I love discovering new hot spots, local haunts and hidden gems in big cities, but since our time was so limited, I decided to use this visit to put a few famous treats to the test. I've always been amazed at the cult status of some desserts (like Magnolia Bakery's cupcakes, or the uber-popular Baked brownie) and can't help but wonder if their fame is justly deserved.
The meteoric rise of some tasty treats can be traced to a single source (a la Magnolia and Sex and the City, or Jacques Torres and David Leite's ubiquitous New York Times article), but others seem to come into their stardom by stealth, or to have always been a silent and steady favorite (Levain Bakery, for example, has been churning out their wonderful doorstop-sized cookies since 1995). On this visit, I tracked down a few popular pastries to see if they lived up to the hype.
I'll be bringing you our verdicts from the road over the next couple of weeks, but for those of you eager for some designer/celebrity goodies, here's a name-dropping foretaste of things to come:
Fat Witch Bakery, Chelsea Market:
|Beautiful Brownies at Fat Witch|
Best Dumpling Restaurant EVER, Chinatown:
|Amazing Dumplings at a secret, to-be-revealed Chinatown location|