I don’t hide it—I think that Patisserie Vanessa is the best bakery/cafe combo on the Upper East Side and at least in the Top 5 of the entire New York tristate area! Owners Vanessa (full name Magali Vanessa Silengo) and hubby Marc know what they are doing. After ten years of being in the retail baking trade (providing desserts for restaurants and other gourmet food sellers) they decided to open up their own place on the Upper East Side near where they live. They picked one of the most stunning buildings in town—a Gothic Revival style beauty with a spacious storefront with a staircase to an adorable balcony. There are comfortable banquettes inside and charming old school metal tables outside where you can enjoy your pastries, quiche, frittata or coffee in peace. The white interior with rustically colored throw pillows makes guests feel at home! It does not get any better than this in terms of French patisserie items for the holidays!
They sell ultra authentic patisserie items for local delivery, pickup and national mail order but hurry up and go to www.patisserievanessa.com if you want an order to make it in time for Christmas. The caneles and macarons are very hearty and travel well, so if you live in the city and plan on traveling for the holidays, you can make your purchase in person and then put your boxed items in your luggage or carryon. (This is what I will be doing.)
You will love looking at the goods in modern and huge refrigerator case (which required the removal of a part of the front wall to get in). It is teaming with desserts you may never have seen before. I actually had never heard of caneles (shown above) before I visited Pâtisserie Vanessa for the first time a few months ago. I tried them and they are a new favorite—they are so moist on the inside and ultra crunchy and sweetly sticky on the outside. (These are something that only the most advanced pastry chefs can make and Vanessa is up there in that tier of talent!) Caneles are my new addiction and will probably be yours, too. They are priced at $3.75 each.
The macarons are extra special because of not only their excellent quality but because Vanessa comes up with new flavors for holidays year round. As you can see from my photo of the macarons that I just took today in Patisserie Vanessa, they are on display in rows that resemble rainbows. The macarons are priced at about $2.95 each and worth every penny.
If ultra creamy desserts are your thing, I suggest trying a Charlotte (as pictured above). These are a bit delicate to carry on a trip so I suggest buying one for yourself and not telling anyone else about it so you can have every damn crumb to yourself, LOL! Seriously though, I cannot think of a dessert that is more impressive anywhere in town. I fell in love the minute I first laid eyes on these! The personal size Charlottes are priced at $8.75 each and the large size that feeds 8 to 10 people is $62 and up.
I strongly suggest that you visit Patisserie Vanessa even if you put in a mail order. It’s a classy, quiet haven for French pastry lovers that is almost like a museum. The layout of the products in the refrigerator case makes them seem like art objects. Well, in my book, they actually are! These dreamy creations look as good as they taste. Patisserie Vanessa is at 1340 Lexington Avenue and is open seven days a week. Besides going to their website patisserievanessa.com for information, you can also email them at email@example.com.
All pastries are handcrafted daily on the premises. Just wait until you walk in the door and get a whiff of the buttery scent that is always in the air there!