Pastry traditionalists may question the cannoli nacho. But consider this: the triangular pastry shells can be dunked into an edible chocolate bowl of sweet-cream filling, forever circumventing the soggy fate that so often befalls cannoli shells. This deconstructed cannoli is just one of DiMare Pastry Shop’s many inventive spins on traditional Italian desserts.
Founded in 1976 by Italian-born Ugo DiMare, the pastry shop is now helmed by his two daughters, who have updated the menu with award-winning European and American creations. In addition to scratch-made pastries, the confectioners frost nearly 30 kinds of cakes, ideal for special events such as weddings, company picnics, and Take Your Cake to Work Day.
American Pressed Bakery’s crew of cookie crafters usher packaged pairs of their signature strooples into the pleading palms and ajar jaws of salivating patrons. Birthed from baker’s scraps in Holland during the 18th century, traditional Dutch stroopwafels wed a pair of crispy, thin waffle cookies with a gooey caramel center. The traveled staff at American Pressed Bakery infuse these tempting treats with worldly flavors and flair, dubbing its reincarnation the stroople. In addition to the original flavor, the bakery concocts a Brazilian coconut stroople, an American chocolate-chip stroople, and an English toffee stroople that is quick to admonish breaches in tea etiquette.
Franklin Street Works gallery and eatery provides a welcoming environment for local artists and social gatherers inside a two-story renovated row house, originally built in the late 19th century. The not-for-profit organization fosters creativity with art pieces, musicians, and artistic films inside its cozy space, replete with warm lighting and exposed-brick walls. The space hosts social programs to encourage socialization, such as wine tastings, talks by regional artists, and debates on which Skittle flavor is the tastiest. A menu of artisanal tidbits from regional vendors features gourmet sandwiches, draft beers, and baked goods that guests can savor knowing that profits help to sustain the artistic haven
Voted Best Authentic Crepes in 2009 by Westchester Magazine, Rue des Crepes conjures a Parisian ambiance with a colorful street-side mural, cobblestone floors, and authentic French fare that "transports you to the quais of the Seine." According to metromix.com's mustachioed detectives, "all the classic fillings are there," including lemon, plantain, ham, and chorizo. Chefs prepare savory crêpes with a buckwheat-flour batter and, upon request, serve dessert crêpes à la mode. Rounding out the menu, pots of cheese fondue arrive with bite-size dunkers such as focaccia, shrimp, and buttons from Napoleon's doublet.
Bagels are never boring at What A Bagel, where the classic chewy breakfast buns are baked fresh in more than 18 flavors. Savory egg, garlic, or whole-wheat sesame seed bagels become twice as tempting when crowned with a schmear of house-whipped scallion or bacon-garlic-herb cream cheese. Sweet options include blueberry or cinnamon-sugar bagels and cream cheese blended with strawberries. Any bagel can transform itself into a sandwich when stuffed with scrumptious fillings such as pastrami, house-cooked roast beef, rotisserie chicken, and jalapeño jack cheese. Lox lovers will also find themselves facing a major dilemma, as What A Bagel offers no less than nine types of smoked fish, including Scotch salmon, Nova Scotia salmon, and salmon that was born in Schenectady but now only visits on holidays.