I've never had a real cronut. I've been visiting Dominique Ansel's bakery for more than a year, but I've never been willing to get up early and wait in a crazy long line to try them. Nevertheless, there are so many reasons to love Dominique Ansel Bakery that I plan to keep coming back, not really caring if I get a cronut at all.
If you follow my blog, you might've noticed that I have a slight obsession with two pastries, macarons and caneles. So I was eager to try both.
The macarons are a very solid choice. Not the best I've had, Laduree is still tops for me, but pretty darn good. Both the texture and flavor are nice and big bonus, they aren't too sweet.
The caneles were really nice too. I wish I had gotten one of these earlier in the day to see how crisp the outer coating is when they are fresh baked, but the flavor and interior texture was spot on, way better than what most bakeries sell. This is a man who really knows his pastry. I also need to mention the absolutely perfect eclair in the photo above. Another example of awesome technique seen in dessert after dessert in the bakery. The croissants are flaky dreams of buttery pastry which leads me to my absolute favorite thing (so far) that I've had at Dominique Ansel. The addictive and insanely delicious DKA, Dominique's Kouign Amann.
The cronut may be the over-the-top pastry that took NYC by storm, but the Kouign Amann is the pastry that I'd be most willing to wait in an obnoxious line for. Like the cronut, it starts with a laminated croissant-like dough, but compacted in and among the layers is beautifully crystallized sugar. The exterior is sweet and crunchy, the interior softer, flaky but unctuous like a sweetened croissant interior. I saw something on tv a while back showing how he makes them, basically folding in sugar while making the layers. It reminds me of a hybrid between a palmier and a croissant and the result is fabulous. It's my husband's favorite pastry at the bakery too. Each time we go back, he gets the Kouign Amann, I'm lucky if he lets me have a few bites.
I've honestly only touched the surface when it comes to the pastries and desserts at Dominique Ansel, not to mention the "actual" food of sandwiches, salads and soups they offer. On my list still to try are the madeleines, the Nutella Milk Bread, the Chausson aux Pommes, the assorted tarts and pavlovas, and the Magic Souffle. The most recent "specialty" I've tried is the Frozen S'mores.
Honey marshmallow wrapped around vanilla ice cream and chocolate crisps, served on a branch and torched to order, this is actually my one and only disappointment at Dominique Ansel. The marshmallow was quite simply the best I've ever had, but there was too much of it. I wanted the filling to be more ice cream and chocolate, and they were barely a nibble in the very center. It was definitely tasty, but certainly not something I'd recommend (unless you just love homemade marshmallows) or get again. Not when there are so many other crazy delicious things yet to try.
There are a lot of bakeries in SoHo, more seem to keep springing up every day, but in my mind, Dominique Ansel is the overall best. If you find yourself in New York City, you really should give it a try.
And if you've already been, please share. What did you think? Did you have a favorite treat? Have you gotten to try the elusive cronut?
Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring St.
New York, NY 10012
Labels: NYC, Restaurants, Sweets