the sable that is much better than at Russ & Daughters. I think the gaspe is about even at both.

            2. Dominique Ansel for French pastries.

              Cafe Sabarsky for Viennese pastries.

              Despana for gourmet food from Spain.

              -----
              Despana
              408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

              Cafe Sabarsky
              1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

              Dominique Ansel Bakery
              189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

              2 Replies
              1. re: Riverman500

                +1 Dominique Ansel Bakery. Dominique recommended both the cannele and DKA (Dominique's Kouign Amann) this past Saturday and they were wonderful! Excellent crisp, crusty exteriors with deliciously caramelized flavors, and each was perfectly custardy or buttery underneath.

                1. re: sheio

                  Haven't yet tried much from Dominique Ansel, but their chocolate cookie--boring as it may sound--is perfect.

              2. Charles, while it isn't a French pastry, I thought I'd mention Baltazar's sticky bun, which is available at Dean & Deluca. When I stay in midtown, I'll often head to the Rockefeller Centre's Dean & Deluca, which has some seating, for a coffee and a Baltazar sticky bun or a Donut Plant donut.

                Not so much a gourmet shop, as a shop with an unbelieveable assortment of spices and other imported products, I like to visit Kalustyan's whenever I visit Manhattan. I've found all sorts of products I've never seen for sale in Toronto.

                I haven't tried Cafe Sabarsky's Viennese pastries, but I have enjoyed their take on the Blackforest Cake.

                I'm hoping to try Dominique Ansel on my next trip. Love Kouign Amann. Here's an earlier thread with some photos: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/815636 http://dominiqueansel.com/

                -----
                Kalustyan's
                123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                Cafe Sabarsky
                1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

                Balthazar
                80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                Dean & DeLuca
                1 Rockefeller Plz, New York, NY 10020

                6 Replies
                1. re: prima

                  Hi Charles! I don't know much about French pastry shops in NY ( I tend to buy Italian-style sweets when I break down) but I can comment on the food shops in general.

                  I would try to include both Russ and Daughters and Zabars because both are institutions particular to NYC. Zabars has a very good and very well-priced kitchenware department on the floor above street level.

                  A few of the other places, such as Dean/DeLuca and Citarella, could be in any urban center which means that while they are excellent shops, they are not so unusual.

                  I concur with the advice to arrive at Eataly as close to the 10am weekday opening as possible to avoid crowds. If you area actually interested in purchasing Italian products, you should also visit DiPalo on Grand Street, another slice of old New York with fantastic service and a wide range of imports.

                  Please let us know if there are any foodstuffs that you want specifically to purchase and we will point you in the right direction.

                  -----
                  Di Palo's Fine Foods
                  200 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

                  1. re: erica

                    Hello Erica!
                    Canadian customs will not allow us to bring back any meat products, so my focus will be mainly on fish/seafood. ( reason for my planned visits to Russ & Daughters and Zabars for smoked salmon...etc). Also, I'll be keeping my eyes open for things to munch on or bring back to hotel as snacks. Some good Jamon Iberico for instance!

                    BTW, our 'Fu Sing chowfriend - Nilescable' will be organizing a huge chowmeet in Hong Kong in March!! Should be fun!!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      You can get jamon iberico at Despana. They will even hand slice it for you, which is the "proper" way.

                    2. re: erica

                      DiPalo is a great suggestion, and Piemonte pasta, and the market next door are worthy stops a block away.

                      Eataly is approachable at any time of the day, during the week. No reason to run there at 10am for shopping. The store is just arranged poorly, so it can get cramped, and hard to move around, but not to the extent that someone should alter their schedule.

                      -----
                      Di Palo's Fine Foods
                      200 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

                      Piemonte Ravioli
                      190 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

                      Eataly
                      200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                    3. re: prima

                      Hi Prima!
                      If Dominique Ansel is better than our Rahier, then I'll be happy?!

                      1. re: prima

                        Balthazar's sticky bun is my fav piece of pastry in USA, so agree with you. My breakfast since Balthazar opened is coffee, the sticky bun, the cranberry foccacia, and a few ends of their magnificent miche. What a breakfast.

                      2. Thank You ALL for some amazing recommendations!! Now, I have to do some real planning!!
                        Who was it who said " So much to do, so little time!!! " Sigh!!!

