Monday, January 10, 2011

New York City - Madison Avenue Nibbles

With the opening of 17 new boutiques in the last six months, such as Lanvin, Derek Lam and CH Carolina Herrera, Madison Avenue has reconfirmed it's position as New York City's de rigueur  shopping destination. And everyone knows that after an intensive shopping workout, there is always need for a little nibble. Having worked on 67th and Madison for almost two years, I have literally sniffed out every single 3pm workday snack attack location (sweet and savory) in a one mile radius. Here are my favorites:

Lady M: Blink and you miss this tiny little tea house, and therein fact lies its charm (we're talking 600 sq. ft). A beautiful architecturally designed 24 ft. refrigerated quartz and glass pastry display with delicious cakes such as Gateau aux Marrons, Flourless Chocolate Cake and Green Tea Mousse Cake, to name a few, await you upon entrance and then gives way to about 8 small tables.

But trust me, the piece de resistance at Lady M, and the reason I keep going back time after sinful time (thank you to whomever was at the forefront of bringing elastic waistband leggings into current fashion) is the Lady M Mille Crêpes. The Mille Crêpes is Lady M's own take on the traditional Mille Feuille: 20 ultra thin handmade crepes, each one layered with sweet custard cream, so light and delicious it literally melts in your mouth.

                                                   (all photos © Lady M)

If you don't anticipate being in New York City any time soon, fret not, Lady M delivers their cakes all across the U.S. And for those of you without a sweet tooth (I'm sorry but I just can't relate to you) try Lady M's ham and cheese sandwich on crusty baguette or goat cheese salad.

Via Quadronno: A neighborhood favorite, saunter in and feign complete disinterest when your favorite celebrity is standing at the bar taking a shot of espresso. The flying boar, Via Quadronno's logo, will lead you to some of the best cappuccino and espresso in the city. They are also well known for their panini and cured meats and serve salads, sandwiches and hot dishes at both lunch and dinner.

The cozy atmosphere plays host to my favorite breakfast treat: brioche filled with apricot jam. Via Q is the only place outside of Italy that I have found brioche this authentic, but arrive early, as they do sell out, and sadly, the word has finally spread about this great place, it's crowded at peak hours. Italian biscuits and lots of treats, like tiramisu, fruit tarts and gelato round out the sweet offerings. So don your biggest pair of paparazzi flashbulb-proof black sunglasses, swagger up to the bar, order a cappuccino and take part in your own little walk-on role in La Dolce Vita.
         (all photos © Via Quadronno)

Sant Ambroeus: I spent every morning at the bar at their outpost in the Hamptons on my vacation this past August, and even had a dinner of Spaghetti alla Bolognese outside on the sidewalk one night. Watch the UES (that's Upper East Side) ladies who lunch at this Madison Avenue location. Feels like you are stepping into an authentic Italian cafe (in fact, the original Sant Ambroeus is in Milan). Sant Ambroeus features gelato (my favorite is hazelnut), biscuits (take some to go in pretty pink wrapping), cakes (Sant'Abroeus Chocolate Mousse is delish), cappucino and espresso as well as a full service restaurant for salads, sandwiches, pastas, risotto, meat and fish. Pricey but worth it for the ambience.

Mitchel London Foods: During the work week, I used to buy lunches of mixed vegetables, half a sandwich or quiche and sumptuous chocolate chip cookie and carry it out to go sit in Central Park for an hour. This is a great gourmet take-away spot for breakfast treats, out of this world baked goods (including some of the best cupcakes in the city, Magnolia who?), sandwiches and hot meals. Inviting your in-laws over and can't be bothered to cook? Mitchel London will cater an entire home cooked meal for a dinner party, holiday, weekend picnic, you name it.

                                                                 (Photo © Mitchel London Foods) Pin It

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