You can eat this Paris-Brest ($4.75) from Maison Kayser like a candy bar.
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If you're up for a mild chicken and creamy spread kind of lunch, this is the way to do chicken salad right.
You know a restaurant opening is an important one when, a few months later, you can't imagine New York without it. 2012, despite plenty of closures even before a catastrophic storm that crippled, closed, or delayed so many restaurants, was a fantastic year for eating in the city. Here are my favorites of the year: not just full-service restaurants, but the odd bakery, cocktail bar, and Mediterranean lunch joint thrown in for good measure.
As usual I experienced so much serious deliciousness this year, so when Max asked me to come up with a list of my favorite must-eats, I found it excruciatingly difficult to limit myself to the usual ten, so I didn't.
It's been a great year for sandwiches in this city. We found new loves in pastrami and patty melts. We celebrated grilled cheese in all its oozy forms. We even hacked a few sandwiches of our own. Here are 30 standout sandwiches we had this year.
Here are ten breads—lean and nutty as well as rich and sweet—perfect for holiday tables, all from some of New York's best bakers.
This is a loaf of Maison Kayser's Pain d'épices ($5), outfitted in a simple glaze and sized for one.
For those still on the hunt for pumpkin sweets: there are two types of seasonal goodies to keep you eyes out for at Maison Kayser.
I first fell in love with Eric Kayser's breads and pastries in Paris more than twenty years ago, when I believe he had only a single jewel box of a shop. Kayser at the time was the boy wonder combination bread baker and pastry maker, an unusual double even to this day. My most vivid taste memories from my daily visits that week were the staggeringly good baguettes and the moist, light, and vividly flavored financiers.
Now, twenty years later, Kayser has built a bread and pastry empire, with twenty locations in Paris and 80 around the world. After a false start in Los Angeles a few years ago (the wrong partners Kayser says—it's always the wrong partners, isn't it?), he has come to America with a vengeance. His new large, bright, and cheery initial location on the Upper East Side is open morning, noon and night, and two more locations are set to open next year in the Flatiron District and midtown. We've decided to eat our way systematically through the breakfast, lunch/dinner, and pastry menus. Up today: breakfast.
The opening of a great new bakery in town doesn't just give us bread hogs another place to purchase our loaves. It also raises the bar for all the other bakeries, forcing them to work a little harder to make the best product. New to the mix is Maison Kayser, just opened on Third Avenue by master baker Eric Kayser, who is as ambitious and creative in Paris—and Dubai and Singapore—as Eli Zabar is here.
With over 80 locations of Maison Kayser around the world, it was only a matter of time before Parisian master baker Eric Kayser arrived on American shores. His first New York boulangerie/patisserie/cafe opened last week on the Upper East Side, and on day two was already packed with crowds, black-and-white-striped waiters shuttling sandwiches and pastries to tables, and of course many, many baguettes. We got a peek of the menu and kitchen, and learned about Kayser's plans for NYC expansion.
Eric Kayser's first US location has been opened for a total of three days on the UES, but I've already marked my favorite desserts. We'll get to them all eventually, but let's start with this Apricot Tart. Impossibly fresh, the thin shell is crisp, buttery, and well-browned.