The photo above documents the beginning of a supremely sweet massacre that happened not so long ago at Dominique Ansel in SoHo in New York City.
It's a very sweet spot in the world, being run by a fellow of the same name who earned his chops acting as Executive Pastry Chef for Restaurant Daniel under celebrity chef Daniel Boulud. As I learned from the Ansel website, "During his six year tenure at Daniel, the restaurant won its first 3-star Michelin rating, a 4-star New York Times review, and James Beard’s Outstanding Restaurant of the Year Award in 2010." He's also been called one of the top ten pastry chefs in America.
But back to the sweets. A mere few minutes before the massacre, me and my friend Erin were surveying the pastry case. We looked at all sorts of fancy Frenchy treats, such as:
I mean, seriously. How does one choose from such a bounty of amazing sweetness?
On my last visit, I had sampled the "DKA" - Dominique Ansel Kouign Amman. As you probably know, I am a very large fan of the strangely-named treat known as Kouign Amman. I've sampled it in Seattle and Paris and Salt Lake City. And I've enjoyed each variation. This was a fine one indeed--I'd say that next to the one I had in Paris, it was one of the best.
But on this trip, Erin chose the rosewater religieuse. Look at this thing.
Delicate choux pastry filled with vanilla-flecked cream and gently rose-scented icing. It tasted as pretty as it looks.
It's one of those things that is a pleasure to devour.
But I will tell you the truth, possibly even better than the pastry was the fact that one of the employees RECOGNIZED ME! She told me she loved this site. I must tell you, the fact that I had gone in to buy a pastry and unexpectedly ended up feeling like a celebrity was sure a nice treat. It made me smile for the rest of the day!
Dominique Ansel, 189 Spring Street, New York City; online here.