Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery

I have been wanting to go to Lafayette for some exquisite, upscale French-inspired desserts for a long time. We finally got to make our way over to this sweet heaven. It had a really large outdoor seating, more than most other restaurant, and they had big blue sunbrellas to keep customers cool.

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The inside was nice and bright, thanks to the large window that goes all the way up to the ceiling on the wall facing the entrance. With black and white tiled floor and wood ceiling, it created certain Provençal feeling to it.

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Lafayette is consist of bakery and Café, which is more like a restaurant. If you are taking some bread or dessert home instead of eating in, or if you just wanted some sweets and coffee, then you don’t need to go into their Café. The front right section is the bakery, and the rest of the space is the Café. We were only there for the dessert, so we sat at the bakery section. They had three tables with chairs, and also a counter seating by the large window.

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The bakery was filled with all sorts of yummy delight and its smell. We were surrounded with the perfumes of sugar, flour, cream, and every fluffy sweet goodness.

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The had some croissants and on the silver three tiered stand, looking fresh, soft, and fluffy. As a croissant lover and they are famous/popular for their daily croissant, I was excited to try them later.

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And then, there are these colorful beauties… These photos only show a part of their offerings. They all looked really pretty, vibrant, fresh, and made to perfection. The craftsmanship was at its highest quality. As you can imagine, it was not easy decision. I wish if I could have bought one of everything.

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We decided on few things to eat right there, and few other things to take home with. For eating in, we chose Petit Choux ($6), Cascara Slice ($7.50), and Cappuccino ($6). We got the little shiny treats that looked like jewels.

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The cappuccino was lovely, with creamy foam, more creamy than foamy, and had really nice coffee bean flavor. Without any sugar added (I usually don’t), it balanced out the sweetness from our desserts perfectly.

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The Petit Choux are basically mini eclairs of the ones they have, so it is a great way to try all the eclair flavors without buying three large (regular size) eclairs. The flavors are Chocolat, Vanilla Malted, and Butterscotch Coffee. They really looked like precious gems, especially with the gold flakes on the Vanilla one.

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When I cute them in halves, I was surprised to see how much filling was in each one. It was great! The Butterscotch Coffee certainly had the strong flavor of both. Sometimes, these things has just a “hint” of the flavor from some sort of “flavoring” instead of using the real stuff. Here, I could really taste the flavors, so I knew they don’t just add some flavoring liquid to it. The puff pastry was thin, light, fluffy, and tasty. The filling was so amazingly delicious. Creamy, very butterscotch-y, and I didn’t realize how the flavor of butterscotch goes so well with coffee flavor.

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The Chocolat one had a perfectly cut piece of chocolate on top, and super creamy, velvety chocolate filling in the center. It was rich and decadent, great one for chocolate lover. I liked the fact that they didn’t over-do it with the chocolate, such as coating the puff pasty with chocolate. It had just the right amount of chocolate flavor. The Vanilla Malted was really nice, I could see vanilla beans in the cream filling. The milky coating had a really nice flavor as well, and I always love the gold flakes used on delicate desserts. It just brings the dessert to an even higher level. I really loved all of them, couldn’t pick the favorite one. I would say they were ALL my favorites…

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Then the Cascara Slice. So pretty, perfectly constructed, almost an artwork. It is made with hazelnut docquoise, chocolate ganache, and cascara-coffee mousse. It had such nice flavor of hazelnut and coffee, and was soft and velvety. Each bite was heavenly, melted in my mouth. The only thing was that they disappeared way too quickly.

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For taking home, we purchased some Macarons ($2.50/each) and a Croissant du Jour ($4). They had bright, colorful macarons in the window showcase, begging us to take them home. We decided to take 6 of them.

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We got Créme de Cassis, Lafayette, Matcha, Raspberry Rose, Chocolate, and Birthday Cake. I thought it was kind of cute that they were all different sizes, which also shows that they are not mass produced by some machine.

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The Créme de Cassis had a tint of some sort of purple. The shell was airy and soft, and the filling was smooth, creamy, and had really nice flavor of Cassis. Since I already am a fan of black currant, I really enjoyed this one. The Lafayette was the only one that had two different shell colors, and made me think of French Flag, even thought it is missing its third color. Lafayett macaron flavor was a combination of chocolate and bergamot. The word “bergamot” always brings me back to the delightful drink we had at Bohemian… (http://www.foodlovergirl.com/bohemian/) So, we were excited to try this one as well. It did have nice Earl Grey flavor that we were looking for, mixed with chocolate. It was really nice.

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Matcha was very good, had that bitterness of matcha, with some added sweetness. It had such classic, high quality taste to it, the kind you can’t achieve with food coloring and flavoring. The Raspberry Rose had really bright color, and the filling had nice strong raspberry flavor.

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Chocolate one was elegant, not too chocolate-y, but just enough of it. Again, I like the fact that they don’t over-do it with too much of crazy flavors. Birthday Cake was fun just to look at. With colorful confetti, which I think this was better than having confetti baked into the shells. I don’t know why…maybe this just looks better and more sophisticated? Anyways, it was a fun macaron, nice birthday cake flavor, with chocolate filling. They were all really nice.

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The  Croissant du Jour was Banana Coconut Chocolate Croissant. When we heard this, we were super happy, as this was the one we REALLY wanted. We were so lucky that the day we walked in, the croissant of the day was the one we dreamed about… We first saw this on Food Channel on TV, as #1 breakfast item in the Country. They explained it as “a French answer to a banana cream pie.” I love French pastry and banana cream pie, so this was like a perfect marriage… So, why is it so special? Let me explain.  It starts with chocolate croissant, cut in half, in the open-face way. The inside is sprayed with Rum simple syrup, then their special coconut Frangipane is piped on the bottom part. Sliced bananas are placed on top of the frangipane, then close it with the top half of the croissant. Give another spray of Rum simple syrup, frangipane, banana, and shaved coconut. Finally, into an oven to be baked, finished off with power sugar. Is your mouth watering yet?  It is ridiculously decadent, tasty, and amazing. It is like a paradise in my mouth!

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Our Lafayette experience made us say we wish if we could go there every day. We will get a different dessert, croissant, baguette, whatever they have, and every day we will be happy… But we do have to consult with our tummy, and make sure we can continue to fit into our clothes. So, I guess we can’t visit them every day, only in my dreams. Until next time…

Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery – 380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003

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