SSPNY Heads to the West Village for Great Treats and NYC's Best Croissants: Mille-Feuille Bakery Cafe
Mille-feuille Bakery Cafe, located on an unassuming stretch of LaGuardia Place, is tiny, with limited indoor seating, and a design more utilitarian than cute. It's basically an open kitchen and a big display case, with a four-stool counter to your right. When it's not raining there are several generic tables set up outside, which have mostly lost their appeal now that December's kicking in. In other words, there are no real outward indications that Mille-feuille, and its Parisian transplant/owner/baker Olivier Dessyn, are right now making what are hands-down the best croissants in town. Really: if you're out and about and hungry for a snack or a treat, this is where you need to be.
I've never not been able to NOT get the Almond Croissant at Mille-feuille, because it's so knee-bucklingly good--buttery, flaky, chewy, sweet, and nutty in perfect proportions--but others swear by the Mille-feuille Pistachio Croissant, or Dessyn's Pain au Chocolat, which, like all of his creations, doesn't skimp at all on the filling. Any one of these beauties, plus a cup of coffee, et voila, you have the best re-fuel in the city. And through some sort of baking wizardry, Dessyn's Mille-feuille croissants, though of course best right out of the oven, are almost as heavenly the next morning!
Mille-feuille Bakery Cafe has plenty more going for it as well, from a small, first-rate selection of sandwiches (on just-baked bread, naturally) and the no-brainer Ham and Cheese Croissant, to some excellent Macarons in all of the usual, mostly appealing varieties: Salty Caramel, Pistachio, Raspberry, Rose (um, gross), Espresso, Lemon, Coconut, etc. The desserts, cookies, and pastries are also wonderful here, including the namesake Mille-feuille (with not-quite-a-thousand layers of flaky crust sandwiching a cloud of sweet vanilla cream) and, most especially, the incredible Chocolate Caramel Fondant, with its gooey interior and blob of salted caramel on top. Amazing. All of it.
Mille-feuille Bakery Cafe is located on LaGuardia Place just south of West 3rd Street, about a block away from Washington Square Park. Mille-feuille is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and on weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00. Lots more information, plus a look at the Mille-feuille menu, here. And if you're looking for a extra-special holiday gift, every Saturday Dessyn teaches Macaron-making, a three-hour lesson in which you will bake (and take home) 30 macarons!