What if you could access some of New York's best baked goods without ever leaving Midtown East? That's essentially what newcomer coffee bar and lounge Ground Central is doing. They offer a smart selection that includes mudslide cookies from Jacques Torres, muffins and brownies from Blue Sky Bakery, standard doughnuts, scones and financiers from Colson, and perhaps most enticingly, three kinds of croissants and "French doughnuts" from Mille Feuille bakery.
To optimize freshness, many of these items are bought frozen or par-baked and then fully baked on the premises throughout the day.
Mille Feuille's viennoiserie selections are always a sure bet, but if you're in the mood for a more "industrial strength" pastry, the Nutella French Doughnut ($5.50) is the way to go. Made with thin layers of buttery laminated dough, Mille Feuille's take on the Cronut™—like their croissants—is a decidedly delicate affair. Some have said it's more crispy than Ansel's original product, but I think its exterior crumb is about the same. However, this may depend on how soon you eat it after it's been fried.
The Nutella version is definitely much sweeter than the Cronut™ and a very sweet pastry on its own, but luckily, the rich chocolate hazelnut spread is used sparingly. For most people the amount of filling won't even matter—the combination of fried croissant dough and Nutella is enough to warrant at least one test purchase.
As I mentioned, Ground Central also carries an extensive selection of other pastries, including gluten-free items, so this will be a place to keep an eye on for sweets. And before anyone asks, I did have a very good cup of coffee when I visited, but I'll leave that review to the experts.