Thursday, August 11, 2011

A foreTASTE of things to come!

Phew - what a whirlwind week in the City! I promise I haven't forgotten about all of you, but time always flies so quickly when there's lots to do, and the past few days were no exception. We left New York city in a U-Haul in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, and though my sister and I spent the bulk of these past few days packing, we still managed to eke out some time for a few last-minute culinary adventures. We may have been eating in the Big Apple, but our treats were far from healthy!

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

Levain Bakery, Upper West Side:
I'm in Love with Levain's Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie
Best Dumpling Restaurant EVER, Chinatown:
Amazing Dumplings at a secret, to-be-revealed Chinatown location
Amy's Bread, Chelsea Market:
Curbing our Carb Cravings at Amy's Bread
Jacques Torres Chocolates:
And, of course, the New York Times' favorite Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie


  1. I received a Magnolia cookbook for my birthday and have been baking out of it like crazy, their treats are so delicious! And I must say, that walnut chocolate chip cookie looks really good!!

  2. Elizabeth - I've never baked a Magnolia recipe, but I'd love to try. I watched them frost them for a good few minutes, trying to follow the technique :) And yes, that cookie was amazing. Possibly one of the best cookies I've ever tried...but there'll be more on that in a later post!