Café J'Adore & Otto
I went to Café J’Adore for their croissants. I know it’s been months since I’ve actually eaten a croissant but I think I’m mentally prepared to eat another croissant. For those of you who read my two croissant posts, you know what I mean.
I’ve read from a plethora of posts from Chowhound pertaining to the topic of the “best croissants” and I saw this place mentioned quite a few times. So, I thought of coming here one day, and today’s the day.
First of all, I don’t like this location. It’s teeming with businessmen and businesswomen who come for their coffee (which kinda suck in comparison to Joe‘s coffee; it cost me $1.50 for a small) and breakfast. I also ordered their chocolate croissant ($2.50) since many posters from Chowhound indicate that it’s really good. Well, let’s take a look first.
The croissant was still slightly warm (and this was 8:45 AM). The color seems fine: golden brown but lack the sheen on the surface, but that’s ok. When I tore the croissant in half, I was hoping to hear the shatter effect that I always seek but it was to no avail but it was flaky. At least the chocolate is on the generous side and it’s still gooey. When I bite it, it still didn’t have any shatter; it’s more like the flakiness of phyllo dough. The pastry lacked the butteriness in flavor and the texture. The chocolate is more like the 60% semisweet type. It’s not a croissant in technicality but it was a decent chocolate filled, flaky pastry.
For lunch, I went to Otto.
It’s actually been 3 years since I went here for lunch (yes, it was before my blogging days) and ever since Robyn influenced me on the gelato craze and NY Magazine published a recent article about their hot chocolate, so I thought, “Heck, why not? I’ve got nothing to lose; only gain a pound or two, or run a few more miles.”
Otto’s atmosphere is really more like a casual Italian wine bar meets pizzeria. It has a really laid back attitude with a large emphasis on the wine. How can I tell? Well, their wine list is huge and my waiter kept on asking me do I want any wine in the beginning and I kept declining kindly. He finally stopped once I ordered my hazelnut hot chocolate, the gianduja calda and my pasta. Yes, I passed the opportunity of eating the famed pizza. I have eaten the Margherita pizza three years ago with my friend, Seungmi and it was delicious but that’s a whole ‘nother post.
Back to the current food and beverage. The gianduja calda ($4.50) was luscious. It had a copious amount of hazelnut flavor, smooth, and creamy. It’s not as thick as City Bakery’s; it is a medium bodied hot chocolate that it’s thick enough to coat the tongue. The whipped cream makes it more decadent (and caloric), also the crisp, orange shortbread cookie was a nice accompaniment to this hot chocolate.
The bread that was served reminded me of Sullivan Street Bakery’s Pane Pugliese. It’s wonderfully dark, thin crust with a spongy, soft interior. Mmm… The grissini tasted fine. Nothing particular to note.
The pasta, Linguini con Cavolo e Speck ($9), was so freakin’ good! The pasta is perfectly cooked (al dente), creamy (from the bitto cheese), and slightly salty (bitto cheese and speck). The cabbage gave the dish some substance besides the pasta itself and it gave some crunch and bitterness. I really love it but I couldn’t finish this entire plate. I ended up eating about half the dish and asked them to wrap up my leftovers (that’ll be my lunch for tomorrow). Another reason I didn’t (or wouldn’t?) finish my pasta was because I wanted to save some room for gelato! I’ll let the photos do the talking for this moment…
This is called the “olive oil copetta” ($9). Mmmhmm…pretty darn expensive for a gelato sundae (it is, technically). It’s basically a large scoop of olive oil gelato (with specks of vanilla bean), topped with sliced, candied kumquats, pomegranate seeds, slices of blood red orange, drizzled with olive oil. Wow… that’s all I have to say. It’s one mind blowing dessert to eat. If I ever come back here again, I will come here just for the gelato. I mean, it’s that good. It’s a transcendent experience for gelato.
2 W 23rd Street
New York, NY
1 5th Avenue
New York, NY