NYC Part I: Momofuku Milk Bar

Two weekends ago, I spent the most incredible time in New York City with some dear, dear friends.  It was my third visit to the city, but my first in about eight years, and certainly my first since I’ve cared much about food at all.  And, oh.  My.  Goodness.  The food.

The food, the food, the food.

And maybe a drink or two, here and there.

But, oh! the food.  There was a not insubstantial amount of food, and we ate all of it.  I’m afraid there is no more food in New York, because we ate it all.

We jetted off without a food itinerary, aside from one night, which might cause some type-A’s out there to lose a monocle or do a spit-take.  But I prefer to travel that way; let chance, circumstance, and mood dictate the days, and things generally work out beautifully.

My only requirement was to stop at Momofuku at some point.  No, I didn’t care which one.  Any one would do, with weighted preference to Milk Bar and their take-away-friendly baked goods.  Eventually, my (loudly) dropped hints took effect, and we made our way to the Midtown location – which just so happens to share a front door with Má Pêche, where we had a fantastic lunch.  (Or was it breakfast?  What do you call it when the first meal of the day is at 2 pm, and involves beer?)

We left with a taste of Milk Bar’s Cereal Milk(TM)(seriously) soft-serve and a bag of goodies, comprised of 6 cookies (more on those later) and one black sesame croissant.  My holy grail, their kimchi and blue cheese croissant, was disappointingly absent from the case, but the black sesame version went a long way towards assuaging my grief.

I’ve never seen a croissant so swarthy.  Inside, the nearly-foot-long behemoth swaddled a filling of strawberry jam and a sweetened cream cheese that one of us suggested might be Cereal Milk(TM) cream cheese.  The tender and flaky layers of pastry seemed to be dotted with black sesame seeds ground to a powder or paste, which helps explain the off-black crust.  It is also a thoroughly brilliant idea that I might have to try the next time I make croissants.

Apart from being a day old by the time we broke into the croissant (and slightly dried out, but surprisingly very little), I’d classify it as one of the best croissants I’ve ever had.  Certainly, it’s the most creative.  The filling was just restrained enough with sweetness, which pleased me, knowing Chef Tosi’s reputation as a sugar-lover extraordinaire.

And the fact that I missed out on the kimchi croissant just gives me an excuse to go back.  Just as soon as my wallet recovers.

Stay tuned for more NYC adventures, as soon as I can catch my breath and post more.

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