All'onda in Union Square feels more grown up than most of its surroundings and more lively and spry than its established fine dining neighbors. The Italy-with-dabs-of-Asia menu has some next-level moments of radiance here—but what they add up to is still up in the air.
Union Square, Manhattan
We'll have more about All'Onda, the upscale self-described "modern Venetian" restaurant soon, but first the essentials: get the magical smoked uni bucatini, but don't skip the crudo either.
If you're looking for another small Valentine's Day gift, these heart-shaped cookies may be just the thing.
At Coppelia, pancakes come in two spins. There are buttermilk pancakes—light, fluffy, and painfully common elsewhere—and a blue corn version, the narwhal of pancakes in New York. With a denser, weightier texture and cornbread-like crumb, they're the pancakes for people who like their pancakes with a little more substance.
This cinnamon bun thinks it's a croissant.
If ever there was a fancy plated dessert that captures the essence of fall, Gotham Bar and Grill's Pumpkin Soufflé ($16) is it. But this dessert is about more than just pumpkin. Executive Pastry Chef Ron Paprocki cleverly incorporates a host of other ingredients that will make any diner nostalgic for the holidays.
The real treasure of this cider doughnut is inside: a most crumb (that stays that way for a couple days) with a hint of spice, a blast of apple flavor, and intriguing notes of caramel and tartness. It's a doughnut with all the complexities of great apple cider, more fruit than cinnamon sugar. Longtime cider doughnut fans who've dealt with doughy disappointment: these may be your ticket.
The Kuglelhopf is a unique, sweet, bread-based pastry with an interesting history. And now you can get one from Breads Bakery near Union Square.
This cotton candy has a mild but distinct maple flavor and is fun to eat. Absent from this treat are the fluorescent colors one usually associates with cotton candy. Instead, the candy puffs had a slight natural beige tint—the signature color of real maple candy products.
Somewhere between a bite-size sandwich and salad, this cheese straw loaded with cream cheese, avocado, and cherry tomatoes pays great attention to its ingredients.
The Vegan Chewy Chocolate Sunflower Cookie ($2.75) from Body and Soul Bakery lives up to its name—it is both very chewy and highly chocolatey.
In the last few summers, New York's greenmarkets have exploded in popularity. And in addition to the farms selling fresh produce, a number of excellent bakeries have become regular attendees. One fast-growing spot to check out is Las Delicias.
Is there anything you can't do, Taboonette? Dessert now, too? You're too kind.
Spring is in full swing at the Union Square Greenmarket and at Greenmarkets around the city. It started a few weeks back with the first green garlic and, yes, ramps, and as of this week we've been seeing asparagus, fiddleheads, and other springtime goodies.
In addition to their great breads and sweet loaf cakes, Breads Bakery in Union Square is doing some serious pastry.
Two foreign purveyors of chilled treats—each with a very different M.O.—have recently opened in Manhattan.
Chocolate babka and caramelized canelés are both strong items at Breads Bakery.
Here is a Tarte Tatin that puts all others to shame.
Uri Scheft, the head man at Breads Bakery, arrives in New York with a distinguished baking pedigree that spans from Israel to Denmark. His Union Square bakery is already drawing regulars, and his northern European-style breads definitely warrant the attention.