When I studied abroad during my junior year I had the chance to pop over to Paris for a long weekend with one of my best friends who was studying there at the time. She dragged me around that whole city traipsing the town in our heels down tiny alleyways and around the grand avenues that crisscross the parks and palaces all in search of the famous patisseries of Parisian baking.
The memory of this trip is one of pure escape and pleasure. Spending our days just sampling the most delicate gifts the French had to offer in the form of warm earthy breads and melting milky cheese tarts was simply divine. Since coming back home I've often gone in search of what bakery I could find that could somehow compare.
Last weekend I decided to take a spur of the moment excursion to New York City…I of course grabbed my "Bucket List of Bakeries" (currently comprised mostly of NY establishments) and my camera, and decided that no matter what other Big Apple temptations transpired during the trip, I had to insist that there would be a chance to visit one of these little pastry shops. And as I was staying on the Lower East Side this trip, the morning stop became Balthazar!
The little red door of this veritable jewel box of baked goods was overflowing with New Yorkers that Saturday morning eager to pick up delicacies for brunch, dessert and bread for the week. As I stood across the street photographing away the excitement began to build. Soon my mouth would be filled with some sort of delicious treat with a recipe straight from the heart of Paris.
I didn’t have time to try the attached restaurant, but the bakery was just enough for me. It was so small and inviting, so warm on such a cold January morning. It was as though the walls were reminding all the visitors inside that this was a very special city, somewhere seemingly everyone wanted to be and there just wasn’t room for anything or anyone that wasn’t equally as wonderful. And if you could squeeze in there then you too belonged as much as any of their little pastries. When I stepped out again into the biting air I froze my fingers licking the linzer cookie icing sugar off of them, but I didn’t mind.