Monday, April 21, 2008

Breakfast from Ceci Cela Patisserie

Ceci Cela Patisserie: StoreOn that Saturday, we needed to grab an early breakfast, and surprisingly most bakery and pastry shops do not open until 7:30 am. Fortunately Ceci Cela Patisserie was open at 7:00, so it was an easy decision. Situated about a block away from Balthazar on Spring St., Ceci Cela stands out with the yellow painted wall frame and a contrast blue awning. It definitely has a rustic look, although the condensation on the glass display detracts from the nice display of pastries and desserts inside.

As I walked in, the store was empty, and the staff was still bringing pastries from the kitchen downstairs (that opening in front of the store leads to the kitchen). The last time I stopped by, it was late in the day and there were not a lot of choice, so I didn't get anything. This time I was determined not to leave empty handed. Browsing over the display, I picked up our safe choices for breakfast (plain croissant and ham and cheese croissant). In addition, I also bought mini fruit danish, mini chocolate croissant, mini orange brioche, bags of mini palmiers, mini madeleines and mini pistachio madeleines -- you can see a pattern here.

The plain croissant was good, I definitely could taste the butter, but the outside was not crispy enough. I still prefer the croissant from Patisserie Claude though, which in my opinion is the best croissant -- crispy and flaky outside, chewy and buttery inside, even thinking about it makes me happy :-)

Ceci Cela Patisserie: Plain croissant (another view)
Plain croissant

The ham and cheese croissant was interesting, with a baked melted cheese on the surface that gave it a crusty cheesy texture at the top. Again, I could taste the butter, but there was only a small amount of ham & cheese inside, considering the size of the croissant. I think if they make the croissant shell smaller it'll be perfect (or more ham & cheese inside, depending on your point of view).

Ceci Cela Patisserie: Ham and cheese croissant
Ham and cheese croissant

We didn't touch the rest of the pastries until the evening. The mini fruit danish was soggy by then, but still tasted good (your standard danish fare). Surprisingly the mini chocolate croissant held up well, maintaining the crispy outside texture and butter flavor. The mini orange brioche was disappointing, though, since the taste of rose water was too overpowering -- my husband actually felt a little queasy while consuming it -- so be forewarned.

Ceci Cela Patisserie: Mini fruit danish, Mini chocolate croissant, Mini orange brioche
Mini fruit danish, Mini chocolate croissant, Mini orange brioche

Next came the cookies. The mini palmiers were good, very crunchy texture and I thought just the right balance of sweetness and butter. Mini madeleines were also surprisingly good, moist and buttery enough, my husband liked it. The mini madeleines are normally drier than the regular ones, so I was pleasantly surprised.

The mini pistachio madeleines were a different story, though. They were dry and the taste of pistachio were not strong enough. This in spite of the visible piece of pistachio that was embedded in each cookie.

Ceci Cela Patisserie: Mini palmiers, Mini madeleines, Mini pistachio madeleines
Mini palmiers, Mini madeleines, Mini pistachio madeleines

Overall, I liked the ham and cheese croissant the most out of everything that I bought from Ceci Cela Patisserie. I won't be back anytime soon though.


Ceci Cela Patisserie
55 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 274-9179

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