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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dominique Ansel Bakery

I hate when it takes me longer than anticipated to cross a restaurant off my list, especially when the restaurant proves to be just as wonderful as I had hoped.  The pastries at Dominique Ansel Bakery look too beautiful to eat, but that would be a shame because they are some of the best baked goods I've ever had.  You know those pictures of Paris windows filled with delicate pastries?  I'm pretty sure those pictures are why people think living in France is so glorious.  American bakeries never make pastries that look or taste like that unless, of course, you have a French baker come to New York and take matters into his own hands.  

Each item in the case looked perfectly crafted.  Karina and I allowed ourselves to try three desserts and even though that sounds like a lot, it was an incredibly tough decision because they all looked so mouthwatering.  Karina's favorite dessert is the eclair so that was choice number one.  In addition to the chocolate icing, the pastry was filled with chocolate cream and topped with a long rectangle of chocolate.  Unlike Karina, eclairs are not my favorite, yet I may have eaten more than she did.  My complaint is usually the cream filling - I don't like whippy icing/filling, but this was a little thicker and in perfect proportion to the pastry encasing it that it basically changed my outlook on eclairs.  After having read about it a few months ago, my choice was the Paris-New York.  I've never had the original Paris-Brest for comparison, but Ansel's take made with caramel, chocolate, and peanuts was the perfect salty/sweet dessert.  For our third choice we wanted something fruity that wasn't anchored in pastry for a little variety.  Karina and I both like macarons so we went with something meringue-based.  The banana passion fruit pavlova sandwiched flambeed bananas with coconut lime cream between two passion fruit meringues.  

I absolutely could not pick a favorite, they were all so different and all so good.  Dominique Ansel Bakery is now tied with Momofuku Milk Bar as my favorite bakery.  Not for nothing, they have a great garden so you can let these desserts melt in your mouth while you're sitting next to a fireplace or underneath strung lights because these creations are meant to be savored.

Dark pink heart shaped macarons in preparation for Valentines Day

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