I went to Mille-feuille with a friend to try out their baked goods last Thursday. I guess after visiting Paris last year, I’m missing that beautiful city terribly and had the odd pining for French pastries. And Mille-feuille was my next stop in hopes of making me transporting me to Paris and satiate my sweet tooth.
Entering upon this modest sized, bright, well-lit bakery run by Chef Olivier Dessyn and Danielle, the first striking thing I’ve noticed besides the tempting baked goods were the large glass jars of vanilla beans sold. As an avid baker, these prices are inexpensive, as an average vial of two vanilla bean pods easily cost $10 at a gourmet shop in New York City. Beyond that, the bakery is divided into the open kitchen and the retail space where the area can seat a total of eight people on both sides at the counters or one may sit outside at the bench.
To start things off, we had the patisserie’s namesake, the millefeuille. Of the two flavors available, we opted for the praline millefeuille ($4.15; the other was the vanilla). This stratified dessert, layered with puff pastry, praline paste (the dark brown layer), and praline pastry cream topped with a whole hazelnut was glorious. The puff pastry was delicate and wispy while the creams were intensely flavored without being too overwhelming and sweet.
Next up was one of all of their nine flavors of macarons ($1.90 each): passion fruit with milk chocolate, rose, chocolate praline, espresso, coconut, triple vanilla, pistachio, raspberry, and chocolate. All of their macarons are pretty close to perfection. The cookie’s texture was an über thin crust then it transitions to a soft, dense (but not too dense) and moist crumb with a good ratio of filling. It almost reminds me of the macarons I had from Pierre Hermé in Paris – that’s where Chef Dessyn worked previously. The best of the bunch was espresso. That flavor was humming on my palate after eating that cookie for a good 30 seconds. The weaker one was rose but I do appreciate that it’s not overwhelmingly floral. The others were very good.
The most unusual bread they do sell on certain occasions was the duck and cheese brioche ($1.90 for the small sized, $2.90 for a large). I have had my fair share of brioches in my life and I have never eaten one that contains duck breast. The fluffy, somewhat sweet crumb topped with salty cheese and diced duck breast folded within. This was kick-butt awesome.
Despite the fact it is the late afternoon, we ordered croissants – the regular butter ($2.25) and raspberry almond ($2.75). Carrying on that note about the time, the croissants were still quite good. The croissants were still flaky, crisp and wispy shelled with buttery fluffy layers. The raspberry croissant was the sweeter sister of the regular croissant, with a 1/2-inch wide strip of sweetened almond paste and raspberry jam running along the length of this pastry. Both were very enjoyable.
Since I cannot resist taking a couple of things home, I had some macarons and a praline stuffed brownie ($2.75) for breakfast. Yes, it’s indulgent but they are very good treats. The macarons were still very good after letting it sit out for a good ten minutes from the refrigerator. The praline brownie is a fudgy hazelnut brownie sandwiched in an equally sized layer of praline, resulting in dense chocolate-y chewiness with crunchy, nutty flavors.
The prices are modest and the folks who run this bakery are very friendly. Though this bakery has a limited menu, there’s a lot of love and soul in the food. From what I heard, after speaking to one of their regulars, there’s constant experimentation on their baked goods that you might stumble on a day when Chef Dessyn come up with a new pastry or a new recipe of what was there. I cannot wait to come back for their sublime pastries.
An additional bonus is the location; it’s close to Washington Square Park. So if the weather is gorgeous, I can pick up a couple of pastries, walk a few blocks north and soak in the scene and sun while eating them. A relaxing, happy picnic.
For more photos of this visit, please scroll through my slideshow below: