The first time I went to Patisserie Claude was after a blood test. Needles—along with take off, loud noises and the dark—are some of my least favorite and most scare inducing things.
And after reading that list I feel like a five year old. Classic.
I first read about Patisserie Claude whist perusing old Serious Eats NY taste tests. Bagels, cupcakes and baguettes; all fascinating, but the croissant test truly captured my attention. Figuring out what the best croissant in New York is? That’s the kind of test I can get into!
I’ve tried quite a few of the croissants on their list and they are all fantastic. Ceci-cela is brilliant, Francois Payard is too and Almondine will always hold a special place in my heart.
Patisserie Claude, number six on the list, is a must-eat NY croissant. There are few croissants in the city that inspire such a fervent discussion. That is, if there are any other croissants that inspire debate at all. They truly are the Levain cookie of the croissant world. Even though it’s not a text-book perfect croissant, it is a delicious one.
The croissant is heavy, flaky and buttery. The texture verges on doughy in the most pleasant way. It could be bread-y, but manages to capture an evanescent spot between bread and pastry. If a baguette met puff pastry, this might be it. Don’t worry, you won’t forget you are eating a croissant.
My mother and I each got one on a lovely morning in mid-April. We watched people pass by as we sat eating them in Washington Square park. There were cute little dogs, people smartly dressed in suits and groups of pre-college students gawking at their campus-to-be.
For a truly ideal morning, grab your croissant, head over to Third Rail to get a cappuccino to take away and then sit yourself on a gently shaded bench. It’s fun and easy, perfect for a relaxing break before the crazy day that’s ahead of you.
Patisserie Claude, I like you. And I can’t wait to go back.
I might even try a pain au chocolat.
What’s your favorite way to start a busy day?