The Sullivan Street Bakery situation has been difficult to follow, even for someone like me who's known all the parties involved for years.
Jim Lahey and Monica Von Thun Calderon were the original partners of the Sullivan Street Bakery on Sullivan Street. Last year Jim and Monica dissolved their partnership. Monica kept the original location and renamed it the Grandaisy Bakery, where she continues to use Jim's recipes. Jim kept the West 47th Street location.
So far, so good, right? Monica has now opened another branch of Grandaisy on West 72nd Street, right next to Gray's Papaya. Jim is shortly going to open a pizzeria-cafe on Ninth Avenue and 24th Street. Just to further complicate things for Upper West Siders in need of Sullivan Street Bakery bread, Fairway stopped selling Sullivan Street bread within the last year and replaced it with a Bronx bakery started by a former Sullivan Street employee. These breads look like Jim Lahey's breads, but they're not quite as good.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, how are the goods at the new Grandaisy?
To use a Larry David expression, pretty, pretty good.
The olive roll is one of my favorite rolls in New York. Its crunchy outer shell gives way to a soft, tender interior. There is a brilliantly conceived and executed snail pastry, basically a world-class Italian rugelach. Butter, not olive oil, is what makes this baby great. The two sandwiches I tried, one filled with braesola, arugula, Grana Padana, and truffle oil, the other with roasted beets and goat cheese, were both good enough to be worthy of daily consumption consideration. Only a leaden fruit tart wasn't up to snuff. Welcome to the 'hood, Grandaisy.
176 West 72nd Street, New York NY 10023 (b/n Broadway and Columbus Ave.)
Also at: 73 Sullivan Street, New York NY 10012; 212-334-9435
Sullivan Street Bakery
Address: 533 West 47th Street, New York NY 10036 (b/n 10th and 11th avenues)