Adventures of a Gastronome in Training (GIT)

One amateur foodie's quest for culinary enlightenment. Musings on cooking, dining, food products, basically all things edible are fair game.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Duane Park Patisserie

There are few things in life that I enjoy more than a breakfast pastry and a cup of coffee. Every time I treat myself to this combo, I feel the world slow down to a more comfortable pace. Since moving to New York, I have been indulging my morning cravings at the Duane Park Patisserie (179 Duane Street). This Parisian style bakery has exceeded my expectations. The retail shop is filled with cases of gorgeous cookies, cakes, tarts, and other delights. You can look right into the commercial baking area, and many times staff will be icing cookies at the retail counter. They do a bustling custom cake and cookie business. In the past, I have watched them preparing cookies made to look like labeled Revlon compacts, fall leaves, and breast cancer awareness ribbons. There is always a stack of cake boxes waiting for throws of birthday, graduation, and anniversary parties.

Chef Madeline Lanciani has been in the business for years. She was the first woman cook to be hired by the Plaza Hotel in 1973, and has been running her own patisseries since 1977 - first in Greenwich Village at the Patisserie Lanciana, then in a SoHo branch of the same name (both now closed), and now the Duane Park Patisserie which has been in operation since 1992.

Although the cookies ($18/pound), lemon tarts ($2.50), and chocolate eclairs ($2.50) I’ve tried have all been delicious, my favorites (and incidentally the most economical) are the pastry items they bake daily that sit on baking trays beside the register. The lemon scone ($1.50) is possibly my preferred choice, although the currant scone ($1.50) is very good as well. When I want something a little sweeter, I have a hard time passing up the blueberry muffins ($1.50) with a cinnamon-sugar crumble on top. Beyond all the sinful treats, perhaps the biggest surprises at the Duane Park Patisserie is the excellent coffee, made to order (regular, decaf, or iced) while you wait. I couldn’t ask for anything more…


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Jennie/Female. Lives in United States/Jennie Auster/New York, speaks English. Eye color is blue.