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I only write about things and experiences that I genuinely like. Anything gifted is noted with a c/o or courtesy of.

Entries in visit (34)

Monday
Feb032014

Canelé by Céline

Canelé by Céline makes my favorite canelés and financiers in the city. They both topped my Best of 3: Canelés and Best of 3: Financiers lists. So, when I found out that Céline had opened up a shop on the Upper East Side, I had to go for a visit.

The tiny shop is completely adorable! When you walk in, the pastries are on the left, behind the glass, and on the right, a small countertop. There's no seating available, so you can either take it to go, or enjoy your treats standing, using the countertop on the right.

They make canelés fresh every morning and they definitely taste fresh. Perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. So good!

Aside from canelés, they also have tasty financiers in different flavors. ($4.90 for 3 pieces.)

There are two types of canelés — savory and sweet. The savories are $5.90 for 3 pieces. These have less of a crispy exterior than the sweeter versions.

But I prefer the sweet canelés over the savory ones. ($4.90 for 3 pieces.) I got one of each flavor and I couldn't pick a favorite; they were all equally delicious.

The tea served is from Palais des Thés, which I sipped between canelé bites. 

INFO: Canelé by Céline | 400 East 82nd Street | New York, NY 10028 | 646.678.4124

Wednesday
Nov202013

Lady M Bryant Park Boutique 

Lady M opened a new location right by Bryant Park, so I went for tea and sweets one afternoon. Check out my visits to the Lady M Confections on the Upper East Side, and the Plaza Food Hall.

Looking over the menu, I went with a Mont Blanc, since I love chestnuts.

A quick look at the cakes up front to see if any catch my eye. (I did take the Strawberry Shortcake and my favorite, Banana Mille-feuille, to take home.)

I ordered a green tea to enjoy with my Mont Blanc, which I didn't realize was all cream & puree. I should have gotten the Gâteau aux Marrons instead since it's the same flavors, but in a cake. Next time!

I was surprised by how bustling this Midtown location was compared to the one on the Upper East Side. Totally different vibe and at 2:30PM, the place was fairly full. Only around 3:30PM, did it start slowing down a bit and I got to relax and enjoy the last sips of my green tea.

P.S. Lady M is by the same people who run Royce' Chocolate, which is conveniently located a couple of doors down. (Enter the Royce' giveaway before it ends!)

INFO: Lady M Bryant Park Boutique | 36 West 40th Street | New York, NY 10018 | 212.452.2222

Monday
Nov042013

Tea Drunk

So excited about Tea Drunk in the East Village. Georgia and I headed over to check out this new tea shop recently and I loved it. (Read her post.)

Both Georgia and I had assumed it would be a tea cafe, but once we got there, found out they don't serve any food. It's just straight up tea, and nothing but tea. 

And not just any tea, but pure, high quality Chinese tea. If you're looking for an authentic Chinese tea experience, this is it. 

The menu is multiple pages long, and I wasn't sure what to get, but the owner, Shunan, walked us though the menu and made suggestions. She knows her tea.

We ordered a red tea, a Spring 2013 Dian Hong to share. And good thing we did, since we were able to get over 10 steepings out of it. 

Shunan poured the hot water, steeped the tea, and poured it into our tiny three-sip cups for us. Every pour brought out different flavors out of the tea. After the 6th cup, I was feeling very warm and started to feel a little tea drunk.

When we first got there, we were asked to pick a tea pet. They're made out of clay and you nourish it with tea. The first steep was poured over the tea pet. I picked a turtle, who I named Norman.

The Dian Hong we ordered was $29, so it's not your regular cup of tea pricing, but the entire experience makes it well worth it. 

INFO: Tea Drunk | 123 East 7th Street | New York, NY 10009 | 917-573-9936

Wednesday
Oct302013

Paris // Angelina

On my very first trip to Paris years ago, I went to Angelina, had their hot chocolate and the love affair began. On every trip back since then, I make sure to stop in to have one. Once, while in London, a day trip was made to Paris just to have the hot chocolate. It's that good. To this day, no other hot chocolate compares. 

Once I got to the restaurant, I was a little taken aback by the wait to get a table. It probably had to due with the fact I went on a weekend, but it was about a 10-15 minute wait.

Straight ahead is the restaurant, and to the right, their take out area, where you can get treats to go.

The restaurant is on two levels and the main level is broken up into three rooms. I was seated in the middle room, which, was right near the kitchen and the tables and chairs were set up to maximize as much seating as possible. It was makeshift at best.

I ordered the "L'Africain" hot chocolate, which is their signature beverage (and the reason for my visit), and soft boiled eggs.

First, the hot chocolate. It's like they took a big bar of chocolate and melted it down with some heavy cream. Then they give you some whipped cream to make it even tastier.

Oh, it was good.

But then disappointment set in again when the eggs arrived. The dish was sad, especially since I had excellent soft boiled eggs at Merci just a couple of days earlier. Stick to their sweets, not the food, which seem like an afterthought.

Next time, I'll skip the restaurant and get a cup of the hot chocolate to go.

INFO: Angelina | 226 rue de Rivoli | 75001 Paris, France | +33 (0)1 42 60 82 00

Monday
Oct212013

Paris // Patisserie Ciel

A late afternoon snack at the adorably cute Patisserie Ciel with Diane. She had been to this Japanese cafe, and knowing I would love the place, we stopped in. 

The glass display shows off the petite-sized angel cakes in different flavors. There are also medium and large versions of the same cake. 

We took a seat along the L-shaped counter, and I ordered Tea Time. 12 euros gets you a petite cake and tea.

Right after we ordered, a small plate with a white cylinder thing was placed in front of each of us.

The server poured on some hot water, and voila, it's grew to be a disposible hand towel! Cake AND entertainment!

They make one thing, an angel cake, and they do it very well. I got the black sesame and it was a lot of cake for one person, so we shared. The outside is a very fluffy and light angel cake, and in the center, black sesame-flavored cream filling. So good. It went perfectly with my gyokuro green tea. Oh, I wish this place was in New York.

INFO: Patisserie Ciel | 3 rue Monge | 75005 Paris, France | +33 (0)1 43 29 40 78