If a good barometer of a French bakery is the quality of their viennoiserie, then Eclair Bakery, a new outfit in Midtown East, has a bright future.
Their Pain Au Chocolate ($2.80) is as solid as they come. The exterior is baked to a beautiful, inviting, golden brown. The thin vein of dark chocolate, buried under layer after layer of crisp laminated dough, is of high quality.
I also tried Eclair's Salted Caramel Macarons ($1.85) and found them to be superb—especially at less than $2 each. The shells, in particular, struck the perfect balance between softness and crispiness. The salted caramel filing features a pronounced caramel flavor with only a touch of salt.
Given the limited choices for this level of pastry in Midtown East, I think Eclair is one to watch. I'll be checking back in with them soon to try their signature item: eclairs.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.