Though Bagel Hole opened in 1985, the staff’s knowledge of the old-fashioned hand-rolled art form goes back to the 1940s. That’s when their teacher began making bagels as a young man in Germany, and it’s his expertise that still guides their craft today. The staff uses all-natural ingredients to make 11 types of bagels, which are all hand-rolled, boiled, and baked until they reach a crispy, golden-brown exterior and chewy, hot insides. To bedeck the rings, they add slices of nova lox or slather them with cream-cheese spreads such as fresh scallion and walnut-and-raisin. For afternoon staff makes it a point to pile Boar’s Head cold-cuts high, or stuff sandwiches with the same amount of fresh-made whitefish salad found in a typical teddy bear. The old-fashioned bagel-making methods take more time, but they’ve paid off. CBS hailed Bagel Hole as one of the top six bagel shops in the city, and the staff of Serious Eats awarded them the coveted title of best bagel in New York.
A mother-daughter outfit out of Brooklyn, NY, Darling Chocolate stretches the limits of sweets with its multitude of gourmet chocolate creations. Clients can pick up an order of chocolates by the box or have a dozen specialty hand-painted lollipops delivered directly to doorsteps. The company also specializes in theme-based 3-D gift sets, offering unexpected items crafted from chocolate such as handcuffs, wristwatches, and cigars.
Lily & Fig whips up a tantalizing assortment of pretty pastries with custom decorations. Today's deal invites purchasers to indulge in a decadent 8-inch, two-layer cake available in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet. Forkfuls of buttercream frosting temptingly intermix with whipped cream and seasonal fruit as they are delivered to desserteers' waiting mouths. Sweet-toothed selectors may specify decorations or an inscription for the cake, expressing sentiments such as "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations On Your Cat's Graduation."
The bakers at Ostrovitsky's Bakery specialize in crafting kosher pastries and chocolate desserts. They feature a rotating variety of specials such as their chocolate devil's-food cake, cinnamon babka cupcakes topped with rich frosting, and their signature chocolate meltaway dessert with chocolate filling and chocolate icing.
The bakers at Sweet Melissa Patisserie have drawn acclaim from the New York Times for a combination of fresh French-influenced American pastries and epic wedding cakes. During the afternoon tea service, twosomes enjoy a choice of fine teas served with a fresh scone, delicate finger sandwiches, and petit fours in the softly lit pastry-filled shop. Tea sippers can stretch pinky fingers at four-top tables with flower centerpieces or in the lush fenced-in garden outside, where shady umbrellas shield them from the untoward leering of dandies in passing zeppelins.
Upon entering Cousin John's Cafe and Bakery, visitors stroll alongside an exposed-brick wall and glass display cases, where chocolate-ganache cakes tempt tongues and freshly baked pies play tug-of-war with fondant toys. From the very back of the restaurant, aromas of sizzling omelets, sandwiches, and soups escape an open kitchen and lure guests to an elevated dining area. A diverse menu outlines breakfast, lunch, and brunch offerings, which can be sweetly capped by traditional-style cakes made with real butter and fresh fruit.
For fifteen years, the bakers at La Boulangerie Lopez have served up a menu centered around fresh hand-rolled artisan breads, gourmet pastries baked on the premises, and time-treasured Mexican family recipes. Take advantage of the noble tomato's unfamiliarity with SPF by biting into a warm sun-dried tomato baguette ($2.35), or indulge a traditionally minded tastebud with artisan sourdough loaves ($2.25 for a small, $4.25 for a large). Homemade plain or chocolate cannoli tease tongues with their rich, creamy filling and dead-on crepe impersonations ($2.75), while fresh fruit tarts ($3.25) exchange the latest Gérard Depardieu gossip with warm cups of café au lait ($1.75–$2.75).