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.

Interior shots/menu boards inside

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.

Texture shot of the bread

Bread with the grissini

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…

Presented side

Back side

Close up of the gelato “sundae”

Lovely creaminess…

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.

Café J’Adore
2 W 23rd Street
New York, NY

1 5th Avenue
New York, NY


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. Kathy says:

    ohohoohoh!!! oh man, no fair! I actually lived right by Otto’s during my freshman year at nyu (Rubin dorm on the corner of 5th ave and 9th st). I remember buying pints of the olive oil gelato every thursday night, to curl up with a good episode or two of sex and the city…hehe, oh it was heaven! Gah, I cannot wait to move back in the fall, we must eat together with robyn! :)

  2. hellokitty893112 says:

    How can you go wrong with olive oil gelato and “Sex in the City?” Lol.

    Yes, we must eat out together. I guess restaurants or food establishments should fear us. We’re going to be one loud group…

  3. the ulterior epicurehttp://www.ulteriorepicure.wordpress.com says:

    I *LURVE* the olive oil gelato at Otto! I love it so much that I’ve made it at home! Great post!

  4. hellokitty893112 says:

    I love the olive oil gelato, too!

    Oh wow! I would make gelato or ice cream on my own…if I had an ice cream machine.

    Thanks for the compliment! :)

  5. Edytahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/bs-edyta says:

    Hi Tina. I was just reading David Lebovitz last entry (about croissants) and he mentioned your entry about the best c. in NY :))))http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/02/the_best_croiss.html#more))

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