There's a small, unassuming French bakery just a stone's throw from NYU. It's called Mille-Feuille and it churns out my favorite croissants in the city. The cafe's a relatively new addition to New York - it's only been around a little over a year! - and may I just say, a truly welcome one.
The pastry chef, Olivier Dessyn, also happens to be the owner and I loved reading his story about how he chased his flour-filled dreams from his French homeland all the way to New York, after he and his wife fell in love with the city (don't us Americans all share that fantasy in reverse? ;)).
Romance aside, the goods speak for themselves. Their croissant - divine! I knew this was it after taking my first buttery bite and encountering the perfect 'shatter.' I didn't even brush the golden crumbs off of me; I ate every stray one that made their way to my lap. This croissant was the poster child for perfectly laminated dough. So flaky. I cannot wait to take their croissant-making class to watch the master in action! (They even offer macaron-making classes for those interested! Let me know if anyone wants to join me for either.)
I couldn't leave without ordering their eponymous mainstay: the mille-feuille, which literally means "thousand sheets." You may also know it by its more common name, Napolean. I've mentioned before my weakness for pastry cream of all kinds - this mille-feuille pretty much knocked me out. You can SEE the abundance of vanilla bean specks throughout the rich, yellow cream that was just so simply LUSCIOUS. I hate: 1. when there's not enough pastry cream and you feel gypped; and 2. when there's too much gelatin in pastry cream. I understand the need for it, but you can quickly detect when too much has been used and the texture subsequently suffers. I'm happy to report this mille-feuille had neither flaw. :)
This place is a total gem. On the one hand, I want everyone to run over to Mille-Feuille immediately to experience these heavenly treats, made with such care and quality. On the other, I want to keep this pâtisserie up my sleeve and enjoy it in private. Alas, it's just TOO GOOD to keep secret. :) Who wants to join me on my next visit?? I NEED to try everything on their menu!
Mille-Feuille Bakery Cafe
552 LaGuardia Place (between 3rd and Bleecker Streets)
Mille-Feuille's Yelp page