Maison Kayser, Eric Kayser’s temple of doughy deliciousness recently opened his largest NYC space to date. Located across the street from Bryant Park, The NY Public Library and a block from Lord & Taylor, this latest bakery and café is worth checking out. The horseshoe shaped shop has its take-out bakery on one side and it’s café for sipping and dining on the other. The café menu includes items such as traditional French onion soup, quiches, interesting salads, coq au vin, tartines, croque monsieur, and many others. Additionally, they’re open for brunch on the weekends with many of these same items plus some classic French egg dishes. And, since Maison Kayser doesn’t have a liquor license, you can BYOB and there’s no corkage fee. Now that sweetens the deal and saves you some dough.
Speaking of dough….personally, I can almost forget the food and just eat the bread. Eric Kayser makes bread in NY as good as his wonderful boulangeries in Paris – and I eat a lot of bread in Paris! The basic baguette is incredible, but move along the counter to a more over the top experience. For aromatic varieties try black olive bread and rosemary, (my fave), turmeric, walnut, fig, cheese, flax, quinoa, sour dough and more. Prefer sweeter bread? Try the flakey croissants and buttery brioches made with additions such as chocolate, apple, cinnamon, pink praline and custard. My addiction is the white chocolate and pecan bread. To complement the tastes have a gourmet coffee, interesting tea or fresh juice.
And for those who like the really sweet stuff, there’s pastry galore. Maison Kayser makes the best financiers ever, and the bite sized pieces are perfect for when you need just a little sweet. Additionally, there are traditional French pastries that’ll please any sweet tooth, éclairs, fruit tartes, cakes, cookies, and luscious St Honore and Paris Brest, two pastries hard to find in New York.
January is King Cake month. Hurry and get yours now!
In Europe, and even in New Orleans, starting on January 6th and lasting throughout the month, everyone eats King Cake, called Galette de Rois in France, to celebrate Three Kings Day. In France, it’s a round puff pastry cake filled with frangipane, and comes with a gold paper crown, while baked inside there’s a small good luck charm. Whoever gets the slice with the charm has to buy the cake the next day for everyone and they get to wear the gold crown. You no longer have to head to Paris in January for King Cake as Maison Kayser makes one that looks and tastes like it just came from Paris, including the gold crown. Kayser gives you the charm to place in the cake yourself, just in case American’s aren’t accustomed to looking for it, they don’t want any broken teeth! Eat room temp or slightly warmed, you’re sure to become as addicted as I am.
Hurry to any Maison Kayser before the end of January to get your Galette de Rois. And visit the new Maison Kayser any other time for gourmet delights.
8 West 40th Street – between 5th and 6th Ave’s.