To cronut, or not to cronut? That is the question.
Perhaps it's not the deepest question we could offer, but we did quickly learn the power of pastry when the cronut became the culinary equivalent of a backstage pass at a VIP concert. As with anything that becomes too big for its (flaky) britches, bakeries got on board to create the best knockoff.
Delectable and edible – the best combination — Photo courtesy of Lam Thuy Vo / Dominique Ansel Kitchen
Although his ubiquitous pastry put Ansel on the culinary world stage, the chef wanted something different when he looked to open another bakery in the West Village. In a city that puts the "go" in "grab and go," Ansel wanted a concept that slowed things down just enough to warrant an "Mmm."
Over 70% of Dominique Ansel Kitchen's goods are made, finished or assembled to order. Rather than settling for a pastry that is hours past its fresh perfection, you can watch the chefs in the open kitchen scrape fresh vanilla beans into your ice cream or fold your chocolate mousse to order.
Lemon curd that's as fresh as can be — Photo courtesy of Lam Thuy Vo / Dominique Ansel Kitchen
A day in New York often clocks a lot of foot miles, and what better way to refuel than a mini matcha beignet, fried to order and finished with matcha powdered sugar?
Or you may prefer a 1:1 Lemon Yuzu Butter Tart, where lemon and yuzu (a trendy Japanese fruit) curd is emulsified with butter using a milkshake maker.
Either way, the desserts in your life that you now feel are scrumptious may fall down a peg or two.
Matcha beignets that look as good as they taste — Photo courtesy of Lam Thuy Vo / Dominique Ansel Kitchen
If one beignet just leads to the possibility of limitless cravings, then you may be ready for the ultimate in the dessert experience. Just go U.P. This stands for "Unlimited Possibilities," and it refers to the sweet side of life.
An 8-seat table lies hidden in the second-floor pastry kitchen, where you can be treated to an 8-course all-dessert menu, complete with cocktail and wine pairings. It's the after-hours treat of a lifetime, which will make your birthdays past feel like training.
There's even a theme meant to evoke the emotions as much as the senses. The menu will change bi-annually, such as the theme of Firsts: from your first word to your first fine dining experience, and the desserts that complement these moments.
You could eat a pint of ice cream to drown your sorrows or emphasize your delight. Or you could treat yourself with the respect that you deserve by making a snack an occasion rather than an internal snuffing.
Adding a sweet – and likely future trademarked – treat to your shopping list will make you acknowledge the sweet side of life.
And you can't get any sweeter than Dominique Ansel.
Betcha can't eat just one — Photo courtesy of Lam Thuy Vo / Dominique Ansel Kitchen