Showing posts with label Kee’s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kee’s. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A taste of Paris in Soho

Where do these lovelies come from?

Pierre Hermé?


Some other gem of a Parisian patisserie?

Mais non, they’re straight from New York—Soho to be precise. They’re Kee Ling Tong’s creations.

Now, she rotates through 22 options including jasmine green tea, blood orange, blueberry and white truffle oil.

Kee added macarons to her stellar chocolate repertoire in early ’08, starting with five flavors: passionfruit (her favorite), key lime, raspberry (“I like fruit flavors”), black sesame and mocha.

She admits that it took months of trial and error to perfect her recipe but macaron fans should be thankful she did. A good macaron in Manhattan is hard to find.

(And if you're determined to give macarons a whirl yourself, don't miss the lovely little book by Annie Rigg.)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Parisian douceurs, New York style

The grass is always greener and the sweets, sweeter, when you’re away from your home territory. Here are five sweet spots in New York where I’m indulging in Parisian douceurs.

Michel Cluizel
The master is back in NYC after closing shop in ABC last year. Now you can sink your teeth into a cup of cocoa or a grand cru chocolate bar at his new boutique at Fifth and 47th.

Or scoop up some artisinal chocolates instead. Kee Ling Tong puts the same meticulous care into her insanely delicious bonbons as she does her homemade macarons. You just can’t go wrong.

Ceci Cela
Anyone who’s ever had a croissant from this Nolita darling—be in butter, almond or pain au chocolat—knows they’re the real deal.

Butterfield Market
Payard, lost and found! While the patisserie sadly closed earlier this year, you can still get Francois’ exquisite French éclairs—or go whole hog with the buche de Noel—at this Upper East Side market.

Thé Adoré
I love this little spot on 13th that always goes under the radar. Once you step inside the narrow salon de thé and get a gander at the pretty fruit tarts, you might as well be in Paris.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A plus tard, New York

New York, it’s been sweet. You will always own my heart. But Paris has my soul, and I’m going over to live there for awhile.

I’m going to miss my very best favorites—Batch, Bespoke, Kee’s, Momofuku—and I will be late to some new discoveries. But I will be back, with skat, and hungry to explore.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sweet Freak Smackdown: San Francisco v. New York

New York is the reigning champ of sweets. It’s that easy. But if you have you have to score in another city (that’s not Paris), San Francisco is as good a contender as any. How do the two cities fare in a Sweet Freak Smackdown?

Specialty’s v. Levain

Sigh. There’s nothing better than a whopper of a cookie. Levain takes the cake with its six-ounce beauties. But Specialty’s isn’t far behind.

My love for Specialty’s—in particular, the wheatgerm chocolate chip cookie (just trust me on this one)—was very deep when I lived in San Francisco. It hasn’t waned. That I got to the Battery Street location just when the black and white cookies were pulled warm from the oven only solidified my love for the hippie-ish café.

Verdict: Levain for consistency and quality. Specialty’s for range of flavors (11 of them) and fun.

Tartine Bakery v. City Bakery

These two are different, that’s for sure. Tartine is small, City Bakery is sprawling. Tartine is still firmly entrenched in French pastries, CB has mastered American snacks. Tartine is six-years-old, Maury Rubin served his first tarts in 1990. But they both produce the most mind-blowing baked goods (as well as savories) that warrant the vulture-like fans who pace and scope, pace and scope, waiting a wee table to open so they can sit and feast.

Verdict: Tartine for its bread pudding. City Bakery for its peanut butter cookie.

Bi-Rite Creamery v. il Laboratorio del Gelato

Both of these homegrown gelato shops produce small batches of unique flavors made with the best (best, best) ingredients. As much as I love il Laboratorio, I’ve never had ice cream as good as the salted caramel at Bi-Rite. Never.

Verdict: Give it up for SF.

Recchuiti v. Kee’s

Michael Recchuiti is an exacting chocolatier. So is Kee Ling Tong. Michael’s signature treats are the fleur de sel caramels and s’more bites. Kee’s are the crème brulee truffles and fresh macaroons. Michael has an adorable sliver of a spot in the gorgeous Ferry Building. Kee’s eked out space in western Soho. I could go on. They’re both amazing. But…

Verdict: This one goes to Kee’s.

Fog City News v. Food Emporium

World-class chocolate should be more available. Kudos to Fog City News and Food Emporium/Trump Plaza for doing their part to share the wealth with the masses. Fog City News offers over 100 bars from around the world. Food Emporium for its sheer brazenness of attaching a fine chocolate shop to the smelly

Verdict: Fog City News for its impressive selection. Food Emporium for the brazenness of attaching a fine chocolate shop to a smelly grocery store.


This one is tough. San Francisco has no shortage of kickass sweet shops. I didn’t even mention Miette, Citizen Cake or Bittersweet.

But New York is… New York. Untouchable. Delicious. Divine. From cupcakes at Batch or ChikaLicious Dessert Club to croissants at Patisserie Claude or Amai Bakeshop. From scones at Alice’s Tea Cup to brownies at Baked. From soy desserts at Kyotofu to vegan treats from This Chick Bakes. From cocoa at Jacques Torres to pudding from the Dessert Truck. From Doughnut Plant to Birdbath, Papabubble to Three Tarts, Lady M to Black Hound, Sugar Sweet Sunshine to Two Little Red Hens… okay, it’s not so tough after all.