Best cookies ever! Levain Bakery

This tiny little bakery on the Upper West Side has the reputation of turning out one of the best cookies in New York City.  Even on a late Sunday afternoon, half an hour before closing, there was a long line out its door!  Thankfully the line moved quickly. The minute I stepped into the bakery, I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by the aroma of the freshly baked cookies.  

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Even though I had the good intention of just getting 1 cookie, somehow I walked out of the store with two =P.  The cookies are absolutely divine!! It's shaped more like a mount than a flat disk.  A mount of warm, gooey, goodness!  My photos don't do the cookies justice at all. 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

The saltiness of the peanut butter chip really balanced out the sweetness of the chocolate nicely.  That said, I really love the chocolate chocolate chip cookie as well.  

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

The only thing missing was a tall glass of milk! 

Verdict: AAA.  Live up to the hype. It's possibility the best cookies that I have ever had…or at least in recent memory.  

Levain Bakery
167 West 74th Street (@Columbus Street)
http://www.levainbakery.com

Nutella Bar

The Nutella Bar opened in Eataly last month as Nutella celebrated its 75th Birthday.  

The decor of the space consisted of Nutella jars stacked from floor to ceiling, covering the length of the walls.  

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The menu is, of course, all things Nutella. Bread with Nutella spread… Nutella filled muffin… Nutella crepe… .you get the idea.  

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As a lover of Nutella, I am a bit disappointed with my Nutella Bar experience. The store lacks originality in both design and food offerings.  It feels very gimmicky.  I can easily just buy a jar Nutella, take it home, and spread it on whatever I please.  

Nutella Bar 
200 Fifth Avenue
Entrance is on 23rd Street (Between 5th & 6th Ave.)
http://www.eataly.com/nyc-nutella/

Nuvrei Patisserie & Cafe

This little cafe in the Pearl District of downtown Portland is a find! 

The cafe bakes fresh croissants every hour!

The cafe bakes fresh croissants every hour!

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Having been spoiled by the macarons in Paris, I rarely partake on macarons stateside. When my friend offered me a bite of her salted caramel macaron...OMG! Heavenly! Dare I say it's better than the NYC branch of Ladureé. 

 

 

The Macaron stand is hidden downstairs from the cafe

The Macaron stand is hidden downstairs from the cafe

Full array of flavors….

Full array of flavors….

Nuvrei Patisserie & Cafe
404 NW 10th Avenue 
http://www.nuvrei.com

Rating: AA+

Lady M (Bryant Park) Boutique

After an afternoon of shopping, I stopped in at the Lady M (Bryant Park) Boutique to rest my tired feet...and to enjoy the best Mille Crêpes there is!    

The modern, all-white interior serves as the perfect backdrop for Lady M's beautiful creations.  Lady M is well-known for its Mille Crêpes, which consists of 20+ layers of paper thin crêpes sandwiched together with light pastry cream. Aside from the signature Mille Crêpes in various flavors, there are several other cakes and patisseries to choose from.  

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I settled on the Green Tea Mille Crêpes, the only choice in my opinion.  I've been partial to the Green Tea flavor ever since my first bite of this Lady M creation at Sushi of Gari (my favorite Japanese restaurant) many years go. It tastes as light and airy as it looks.  Literally a little bit of heaven in each bite! 

Green Tea Mille Crêpes

Green Tea Mille Crêpes

Given the small space, the service is fast and the tables get turned pretty efficiently.  My one grip is that the store automatically adds the tip to each bill, regardless of the party size. I haven't seen this done anywhere else in the city. It's very easy to double tip if you aren't  paying close attention to the bill. 

Lady M Boutique (multiple locations)
36 West 40th Street (Between 5th & 6th Ave.)
http://www.ladym.com