Sugar Rush: Sullivan Street Bakery's Budino di Banana
Famous for their pizza bianca and loved for their sandwiches and insanely delicious square cuts of pizza (topped with cauliflower, zucchini, or mushrooms), the pastries at this Hell's Kitchen bakery are often overlooked and surely deserve more recognition. Since Sullivan Street Bakery ranks high on my personal list of favorite bakeries in the city, I've made it a point to, over time, taste each and every single one of the sweets they offer—diabetes be damned.
Some days I favor one over another—be it warm bomboloni or a round of tortino di cioccolato with crunchy bread crumb bits speckled in the batter. My current affair is with a caramelized wedge of banana bread pudding. I have an especially soft spot in my heart for puddings which are generous and easy in the mouth, and I love Bananas for the same reason. At Sullivan Street Bakery, the two are combined with a flaky, butter-rich crust. The bread pudding mix is immensely moist, lightly spiced, and hovers an enviable line between custard and cake. To top it off, the bananas have been soaked in sambuca and coffee and deeply caramelized—dancing on the verge of bitterness, but falling just to the right side of sweet. Rustic comfort at its best. This warmed cut of pudding, accompanied by coffee, would make for a very fine start to the day.