Stop #1: Dominique Ansel
We order the insanely buttery-amazing Kouign Amann (it's hard to walk into DA and not order the KA), the Choco-Soft-Bun filled with 66% dark chocolate ganache, and the Chouettes. "I'm always a sucker for things that come in a cone and spill out."—Ed on the chouettes.
Now that's service
"How do you take your coffee, Andrew?" —Ed
"With a splash of milk. Wow, now that's service." —Andrew
"This is symbolic of my relationship with the Catholic Church," he says while biting into the Blueberry Religieuse pastry. "I married a Jew."
Erin's Happy Pastry Face
Salut à toi
Dominique himself came outside to say hello.
Le Grilled Cheese
This sandwich is a little insane.
Ed's Stretchy Cheese Tail
Oh hey, it's Scott!
Stop #2 Kee's Chocolates
Chocolate whisperer Kee Ling Tong herself behind the counter.
An assortment of truffles and a turtle in the middle.
Kee boxes up chocolates
Kee assembles to-go boxes of assorted chocolates for us. "My wife and I were just in here the other day tasting everything," said Carmellini.
"That's the church where..."
Ed tells us a story about going to a wedding at that church years ago, and when the bride was late (or something) he sneaks out to buy a slice. Oh, Ed. His wife Vicky was not very pleased.
Stop #3: Melvin's Juice Box
Our juice faces.
"I was skeptical of the whole juice craze too... until John Cusack was staying at The Greenwich Hotel where he brought his juicer and started juicing for me. He made this pear-kale juice and it was then, then I started to understand. I like to stop by Melvin's after my morning workouts for a green juice."
"My wife is from Toronto, which has a huuuge West Indian population. There are two things she's snobby about: tea and West Indian food, so we were really happy when Miss Lily's opened."
En route to stop #4, we bump into this guy, who, according to Carmellini, not only knows everyone in the neighborhood, but knows their business too. Formerly the chef at Amici Mi back in the 1980s, Abdell is kind of the Soho mayor. "He knows how many months are left on your lease...he knows the handyman you should be calling...he knows when Bon Jovi is upstairs."
Stop #4: Burger & Barrel
B&B's hamburger maestro Josh Capon pulled up a chair to hang with us.
The Existential Ketchup Crisis
We dunk fries into some of that fancy Sir Kensington ketchup and ask ourselves, as real-tomatoey as this tastes, won't there always be a special place in our hearts for Heinz?
We did some damage to three burgers.
Our Album Cover
Stop #5: Milady's Bar
"If you work in this neighborhood, you know Milady's," Carmellini said of the corner dive bar. Note: this is a very unironic dive bar.
It was 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday and there were clearly some regulars inside Milady's, including this guy connected to his oxygen tank.
Here's to day-drinking on a Thursday!
"The Sin of All Sins"
Carmellini revealed his "sin of all sins" = sipping Guinness and Macallan AT THE SAME TIME. Unfortunately we didn't get to experience this, as Milady's Guinness tap was busted that day and they didn't have any Macallan behind the bar.
Ed's hahaha face
Hi to The Dutch!
Carmellini waves at his restaurant. Except he passes right on by, heading across the street to...
Last Stop: Local
Just across the street from The Dutch, the crew would end up here all the time for coffee, sandwiches, and more coffee while they were putting the finishing touches on the restaurant. "The Local saved us."
We Ponder the Popover
Some profound words about the popover were uttered here.
Best Thursday at Work Ever
Erin wants to go on Soho crawls with Andrew Carmellini every Thursday afternoon.