Weekend pastry break

(Strawberry Basil Tart, Lemon Praliné Éclair and Blueberry Religieuse)

I am always on the hunt for good pastry shops.  With the macaron trend that has hit the city, pastry shops are a dime a dozen and you have to be careful because it’s easy to end up with a too sweet or badly made pastry that still ends up costing a lot of money.

Awhile back, I read about a new pastry shop by a chef who worked in one of the best restaurants in the city and I couldn’t wait for it to open.  Soon after opening, I made my way to SoHo to give this new shop a try.  I wasn’t disappointed!

The  Dominique Ansel Bakery, located on Spring between Sullivan and Thompson, is a little out-of-the-way for me, but it’s a great place to get a quick snack on the weekend.  They feature lots of seasonal pastries, like the three shown in the picture above, and also have a few beautiful and delicious standbys that never disappoint.

If you go, here are a few tips:

Go after 3pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and get the freshly made Madelines.  Opt for more.  They’re not that expensive and fresh out of the oven, you’ll want to eat a lot of them.  Get a batch of these and head to the back.  They have 2 outdoor areas.  One is covered (good for rainy days) and one is open (great for the nice sunny days).

In terms of the pastry, even if you’re not a chocolate person, give the Mini-Me a try.  It is one of the best chocolate desserts I’ve had, and I’m (surprisingly) not a big chocolate cake person.  It is close to being chocolate mousse, but still has a nice moist chocolate cake and is topped with their mini-meringues, hence the mini-me name.  This cake is a not to miss item.

You might think the price tag is a little high, but once you taste some of their creations and see how much work went into them, it’s easy to forget the cost and keep going back.