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Dominique Ansel After Four Visits

w
wew Feb 27, 2012 11:33 AM

Two items to the very very good and so just ok.
The Kouign Amann are small super rich croissant, sugar, and caramelized sugar disks - take small bites a little bit filled my mouth. These are on the expensive side but worth it for the enjoyment they deliver.
The second winners are the near flat ovals of puff pastry touched the cinnamon. These are near ideal for a light breakfast with a cup of coffee. (I am blanking on their name but they look like unshaped elephant ears) They have been sold out on two of my visits
To the ok’s. Croissants are decent. An apple Tartlet Tatine was full of light caramel and no apple flavor at all. A strawberry creation was decent and forgetable. A chocolate tart was better but not good enough to have again.
The two winners are worth the repeated trips. Taken together they come close to a morning bun from La Farine in Oakland, and since David Tanis wont bake a few a place them on my welcome mat, This is a good subsitute

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

  1. t
    Ttrockwood Jan 23, 2014 01:13 PM

    Does anyone have recent recommendations? I'll be going sat to pick up a few treats (4 or so) for friends, the Kouign Amann is on the list for sure, but one friend is a chocolate lover- any chocolate must try desserts?

    28 Replies
    1. re: Ttrockwood
      p
      Pookipichu Jan 23, 2014 01:45 PM

      I recommend Kee's Chocolate down the street for your chocolate loving friend. :)

      As for Dominique Ansel, I haven't had the cronut, but what I have had has been unimpressive. The almond croissant is too oily and sweet, the caneles are not crisp and sometimes are burnt, sometimes the cookies are falling apart, the cakes are ok.... the quality control seems spotty.

      1. re: Pookipichu
        t
        Ttrockwood Jan 23, 2014 08:08 PM

        Well there's no way i'm dealing with the conut mayhem anyhow..... Hmm, i hate hearing that about the canneles...

        1. re: Ttrockwood
          p
          Pookipichu Jan 24, 2014 07:23 AM

          Super chocolatey dessert = Creme brulee chocolate at Kee's. It's seriously a bite sized dessert.

          PS - The dough'ssant at Chikalicious is really good, no wait! I think the most amazing thing about Dominque Ansel is his incredible ability to market himself. But once people start focusing on just that and expanding their reach too fast, quality tends to plummet, e.g. Payard, Jacques Torres, etc.

          1. re: Pookipichu
            jen kalb Jan 24, 2014 10:29 AM

            so.....is there anyone else in town making a good kouign amann? I would really really like to have an excellent example.

            1. re: jen kalb
              p
              Pookipichu Jan 24, 2014 10:42 AM

              La Boulangerie

              https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Bou...

              They don't have it all the time, I would call them, because it hasn't been on their menu in a while.

              1. re: jen kalb
                ellenost Jan 24, 2014 11:20 AM

                Love the kouign amann at Macaron Parlour on St. Mark's Place between First Ave. & Ave. A. (Also love their bacon macaron--real pieces of bacon).

                1. re: ellenost
                  w
                  wewwew Jan 27, 2014 01:33 PM

                  The kouign amann is the only item from Macaron Parlour that I have found inconsistent. When good it was really great.

                  1. re: wewwew
                    ellenost Jan 27, 2014 02:21 PM

                    I've had the kouign amann at Macaron Parlour three times, and all three times it was excellent.

                    1. re: ellenost
                      w
                      wewwew Jan 27, 2014 02:48 PM

                      MP is an outstanding bakery that has proven its quality and consistency over repeated grand bouffes. I can only think my one off key kouign amann was a freak.Thank you for a happy excuse to scamper over and try a few three or four more.

                2. re: jen kalb
                  s
                  sugartoof Jan 24, 2014 11:25 AM

                  Try Lafayette's bakery counter.

                  Not sure if Petrossian makes them, but both are making some of the best goods in NY from the croissant family.

                3. re: Pookipichu
                  p
                  peter j Jan 24, 2014 10:46 AM

                  Just curious - what didn't you like at Payard? I've never been disappointed by their cakes and pastries.

                  1. re: peter j
                    p
                    Pookipichu Jan 24, 2014 10:54 AM

                    I don't like them because they used to be much better before he expanded into multiple locations. Their macarons are just really bad. I remember when their first location opened, their cakes where almost as good the ones I had at Fauchon in Paris. Now, they taste like something I could get at an upscale airport lounge. They've become Mc.Donalded. I don't think they're horrible, but the attention to detail and quality is just not there any more. In general I think that high-end French pastries in NY have suffered declines in quality because their owner/chefs have their hands in too many pies, expanding and building empires, or appearing on TV, etc.

