New York's bread world has gone through a seismic shift since our last baguette tasting in 2011. Which bakery is making the best loaf of French bread today? Take a look to find out.
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New York's baguette bakers like to play with their bread: Prosciutto, Parmesan and picholine baguettes! Kosher baguettes! Buckwheat baguettes! Big, soft, and crappy baguettes! So last summer, Keith Cohen of Orwasher's had a radical concept. What about making the best possible real French baguettes?
After suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy, Almondine is back open in Dumbo. Once again we can enjoy Almondine's excellent patisserie and, more importantly, some of the best baguettes in New York.
Per Se's former head baker, Peter Endress—whose breads you could find weekly at Smorgasburg—have settled into the Gowanus at Runner & Stone Bakery and Restaurant. And in a couple respects, they're better than ever.
The yeasty heart of the Daniel Boulud empire is hidden at the end of an East Village alley, through an unmarked door, and down a long, brightly-lit corridor. There, amid a phalanx of stainless steel ovens, mixers, and other machines, genial master baker Mark Fiorentino and his team of assistants turn out a dizzying array of breads for Boulud's half dozen restaurants.
In July, he opened his bakery, La Boulangerie, in Forest Hills. It's evidently a good-bread-deprived neighborhood, because on weekends the line is out the door.
I can't get through the day unless I have a couple of slabs of good bread, toasted and smeared with cream cheese and jam, along with my morning coffee. For me, "good bread" has to be fresh, with a great aroma; I have a great appreciation of all the dense breads out there.