Claude, of the West Village’s Patisserie Claude, is a man you take one look at and immediately trust in the kitchen. In fact, if I were to draw a cartoon chef, it would look something like Claude: white-clad, grey-haired, and somewhat rotund. A little bit grumpy. And very, very French.
While I’d rank his croissants and éclairs among the best in town, his petite quiches are the tastiest item in his modest little shop. The quiche is one of the oldest and tiredest food clichés. But Claude’s, served warm from the oven, hardly resemble the rubbery yellow slices found elsewhere. The crumbly, buttery crust alone is memorable; it reminds you, with every bite, that Claude is first and foremost a pastry man. But that crust can barely hold back the silky egg inside—salty, creamy, barely set, and perfectly dotted with tender mushrooms. Or ham. Or spinach. Or endive and gruyere…
187 W. 4th Street, New York NY 10014 (map)