                    1. re: Pookipichu
                      s
                      sugartoof Jan 24, 2014 11:22 AM

                      "something I could get at an upscale airport lounge"

                      Perfect description, apt for a number of Payard items.

                      (Although I think those tend to be made by Balthazar)

                  2. re: Pookipichu
                    t
                    Ttrockwood Jan 24, 2014 12:48 PM

                    Ok, i'll stop off at kee's too- the chocolate lover is also more into chocolate pastry desserts vs pcs of chocolate so i figured dominique must have something..... But i trust you on the kee's!

                    I agree with you re: payard, esp the macarons. Although that macaron ice cream sandwich last summer was amazing. But also not really a macaron....

                    1. re: Pookipichu
                      t
                      Ttrockwood Jan 26, 2014 07:40 PM

                      Well my chocolate loving friend was beside himself!! I picked up a few of the creme brulee and a thai chili for him, and i enjoyed the basalmic (?!) which was brilliant. Thanks for the recs!

                      1. re: Ttrockwood
                        p
                        Pookipichu Jan 26, 2014 07:53 PM

                        Yay :) glad you both liked the chocolates. Kee's chocolates are my favorite.

                        1. re: Ttrockwood
                          coasts Jan 27, 2014 04:33 PM

                          everyone has their favorite. mine is lemon basil.

                          1. re: coasts
                            t
                            Ttrockwood Jan 27, 2014 09:26 PM

                            Guess i'll just have to go back and try that one too....:)!

                  3. re: Ttrockwood
                    coasts Jan 23, 2014 04:12 PM

                    The Paris-New York is delicious...hazelnut, peanut, chocolate. Here's an unflattering photo:

                    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Aj-rFRcSENo...

                    The frozen S'Mores is fun and tasty, but a bit overpriced for the size. i don't know if they're serving them during winter.

                    1. re: coasts
                      t
                      Ttrockwood Jan 23, 2014 08:10 PM

                      Oh! The paris- new york is perfect!! I don't think the smores will travel well...
                      Are there any seriously chocolatey desserts there lately?

                      1. re: coasts
                        t
                        Ttrockwood Jan 26, 2014 07:34 PM

                        Thanks for the suggestion! I picked up the DKA, the paris new york and an apple tartin- the winner was the DKA by a hair...

                        1. re: Ttrockwood
                          coasts Jan 27, 2014 04:34 PM

                          glad you and your friends enjoyed the Paris New York. i love it, but the DKA does win by a hair at this house, too.

                          1. re: Ttrockwood
                            v
                            VaPaula Jan 29, 2014 03:44 AM

                            Glad you liked the DKA. I saw all the negative reviews of it before hand, but I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to trying more there (I love the bags, lol) - and now Kee's, too.

                        2. re: Ttrockwood
                          s
                          sugartoof Jan 23, 2014 10:51 PM

                          I visited recently during early evening hours and the place looked absolutely trashed from the effects of the day's Cronut crush. What was left in the store was limited, and some of the items were piled in baskets.

                          If there's anything in the pastry cases, I think I would lean towards those items instead.

                          1. re: sugartoof
                            t
                            Ttrockwood Jan 24, 2014 12:50 PM

                            Yikes! I plan to be there by noon so hopefully they will still have a nice selection

                          2. re: Ttrockwood
                            p
                            peter j Jan 24, 2014 02:26 AM

                            I liked the apple tarte tatin.

                            1. re: peter j
                              t
                              Ttrockwood Jan 24, 2014 12:51 PM

                              Oh! We had one at thanksgiving- it was divine!!

                            2. re: Ttrockwood
                              a
                              apple11 Jan 24, 2014 02:15 PM

                              I second Kee's chocolates. The yuzu and the creme brulee are favourites... Don't buy the macaroons, though... As so often: too dry...I think "Bosie" in Morton Street has very good pastry (including the best "Paris-Brest" in town), as well as "Mille-Feuille" (chocolate croissant)... Did not try the macaroons at either... Have not yet found a decent kouign amann in NYC... The new book from Rose Beranbaum has a picture of a kouign amann on the title page and it looks just perfect... (http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/) Sadly one cannot get them in a bakery here...

