review: sweet melissa patisserie new york
Now that the secret is finally out, let the fun begin! The best part about planning a business? The indulgent research. Ha! Bet you thought I would let that part slip by this blog eh. Well think again. All the more reason to eat to my heart's delight. To craft the perfect tea party menu, I'll need to eat as much as possible. I mean, we wouldn't want to get crushed by competition right? And since my first bakery review post went over so well....along with the fact that my mother and Mandy think I would make a great freelance food critic...time to sharpen our pencils and teeth, because its drool fest time.
Autumn in New York leaves little else to be desired. Last weekend, the sun was shining with all its glory, the air was still, the people were out and about enjoying the falling amber leaves, and I was just a girl about town strolling along the cobbled streets of Park Slope Brooklyn aimlessly, without a care in the world. The dozens upon dozens of storefronts were as alluring as a French woman in rouge lipstick, enticing me, pulling me with magnetic force. Choosing a spot to eat in New York is as easy as choosing which of your children to give your kidney...its ridiculous. As luck would have it, I was meeting a friend and she did the torturous duty of selecting the eatery for us. As I glided towards second street, I could already see the cute Tiffany blue chalkboard menu make its shape in my view, and as I turned the corner, my eye caught glimpse of the miraculous window display, filled with holiday decor and pastry delights. "Sweet Jesus!", I exclaimed. But I was soon corrected. This was Sweet Melissa, and little did I know that this small and unassuming patisserie would be the reason I would go bankrupt that day.
The bakeshop was quaint and unfussy, with a pastry display on the left and gelato display to the right (now called their crémerie). And just like Le Pain, a small but perfectly curated selection of cookies, kitchenware, and small goodies lined the shelves that separated the ordering stands from the seating area in the back. I was told there was a beautiful courtyard as well, but alas, I was busy drooling all over the window displays to the dismay of the cashier girl who already had Windex ready to go.
We established some time ago how horrible a native I am, so it should come as no surprise that I was clueless about how famous this establishment actually was, and Melissa Murphy herself, a heralded master chef with her own book and countless appearances on top tv shows. The hype makes sense, everything looked scrumptious beyond belief. I walked straight up to the cashier and let her know clear and frank that I would be ordering one of everything...and so I did! My goodie bag got filled with her powder sugar dusted madeleine cookies, vanilla custard filled sticky buns, thumbprint jam cookies, lavender and baby blue petit fours, freshly baked flaky croissants, not one...but two cupcakes- double chocolate and raspberry chocolate - as well as a pumpkin muffin for good measure. It is fall after all. I haven't tried everything just yet (thank goodness for ziplock seals and refrigeration) but what I have tried is delicious and well worth the visit. The petit fours, my very first ones by the way, are sooo cute. I did fret over the fact that they were quite stiff, as if they freeze them to hold the icing in place all day, so that was a bit disappointing. The icing cracks and falls away into your mouth like crunching on ice cubes, but the cake is moist and the raspberry filling is a nice surprise. Of course I ripped into the double chocolate cupcake like it was Christmas! Besides the fact that it too was cold for the sake of freshness, the little bugger was pretty good. My favorite part of the whole self-induced buffet was the croissant. You can never go wrong with a perfectly sweet yet flaky and buttery croissant. Nom nom. All I was missing was hot chocolate to dip it in...but at this point, I was lucky if I had a dollar left to get home!