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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Here Comes The Rain Again

Rain was always an event in Los Angeles. Scarves, gloves and Ugg boots were quickly bust out at the first sighting of a droplet. When I permanently settled in the Columbia University area of Manhattan back in March, one of the rainier months around here, not only did I discover that I had to keep it moving despite umbrellas flipping inside out and midday realizations that I wore the wrong jacket (a mystery I am still grappling with), I also discovered the comfort of retreating to this special haven full of warm drinks and desserts. And now, listening to cars swoosh through the fallen rain outside of a new Brooklyn apartment, with plenty of streets nearby offering café after café, I find myself wanting nothing other than a Hungarian coffee (with almond, whipped cream and cinnamon) and walnut macaroon from the Hungarian Pastry Shop.

I reviewed this coffee shop as part of a "Best Coffee in NY" article I wrote some time ago, which I am reposting below in case you find yourself craving a good cup in NYC, rain or shine.

Coffee Stops & Pastry Shops

Ah, the timeless marriage of the cornetto and cappuccino. Or perhaps you prefer soaking a soft madeleine in your tea. Whether you’re in need of a caffeine fix or just searching for a spot to satisfy your sweet tooth, here are six NY destinations that won’t disappoint on your quest for the perfect coffee-pastry pairing.

·Gimme Coffee, 228 Mott St./Prince
They offer an array of treats from Ceci Cela, a local patisserie that has been practicing the art of French pastry making for 15 years. They describe the secret behind their crowd pleasing espresso as “never being satisfied, always challenging ourselves to improve, to grow, to learn.”

·Hungarian Pastry Shop, 1030 Amsterdam/111st St.
Situated across the Cathedral of St. John the Divine are heavenly trays of cherry linzer, walnut macaroons and dozens of other treats. This shop offers various types of teas and coffees, from Hungarian to Russian to plain old American. Its intimate, somewhat dark setting is lively with chatty students and delighted regulars.

·Abraço, 7th St./1st Ave.
As the coffee flows into the NY staple Greek cups, its customers spill onto 7th street at this neatly tucked, East village espresso bar. Each cup of drip coffee is ground and brewed to order. If that doesn’t sell you, their bold pastries will. They also serve excellent food for a hole-in-the-wall bar, like their fontina grilled cheese with roasted poblano peppers and seasonal soups/salads. Small plates available noonish, prix-fixe for $15 or $6 each.

·Joe, The Art of Coffee, 141 Waverly Pl./Gay St.
This cozy, corner café presents a variety of cookies, rolls and desserts behind a glass case. However, the true star is their highly acclaimed espresso. More than just great coffee, Joe’s also caters and offers a coffee-related curriculum with courses like Advanced Milk Steaming.

·Café Sabarsky, 1048 Fifth Avenue/86th St.
After perusing the Neue Gallery’s German and Austrian art collection, you can sip on a Kaiser Melange at the museum’s first floor café. Their fresh ground coffees and carefully selected teas are complemented by some of the city’s finest Viennese sweets, from their magnificent marzipan cakes to sumptuous strudels.

·Falai, 68 Clinton St./Rivington
This Italian themed restaurant opens the doors to its stylish, yet cozy, blue and white interior during the daytime as well. They exclusively service Illy brand espresso, and some of their highlights are the semolina pudding tartlets and panna cotta with strawberry puree.

Photos: Hungarian Pastry Shop by Paolo Mastrangelo and Abraco pastries and coffee by Abraco, all others by yours truly.

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?


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