Ever since arriving back in New York for Easter break, I’ve been trying to fill up on good croissants and good coffee. Not to mention, long walks ambling around my favorite neighborhoods. You know, living the good life. Or rather, living my good life.
I’ve done a lot so far, and I still have a couple more weeks to go. Finally, I’ve been to Momofuku Noodle Bar, Freeman’s, Bread, Caracas Arepa Bar and a myriad of coffee places.
Let’s focus on what we look at come Saturday, the only thing I really want at the end of a long week; a croissant.
I read about Dominique Ansel on Kathy YL Chan’s blog a couple of months back. Ever since initially seeing their glamourous pastries, I’ve been dying to head over there. I finally made it on Thursday. The day was gloriously sunny and just the perfect amount of warmth for early April.
My mother and I each had a croissant (and we might have shared a canelé). There’s a lovely closed-in back porch—perfect for early spring days—where we sat and ate our pastries. The entire place was a refreshing mix of cool, elegance and tranquility.
Now, how was the croissant you asked?
Well, I can’t compare it to anything I ate in Bristol because it blew all of those out of the water. So let’s do something I have yet to do and compare it to an ideal croissant.
The ideal croissant has a flaky, though not exceedingly crunchy, exterior. It should be slightly browned and taste so. Inside, there should be discernable layers that you can pull apart. They should be light, taste like butter and nearly melt on your tongue; however, they should not dissolve before you can chew them. In addition to butter, you want to taste a hint of sweetness and a bit of saltiness. Neither should dominate. Basically, if the croissant is made of good-quality butter, the rest should (hopefully) follow suit.
Now to Dominique Ansel’s croissant…
The outside was definitely flakey and pleasingly buttery, though could have been deeper tasting for me. The inner layers were pleasingly separated and hit the perfect note between melting and chewing. Though the croissant was brilliant in nearly every way, there was something about it that I didn’t love.
This croissant seemed sweeter than what I’m used to. It tasted nearly out-right sugar-y. Yes, there is a bit of sugar in a croissant, but it should merely enhance the taste, not dominate it.
Overall the croissant was excellent, truly one of the superior croissants in the city. My complaints are merely nit-picking. Get a pastry, take a seat in the garden and relax for a bit.
What is your favorite hometown food?