Patisserie Tomoko (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Patisserie Tomoko is a relatively new bakery and dessert bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The proprietor Chef Tomoko Kato, who helped open a favorite Japanese tea and dessert house (at least for me) in East Village, Cha-An, who bridges the Japanese and French influences into pastries.
The space itself feels futuristic with the large U-shaped bar yet cozy from the warm blonde wood. One half of the bar is the bakery take-out section while the other half is for the dessert bar, where there are mid-back stools that line up lets you peer at the chef plating and creating the desserts in front of you.
The best example of the bridge of Western and Eastern flavors that is available at the bakery’s take-out section is their freshly fried matcha green tea doughnuts ($1.50). Delicately crisp on the outside and the matcha pastry cream filling flavor is quite intense (in a great way) and it’s not too sweet.
With that delicious introduction we had to eat Ms. Kato’s dessert tasting menu. There’s two options – Standard of 2 courses (main course of your choice and petit fours) for $12 and the Premium, which we had, consists of 3 courses (amuse, main course of your choice, and petit fours) for $18.
Ms. Kato was preparing in front of us. She’s a gracious hostess who’s constantly baking and keeping cranking out fresh baked goods for her take-out section during the time we’re there. We learned that the dessert menu changes about every 2-3 weeks and the amuse changes about every few days, depending upon what inspires the chef.
Our amuse of preserved pear, pear gelée, ginger sorbet, and earl grey ice cream topped with a disc of shredded puff pastry. It’s a delicious combination that is based on subtly. The ginger is not too spicy yet worked with the floral spices of the earl grey tea ice cream. The pear elements added a gentle, floral sweetness. The puff pastry added the needed crispness. It was an excellent starter.
Of the five choices that were available on the menu that day, I opted for the kumquat millefeuille with kumquat ice cream. I adore kumquats and because of its limited seasonal availability, I can’t pass this up. This interpretation of the millefeuille was unique. Two crispy, wispy rounds of buttery puff pastry layered with silky vanilla pastry cream and halved candied kumquats. The amazing, rich and vibrant kumquat ice cream was my favorite element of this dish. The black sesame tuile tied the bright, acidic kumquat flavors nicely by adding some sweetness and nuttiness. If the chef would sell a pint of that kumquat ice cream, I would be a very happy woman.
We finished up with our own plate of petit fours that is a study of sweet and savory pastries. The matcha green tea macaron was delectable. The macaron cookie was textbook perfect and the filling was unexpectedly not as creamy as I was anticipating. Despite of the latter, the matcha flavor was very intense. The other sweets were the hazelnut cocoa croquant (crunchy with a nice hit of sweetness), a savory-sweet, crisp seaweed meringue, and a buttery, flaky seaweed shortbread cookie. All of these little bites gently brought you back down from the relative sugar high and a neat way to show the chef’s flexibility of sweet to savory.
If you’re in the neighborhood for thoughtfully made, restaurant grade desserts and very fairly priced, Patisserie Tomoko is a great option.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE):
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