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Homage to Pâte à Choux: French Pastry South of 14th Street

I need a little break from New York of 1900, the subject of many recent posts, as I've been deep into research and buried under antiquarian books. So my thoughts naturally turn to pastry. The walking excursions into the École des Beaux-Arts and the world of Henry James have left me with a taste for strong coffee and a selection of tarts, especially those of the French variety. American alternatives such as red velvet cupcakes, while readily available in these parts and fabulous when made properly, carry a heavy culinary baggage of southern poverty and do not seem appropriate for the haute bourgeois topics of which I speak. No, as the subject here will soon enough turn to novelist Edith Wharton, one of the keenest observers of New York high society that ever lived but who late in life gave her heart and soul to France, we perhaps need a tarte aux prunes or something that falls in the pâte à choux category to properly prepare ourselves.

Fortunately, for the Village bohemian and members of the flâneur set such as myself, sweet concoctions in the French style are available with a quick stroll. Nothing quite saves the day as a good combination of water, unsalted butter, salt, flour, eggs, and fruit. A few of these places listed below are take-out only. The coffee and tarte aux prunes from Patisserie Claude that I ordered this afternoon certainly hit the spot, and I was able to find an empty chair in which to sit and look out the window at the rain.

Patisserie Claude
Greenwich Village
187 W 4th St
New York, NY 10014-3855

Ceci-Cela
NoLita
55 Spring St
(between Cleveland Pl & Lafayette St)
New York, NY 10012

Financier Pastry Shop
3 locations in the Financial District:
62 Stone Street, 3-4 World Financial Center, and 35 Cedar Street
New York, NY

Duane Park Patisserie
Tribeca
179 Duane St Frnt
New York, NY 10013

Cafe Angelique
NoHo
68 Bleecker St
(between Broadway & Crosby St)
New York, NY 10012

Balthazar Restaurant & Bakery
SoHo
80 Spring St
(between Broadway & Crosby St)
New York, NY 10012

Bouley Bakery & Market
TriBeCa
120 W Broadway
(between Duane St & Reade St)
New York, NY 10013

Comments

Paul Pinson said…
L'art de la pâte à choux est d'une difficulté sans nom, mais que c'est bon; les éclairs, les religieuses. Tout un monde délicieux, mais n'oublions pas les pâtisseries austro-hongroise!! Le summun! Au plaisir de vous lire.
Teri Tynes said…
Merci beaucoup, Paul!

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