I admire friends who come in from out of town and know their food enough to have their hit list. Nikki, my friend who lives in Detroit, does just that. Sometimes, she even puts me to shame, knowing more about new and hot spots in my supposed forte – desserts. She’s been raving about Dominique Ansel for months now, and I’ve never managed to make my way over. To be honest, I thought it was in a completely different area – more on the Bowery side of SoHo than bordering on Tribeca. But yesterday, I happened to walk by it. Sure I was just imagining it was the spot, I went through my email on my phone with what little bit of battery I still had and found out it was indeed the spot!
When I first walked in, I saw the basic pastries. “What’s so great about this?” I wondered. There was a lady in front of me who seemed to be overanalyzing the puffiness of each croissant. I was a little antsy. I almost walked out. I walked around her and made my way down the rest of the display case, which went on for much longer than I’d originally realized. What looks like an eclair with a bow tie on, below, caught my eye – their “Sugar Daddy Eclair”. It’s chocolate bourbon cream with a caramel glaze and dark chocolate mustache decorations. Cute, catchy, and what I’m getting next time…
I talked to the girl working behind the counter a bit, explaining to her that my friend in Detroit had commanded that I add them to my “to do” list, a fact that made her smile. The other guy behind the counter turned around to face us and looked at her when she sounded surprised to say “oh yeah, if you didn’t realize it yet, people in other places know about us too.” He said it with a smile – in a non-cocky manner that made me realize my yammering on had kind of made his day.
I was tempted by some of the other options, but in the end I had to go with the five macaroon assortment. They had so many from which to choose. It was a tough decision, but in the end I went with raspberry, passion fruit, coconut, earl grey, and lemon poppyseed (just because when do you ever see that?). They were all so thick and fluffy that I almost wondered if they were the proper macaroon consistency. Fret not. Take one bite, and they crumble in a perfect fashion. So flavorful and soft. On par with what you’d naturally expect from the former pastry chef at Daniel.
The raspberry one was heavy on the filling, but that’s not a bad thing in the least! The coconut one was so unique that I almost had to remind myself that I was eating a macaroon – and the way the macaroon began to flake with each bite almost made me feel like it was breaking down into coconut flakes itself. So good. And I decided, seeing as it is a tea and all, that the earl grey one was more than justified to be my breakfast selection today – and oh was it good. If you’re nearby – or even if you’re not – I recommend a trip to this fabulous little SoHo bakery. As suspected, Nikki did not steer me wrong.
Dominique Ansel Bakery – 189 Spring Street – 212.219.2773