                            3. m
                              marblebag Sep 18, 2012 06:17 PM

                              The croissant is close to the Francois Payard one but more expensive. I love the piped to order madeleines. I didn't enjoy his lemon bichon as the version in Montreal's 3M Patisserie has the top sugars caramelized.

                              1. w
                                wewwew Mar 12, 2012 05:48 PM

                                Sorry to all for a confusing post.( I, wewwew, am the unimproved but now postable wew)
                                The Arlette, DMali named it correctly, is the cinnamon puff pastry - the second very good item.
                                She also asks
                                " Not sure what strawberry dessert you are talking about. (Strawberries aren't in season, and this place is pretty strict on being seasonal.) I think you mean the raspberry charlotte?"
                                After returning when my sugar high was lower, I saw yes it was the locavore raspberry which I had - more in season (somewhere) than strawberries this mild Feb.

                                1. a
                                  apple11 Feb 29, 2012 08:47 PM

                                  I had the Kouign Amman only once and though crispy and buttery, it was too thin and had not the soft consistence in the center if compared with Laduree's. And how much are they? 5.25$? I have to admire Ansel that he can get away with it, earning 5.05$ with each... The canelé was not crispy outside and therefore also better to avoid. The almond croissant was the best choice and also offered the best value for money.

                                  1. d
                                    DMali Feb 27, 2012 04:33 PM

                                    I live by Dominique Ansel and have gone almost every Saturday for my (now customary) brunch. I agree, the Kouign Amann are amazing - I've heard that the chef makes them personally everyday, so they are consistently good.

                                    I think the flat elephant ear-shaped cinnamon item is the Arlette. They taste a bit like a cinnamon roll mixed with a palmier. I've seen them small and dense, but the ones here are large and thin and to die for.

                                    You should also try their canele. Its like a creme brûlée cookie - caramelized and crunchy on the outside, and custardy on the inside. It's on a whole new level than Balthazar's, which is spongy and plastic-tasting.

                                    Not sure what strawberry dessert you are talking about. (Strawberries aren't in season, and this place is pretty strict on being seasonal.) I think you mean the raspberry charlotte?

                                    1. Miss Needle Feb 27, 2012 01:11 PM

                                      So is the kouign amann similar to elephant's ears?

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Miss Needle
                                        p
                                        peter j Feb 27, 2012 01:21 PM

                                        No, it's shaped like a small muffin. Lots of images on google if you search for "dka ansel".

                                        1. re: peter j
                                          kosmose7 Feb 27, 2012 01:56 PM

                                          Some kouign amann photos.
                                          From Laduree Paris, from a bakery in Korea, and from Dominique Ansel, respectively.

                                          Also watch the video of Dominique Ansel making kouign amann!
                                          http://vimeo.com/31456940

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                          1. re: kosmose7
                                            ellenost Feb 27, 2012 02:25 PM

                                            Too bad the NYC Laduree doesn't sell the kouign amann. Almost worth taking a trip to Paris!

                                            1. re: ellenost
                                              kosmose7 Feb 27, 2012 02:29 PM

                                              Let's just hope that the second Laduree NY slated to open in SoHo this spring will have it! :)

                                      2. kosmose7 Feb 27, 2012 12:04 PM

                                        I am glad that Dominique Ansel has (Salted Pistachio) Religieuse too, although not quite as huge as those sold at Laduree in Paris.

                                         
                                        1. s
                                          sheio Feb 27, 2012 11:52 AM

                                          I think the second pastry "winner" you're describing might be the palmier. I haven't gotten to try it but hope to soon! I have also really enjoyed Dominique Ansel's passionfruit chocolate cake and highly recommend it.

                                          1. p
                                            peter j Feb 27, 2012 11:47 AM

                                            The Kouign Amann is indeed wonderful.

                                            1. k
                                              kathryn Feb 27, 2012 11:41 AM

                                              wew, is this the pastry you are talking about (#3 of 16)?
                                              http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/1...

                                              I had a plain croissant last week and while it had the proper shatter effect and was very tasty, I want to say that Mille-Feuille's are a bit more buttery and flaky (which is a plus in my book).

                                              Perhaps better to get the more unique items at Dominique Ansel, like the Paris-New York (his version of the Paris-Brest), Gâteau Battu, and Kouign Amman.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: kathryn
                                                d
                                                DMali Feb 27, 2012 04:36 PM

                                                When I first tried the croissants at Mille Feuille they were great (the plain and ham and cheese one at least, the chocolate was undercooked and soggy), but lately the quality has slipped. :(

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