                        Lastly, given time for only one visit, shall I go to Chelsea Market ( been, but years ago ) or Union Square Greenmarket ( never been )??!! Looking for the 'Wow' factor!!

                        29 Replies
                        1. re: Charles Yu

                          Having rolled through Paris (almost literally considering the pastry trail I made) I can say that Payard's Almond Croissant and that at Petrossian should not be missed.

                          Would also check out Bouchon (Thomas Keller) and order whatever sounds best.

                          Love Cici-Cela, though it isn't quite Paris quality it is quite good.

                          By the time you go I'll have sampled more than I should have at Dominique Ansel, Mille Feuille, and Bosie Tea Parlor.

                          Would also recommend Sweet Revenge or Three Little Red Hens for cupcakes and Momofuku Milk Bar for a slice of whatever odd pie suits your fancy.

                          http://endoedibles.com

                          -----
                          Two Little Red Hens
                          1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                          Bouchon Bakery
                          10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                          Ceci-Cela
                          55 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                          Sweet Revenge
                          62 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

                          Petrossian Boutique
                          911 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                          Momofuku Milk Bar
                          251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                          Bosie Tea Parlor
                          10 Morton St, New York, NY 10014

                          Francois Payard Bakery
                          116 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                          Mille-feuille
                          552 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

                          Dominique Ansel Bakery
                          189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                          1. re: uhockey

                            If I follow your footsteps, I'll get so fat, the airline might not let me on to the plane!!! Ha!! :D

                            1. re: Charles Yu

                              If you ever have met uhockey, he is built like a haricot vert

                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                It is all hard work - if you've ever met my genetic contributors you'd realize this.
                                Or if you saw pictures of me in college. :-)

                                I resent being compared to a funky French Green Bean, as well.

                                http://endoedibles.com

                              2. re: Charles Yu

                                At Bouchon, I like the TKO cookie, peanut butter cup, and chocolate bouchons a lot. Skip the macarons. They can be quite inconsistent and sometimes overly sweet and gummy. Really Laduree have the best in NYC right now, but Mille-Feuille and Bosie are respectable.

                                I greatly prefer Butter Lane's cupcakes lately.

                                -----
                                Bouchon Bakery
                                10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                                Butter Lane
                                123 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                                Bosie Tea Parlor
                                10 Morton St, New York, NY 10014

                                Bouchon Bakery
                                1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

                                Laduree
                                864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

                                Mille-feuille
                                552 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  Agree on the Macarons - but when you get one that is good and fresh they are as good as Laduree or Herme in Paris. I'd suggest getting one - a unique flavor - and deciding from there whether to invest in more.

                                  The cupcakes at Bouchon are limited, but fantastic - and yeah, the TKO is something else.

                                  Since you're going in April, if they have it, consider the hot cross buns.

                                  http://endoedibles.com

                                  1. re: uhockey

                                    I have found the opposite--the specialty flavor was bad, the normal one was passable. Maybe because the seasonal flavors change so often.

                                    You really need to try the peanut butter cup at Bouchon of you haven't already, uhockey.

                                    1. re: kathryn

                                      Had it in Vegas. Ridiculously decadent. I'm not a big "candy" person - more pastries - but it is quite good. The Peppermint Patty, as well.

                                      http://endoedibles.com

                                  2. re: kathryn

                                    I love the oatmeal raisin cookie at Bouchon too, it's likely the most perfect oatmeal raisin cookie I've ever had.

                                    1. re: kathryn

                                      The TKO cookie's great. Thanks for the tip!

                                    2. re: Charles Yu

                                      re: the pies at Milk Bar. The first time I tried the candy bar pie I was wowed. I liked the crack pie enough, but it sort of struck me as a sugar pie/buttertart/fudge hybrid, and wasn't anything new taste-wise to me. The second time I tried the candy bar pie and crack pie, I found both way too sweet, and ho-hum. Worth trying at least once, but if you've got limited time in Manhattan, I wouldn't spend the calories on it while I'm in Manhattan. They do have slices in cardboard containers, if you wanted to pick up a slice or 2, and bring them back to Canada to eat later. They're more of a confection than a pastry, so a day-old or 3 day-old slice will probably taste about the same as a fresh slice.

