What always amazes me about New York is how many great bakery or dessert places there are that I have either 1) never been to or 2) never heard of. When a member of the dessertbuzz team learned that I had never heard of Ceci Cela Patisserie he forcibly took me there the same day. “How could you have never had their croissants or their French pastry?” he said. [Dammit Jim, a man can only review so many desserts!]
When we arrived, before I could even look at the full menu, my associate was shoving a hot croissant in my face, and then a macaroon. “Try this thing, it might be better than Balthazar!” The Croissant was pretty damn good. It was hot out of the oven and I couldn’t think of a better one that I had eaten in New York City. Ceci Cela is one of the few places that has fresh batches throughout the day rather than one delivery at 6:00 a.m. I took a note to try and get a hold of a hot Payard or Balthazar croissant.
The lemon macaroon was also very good. It had a nice lemon flavor and the crust was soft and fresh. They were keeping a pile of macaroons handy in a nearby fridge so they must move a lot of them- usually a good sign.
After the initial tastings, we ordered a traditional chocolate mousse cake ($5.50) and sat in the back and ate it. My first thought was how much better it was than the “world’s best chocolate cake” which is located right next door.
The cake had a sponge-like mousse and it seemed to have very little sweetness or sugar. What I liked about this dessert, besides the dark chocolate flavor, was that it wasn’t just a solid column of mousse. It had a cake layer that blended seamlessly with the mousse layer. The top was dusted with dark cocoa as well. All-in-all a very solid cake.
Recommended: Croissants (one of the best in the city), almond croissants, chocolate mousse cake and any Ceci macaroons that were made recently.
Ceci Cela Patisserie is located at 55 Spring St.
Ceci Cela’s web site is here.