I've never had a sfogliatella that was amazing, though Ed tells me that there are delicious ones in Naples, where they're eaten fresh out of the oven. That the sfogliatelle in the United States have been sitting around in the bakery cases may be part of the problem, or perhaps the Italians are simply using a different, better method.
I visited three different bakeries in the Arthur Avenue district, commonly referred as the "real" Little Italy in New York, and only had one passable sfogliatella at Egidio's Pastry Shop. Edigio's turns out delicious cannolis, but their sfogliatelle are merely okay. The shells are nicely crisp, but the interiors are bland and slightly gummy.
And while De Lillo's down the street made sfogliatelle that had tenderer interiors, the filling was so inundated with orange extract-like essence that it was hard to move past the assertive flavor.
And finally, the sfogliatelle at Artuso's had neither the tender interior at De Lillo's nor the crispy shell of Egidio's.
So my question is: Are there good sfogliatelle to be found in New York City?
Egidio's Pastry Shop
622 East 187th Street, Bronx NY 10458 (map) 718-295-6077