                                      -----
                                      Momofuku Milk Bar
                                      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                      1. re: prima

                                        Those two pies are definitely for sugar fiends. There's less sugar in the cinnamon bun pie, as well as the corn, blueberry, and chocolate cookies. The cornflake and compost cookies are also very very sweet, as well as the soft serves. She tends to put a ton of sugar in things--almost to an extreme. Milk Bar is more like an experimental lab for sugar obsessives.

                                        1. re: kathryn

                                          Love the blueberry cookies, but I actually found them to be sweeter than the compost. Still my favorite there, though. Then again, I'm a big fan of the cereal milk soft serve, so perhaps I'm one of these sugar obsessives.

                                    3. re: uhockey

                                      Sorry to nitpick, but I've seen you misspell Ceci-Cela a bunch of times and thought you'd like to know the right spelling, since the content of your posts is always so good. Ceci means "this one" and cela means "that one," so the name of the store is "This and That."

                                    4. re: Charles Yu

                                      Chelsea Market is indoors and will lots more variety--there's many more stores and food vendors now, selling food/snacks. You can have a meal there at one of the restaurants, too. Check out their site for a list d vendors. It's gotten pretty big. You'd probably be able to find more non-perishables to bring back home.

                                      Union Square Greenmarket is at its best on Saturdays in the spring/summer. To me it is all about the produce and to a lesser extent the meat/egg/dairy items. I'm not sure when your trip is, but while you might find a stroll interesting, there are fewer items you could take back with you. Maybe some local wines, grains, honey, jams, wool. It is a great farmers market, not a collection of different stores like Chelsea Market is.

                                      1. re: kathryn

                                        Hi again, Charles! Agree with Kathryn. The Greenmarket is but a shadow of its former self these days, with the offerings limited to meats, chicken and eggs, baked goods, very expensive salad greens, etc etc. Increasingly difficult to find even cold weather veg like kale. But of course in addition to the items mentioned by Kathryn, there are plenty of potatoes and cabbage! So whether or not you should visit depends on the timing of your visit. Before April the Chelsea Market is your best bet.

                                        I wish I could return to HK for the Chowmeet! Keep us posted on your plans here!

                                        1. re: erica

                                          Ceci Cela is the best I have had. Laurent is very talented.
                                          http://www.cecicelanyc.com/ourcompany...

                                          -----
                                          Ceci-Cela
                                          55 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                                            Have you tried Mille-Feuille or Dominique Ansel yet?

                                            1. re: kathryn

                                              I ve tried a lot of Mille Feuille, but never at Dominique Ansel. I will do that soon

                                          2. re: erica

                                            Having lived in Paris for two years and wowed by their open air markets, guess I'll pass on the Greenmarket and focus on Chelsea Market instead. BTW, my trip will be mid-April.

                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                              Might even be able to stop by and walkthrough Greenmarket before/after Gramercy or EMP. By April, some of the produce should be interesting to check out.

                                              1. re: villainx

                                                Good idea!! Might be changing my mind and replace Gramercy with Modern per uhockey suggestion. Still deciding??!!

                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                  I think it'd be a wonderful idea to switch to The Modern.

                                                  -----
                                                  The Modern
                                                  9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

                                                  1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                    Kreuther is simply brilliant and while some complain about how loud the room is I didn't find Gramercy to be any more quiet. Nor Marea.

                                                    http://endoedibles.com

                                                    1. re: uhockey

                                                      I'm immune to 'noise pollution' if there are great tasting food in front of me!!

                                                  2. re: Charles Yu

                                                    You might want to check out Tocqueville ( One East 15th St). Walking distance from Gramercy. Fantabulous meal/service w 3 course prix fixe lunch for $25.00.Of course,we ended up paying much more, with drinks etc.
                                                    Also if you have difficulty getting reservation at Momofuku, another recent hot spot by a young and very talented korean chef, Jungsik Yim. His restaurant: JungSik, 2 Harrison St. One of the best belly pork dish created!

                                                    -----
                                                    Tocqueville
                                                    1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                                                    Jung Sik
                                                    2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

                                                2. re: Charles Yu

                                                  Keep an eye on the weather. So far the winter has been unusually mild. Some producers have begun returning to the market early -- mid-April 2012 may be more fruitful than in previous years.

                                                  Check out the following link before you leave for NYC to get a better sense of the goods being offered.

                                                  Who's IN today at NYC's Union Square Greenmarket?
                                                  http://www.grownyc.org/files/gmkt/uns...

                                                  -----
                                                  Union Square Greenmarket
                                                  Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003