It was a day of decadence. Fueled by the endless opportunity of tempting new eateries in NYC, as well as old favorites, it was not so matter of which treat to indulge in on my birthday, but where to start. West 40th street, running alongside Bryant Park, is making us all proud in Mid-town for finally providing some local largess. Maison Kayser bakes a superb bread made with whole green olives, and their frangipane galette des rois made especially ( and only ) this month for Epiphany is magnificent. Royce, the Japanese chocolate maker, is a few doors down and would have been especially popular in the Australian heat wave this week because their delicious truffles are all packaged with mini ice-packs. But for the 13th, it was the layered cakes of Lady M that won first indulgence of the day.
I suspect that the Lady’s business was named for the noises the customers make when they peruse their options. There are so many creamy colorful choices it would be a difficult decision, were it not for the signature cake made from 20 fine crepes layered with ‘ethereal light pasty cream’. I was in admiration of the sheer engineering perfection of the slice, and then of course there was the delight of actually eating it. Mmmmmmm.
The richness of morning tea did not provide any deterrent to venturing uptown for more. In fact, the sugary energy inspired not only some fantasy shopping in Saks, but a spritely walk up to The Plaza for a mid-afternoon lunch. The old kitchens of the hotel were transformed into the Todd English Food Hall over 3 years ago, and the ability to choose from the various open-kitchen cuisines makes it an easy and excellent destination. There is fresh seafood, pizza from a brick oven, multicolored fresh pasta or cheese and charcuterie. I chose sushi and Sean the pork and ginger dumplings, but we were as one with the dessert. White chocolate creme brûlée with fresh mango sorbet. What more can I say? Mmmmmmmm.