My grandmother asked me to bring almond macaroons to our recent Passover dinner. This sent me in a tailspin searching high and low around Brooklyn and the Lower East Side, but much to my dismay, the only place I found them did NOT have kosher-for-passover ones. I personally love the coconut ones, but when Grandma asks for something specific, we do not argue. How funny is it that I finally wound up finding them oh, about 10 minutes away from my house. Why I didn’t check FIRST at this upper east side Jewish owned legendary bakery is beyond me. Apparently, I much prefer wild goose chases around the NYC boroughs. Anyway, (and we will just look away from the fact that they wound up costing me $28 for ONE lb of cookies) they were absolutely outstanding. Slightly chewy without actually sticking to your teeth. Deliciously and naturally flavored with almond paste. Yum yum yum. I made it a point to go back the following week to treat myself to their famous black & white cookies- which were every bit as wonderful as the reviews around here have built them up to be. It was then that I found out what I’ve been searching to discover for oh, about 3 years now. THIS is the bakery that supplies Agata & Valentina AND orwashers with the most amazing rainbow cookies/rainbow cakes I’ve ever had. I am ALWAYS on a mission to find the best ones in the world and will pretty much always buy one to try where ever I see them sold. (unless they have sprinkles on top, which automatically gets them black-listed in my book) Well, let me just start to explain why these are SO far above any others I’ve tried. In between each layer of colorful cake, there is a layer of jam- apricot and/or raspberry. The cookies are tops with thin layers of dark chocolate. So far, I have not told you why these are any different from anyone else’s….but here I go. THESE amazing rainbow cookies put an extra surprise layer of marzipan between each layer of cake and jam and OMG OMG OMG it takes them to a place that is out of this world incredible. Please go visit this awesome bakery, spend too much money on too much sugar and then send me a thank you note for making you drool. If you want, you can come running with me afterwards so that you don’t feel so guilty. That’s what I do.
My mom and I had just finished an awful dinner a few doors up the street and decided to treat ourselves to some yummy after-dinner treats here. We had 30 minutes to kill before theater so we went in for dessert and cappuccinos. As soon as we saw profiteroles on the menu, we knew what we wanted. They were fantastic in every sense, if not maybe just a little on the small side. The pastry was puffed and light, and the gelato inside was a subtle coconut flavor. They had poured warm caramel and chocolate sauce over the top, which pretty much perfected the dish. Our cappuccinos came in cute mugs that fit perfectly in our palms and we enjoyed the extra frothy top quite a bit. The clientele was obviously of a much higher class than the tourist trap we mistakenly ate our dinner at. Oh well, lesson learned. Next time we will definitely come here to enjoy our dinner AND our dessert.
You’d think that maybe the fact that we were at a Brazilian restaurant, but seeing things like caesar salad and risotto on the menu would have tipped us off that we could probably find somewhere better to eat, but sadly no. We went in. We did get the outdoor table we requested, seated next to an arrangement of dusty, tacky, pastel, fake flowers on a wire pushcart. The paper tablecloth on our table was marked with the drinks of the previous diners, but did that bother us, nahhhh. We had food on our minds and could overlook stuff like that for the time being. The walls were painted a horrific shade of salmon, but still, we kept our hopes high that perhaps we would be pleasantly surprised. After all, the place was packed- with a line of people outside waiting for tables to open up.
A basket of italian bread was left for us by our gruff waiter, who pretty much just walked away when we said we’d just stick with tap water. He came back to take our orders a little while later – a goat cheese salad to share, a glass of sangria (which, incidentally wound up being the ONE remotely Brazilian thing on our table) Pasta primavera for my mother and grilled tilapia with vegetables for me. Mysteriously, on the side of my fish sat a weird pile of chickpeas and alfafa sprouts. Is THAT supposed to be Brazilian? I’m so confused. So, okay, the food was boring, but not terrible. Definitely not Brazilian though. But wait! Is it perhaps Brazilian to add some chef’s hair to the broccoli? AH! That must be it! Actually. No. I don’t think ANYTHING can justify or explain that. It’s just F-ing GROSS. When I told the waiter about it, he simply took the plate away. No “I’m so sorry.” No “Is there possibly anything else that I can bring for you?” Nope. No words at all. He did however, not charge us for the hairy broccoli, so I guess that’s a plus.
Going to theater? Eat ANYWHERE else.