One last flight to NYC before the baby’s arrival (for a meeting on sustainability in wine) turned into a sugar ladened weekend. I love really well made sweets and baked goods, and right now I have an excuse. Gluten seems to work fine ever since I got pregnant (how!?!) so I’ve REALLY been indulging. My waddling has confined me to lower Manhattan. Luckily, two of my favorites are close by!
On my last visit, I fell for Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery on Lafayette and 3rd St. This time it’s been my daily haunt. Lafayette has two sections; the café (with the best cappuccino I’ve found in NYC) and the restaurant with bar. The restaurant has above average food in a slightly upscale price category, excellent service and a good atmosphere for work meetings. Great spot for a sidewalk brunch in summer.
The French-style café section is small with high chairs, marble and zink tables and an enticing selection of French baked goods. Last time I was wooed by the calorie bomb that is their fabulous coconut-banana croissant. This time, I’m even more in love after discovering the tarte du sucre – a brioche dough with a center filled with sugar, cinnamon and butter. It’s so addictive I’m salivating at the thought. It will be haunting my dreams until I get myself through a sugar de-tox.
Maman is another small French-styled café. The SOHO location (on Centre Street between Broom and Grand) café area only has a few chairs inside and another couple of chairs outside. I’m very fond of looking out through the window at the pretty building in front, which I haven’t really figured out the story of. Anyone know? The dulce de leche canelés are fabulous but they also have delicious sandwiches, cookies and breakfast items. There is a cute “salle a manger” in the back that serves brunch on weekends. Nice attention to detail in the interior decoration and a “seasonal, local produce”-angle for sandwiches, soups and quiches.
On this visit I also went wild for ice cream, in spite of record chills in NYC. You can see three of my favorite Ice Cream haunts in the East Village in my next post.