Mille-Feuille Patisserie on Laguardia Place, barely a week old, is too new to include in our look at the best French bakeries in New York—but after a few tastes, we've found that they're baking some of the best croissants in this city.
The owner, Olivier, is a recent Paris transplant and now the talented pastry chef behind the classic French sweets at Mille-Feuille. There are macarons in a colorful parade of flavors, tender madeleines, and at least a dozen different sablés ranging from paper-thin numbers speckled in crushed hazelnuts to a crisp coconut sablé. But you must not leave without Olivier's croissants—the plain croissants in particular. They are simply perfect, baked a deep golden brown, with a crisp and flaky body and an exterior that shatters at first bite. It's remarkably buttery, though not excessively heavy, the interior layers flaky and yielding to each bite with light stretch. The flavor is pure butter, with only a touch of salt—dangerously light on the stomach.
Chocolate croissants are excellent as well and generously filled with a melting cut of dark chocolate tucked into the center, and almond croissants are rich with a layer of crème d'amandes, a glorious blend of almonds, butter, and eggs. We'll be back for sablés and macarons, but in the meantime, can't get enough of the croissants. 2011 is looking to be a mighty promising year for bakeries and sweet shops in the city.