May 21, 2010

The Fabulous Ferrara's

My friend Jenny was in town a few weeks ago, and visiting Little Italy was among her 'Must-Do's' on this trip. I was only too happy to go along for the visit. Yes, Little Italy's getting smaller and smaller, crowded out by Chinatown and souvenir shops and yes, it's 'touristy' and not hip and blah blah blah, but it's also home to one of my favorite restaurants (Da Nico) AND the city's best cannoli, which you'll find at Ferrara Bakery & Cafe on Grand Street.

You can't miss Ferarra's--the glowing sign stands out for blocks. It's conveniently close to the N/R and the D train stops, and while there is almost always a line, it moves quickly. Almost too quickly for you to decide what you want. Or maybe that's just me.

I mean so many choices! Look at these adorable mini wedding cakes! They're about 6 inches tall and cost 15 dollars! Too cute! If only I could have taken them with me to OK for Jenezuela's wedding! They wouldn't have survived the flight though--and I don't mean they would have gotten smushed.

I have a weakness for 7-layer bars/rainbow cookies/crack snacks, so I had to get one of those to sample. They were good, but not great. These have raspberry preserves instead of apricot, and while I love raspberry, apricot usually goes so much better with the almondy background of this cake/cookie. I also have a friend who makes THE BEST RAINBOW COOKIES in the WORLD, so these just don't come close to hers!

The Napoleons (Mille Feuille) are really what you need to try here. So good! I got a mini one, which is basically bite size (full size are about 3-4 inches long). Soft but slightly crispy layers of puff pastry filled with a not-too-sweet custard, all topped with a layer of vanilla icing swirled with chocolate. They're fresh, not hard, and one bite doesn't make the entire top layer come off at once. This is the sign of a great Napoleon! I wish I'd gotten two of these!

ABF got one of their awesome cannoli for his to-go box. He graciously gave a bite, and I was delighted to find they were just as fresh and flavorful. The cream filling is soft and smooth, not like dense frosting, as some cannoli are.

I also tried a mini eclair (about an inch long), and it was spot on--soft choux pastry, sweet cream filling, and rich dark chocolate icing on top! This was too, too easy to eat. :)

If you don't want to go inside for a taste of their colorful, rainbow's array of gelato, they usually have a separate stand outside, too.

If you're in Little Italy, or even Chinatown, pop over for a delicious dessert before heading home. You can visit over some desserts and coffee in the cafe, or get it to go like we did. You'll find something for everyone--fruit lovers, chocoholics, pastry fiends, you name it, Ferrara Bakery & Cafe won't fail you!


Halcyon said...

Is that where we had ice cream? Those tiny tartes look tasty!

LKPheartsfood said...

Hi Hal!! No, that was at Viniero's!If I haven't posted about that place yet, I sure as heck need to do it!

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