Last week, two well regarded NYC pastry chefs, Vera Tong and husband T. J. Obias, opened Du Jour Bakery in Park Slope. Lucky for me a thoughtful friend picked up a bunch of their offerings me to try. Though I didn’t consume most of the items until the evening–a very suboptimal tasting timeline for baked goods–everything was quite good. Read on for our first look.
Over the years I’ve tried many of Vera Tong’s desserts. When she was at Dovetail (and helped them to earn three NY Times Stars) I used to visit that restaurant specifically for her fantastic, semi-refined creations like her pain perdue and s’mores. Too bad I now live in Harlem and won’t be able to make Du Jour one of my regular “on-the-way-home” bakery stops.
The maple bacon scone was excellent–it was very dense but had a nice outer crust and struck a great balance between salty and sweet.
The rugelach (along with the Tres Leches cake) was my favorite item. I thought it was excellent–as good or, dare I say better than Zabars (!) The dough was baked to a buttery brown perfection and the filling–in this case berry–was flavorful. This rugelach doesn’t have a heavily glazed exterior like some. For some reason, I’m always surprised when pastry chefs who come from fine dining with all kinds of classic French training can bake perfect rugelach.
The tres leche cake was my favorite item and the only cake I tried. It was made with a very smooth and moist sponge. My usual complaint about dulce de leche cake is that the condensed milk if often overly sweet–this cake had just the right amount of sweetness.
No bakery with a name like “Du Jour” would have much credibility without good croissants and pain au chocolats. Their “pain aus’” as I like to call them were quite good. I’ll have to go back in the early morning to do a true tasting since I consumed the pain au nealy 18 hours after it was baked!
The everything pretzel ring delivers that satisfying “everything bagel” taste and texture but in a more yeasty and textured pretzel. Heat this up and dip it in some spicy mustard and you’re all set.
Du Jour Bakery’s French macarons come in a nicely designed box–perfect as a last minute gift to that Park Slope dinner party.
The blondie that Du Jour sells is a heavy, dense creation that seems to be styled after the Levain chocolate chip cookie in that it leans to the lightly baked cookie dough style as opposed to the the caky baked or style. It also contains huge chocolate chips. More on Du Jour coming soon.
Du Jour Bakery is located at 365 Fifth Avenue. Their website is here.