Tag Archives: cafes

The Best Rugelach and Croisaants: Two New Bakery/Cafes Open on the Upper East Side

Rugelach via flckr by by Soup Spoon Blog

Two new bakery/cafes have opened in the last several months on the Upper East Side. Le Moulin a Cafe, a French spot on York Avenue between 76th and 77th streets, serves up some of the best croissants I’ve eaten in the city. Plenty specializes in homey desserts like rugelach and crumb cake, along with cakes and cookies.

Le Moulin a Cafe

Forget all those leaden faux croissants on offer at your neighborhood bodega. Instead, head for Le Moulin a Cafe. The cozy spot opened over the summer when it started dishing up croissants that are as flaky and tender as any I’ve had in France.

The reason? Nicholas Lecuq, the co-owner, imports frozen dough from Brittany. Lecuq’s chef then bakes the dough in-house. Who would think pre-frozen croissants could turn out so well?

The weekday morning I stopped by, the place was hopping. Stroller moms who had dropped their kids at the Lycee Francais de New York across the street, flooded the cafe’s tables. Neighborhoods folks were stopping by too. And I’ll bet there’s more than a few NY Presbyterian docs–cholesterol be damned—who are sampling Le Moulin a Cafe’s offerings as well.

In addition to pastries, there’s a menu of quiche ($10), salads ($11-$12), and entrées (skirt steak with fries ($21) and the like, and wine is coming soon.


If it’s old fashioned cakes and cookies you’re hankering for, Plenty is your spot. Arrayed in glass cases, the pastries are pretty much like grandma used to make—and there’s a reason for that. Jessica Weiss, the proprietor and a lapsed MBA, earned her chops baking alongside her grandmother Hannah, one hell of a baker judging by the fare at Plenty.

The crumb cake was light and moist with a buttery, tender topping.  Delicious but not for me.  For me, the chewier and doughier the cake, the better. The rugelach?  I wish that my grandma who’s ruglach were reliably uneatable, had taken some lessons from Hannah. Plenty’s were flaky and not too sweet, just about a perfect bite.

Along with these homey standards, Weiss also offers chocolate cake ($4.75), cinnamon sugar donut muffins ($1.75) and homemade Oreos ($2.50). There are whole cakes for $35-$40 that can also be ordered by the slice.

The place sports a few tables and you can purchase various coffees and teas to go with your pastry.

Le Moulin a Cafe
1439 York Ave
New York, NY
212  288 5088

Monday – 7 am – 9 pm
Tuesday-Thursday – 7 am – 10 pm
Friday – 7 am – 11 pm
Saturday – 8 am – 11 pm
Sunday – 8 am – 9 pm

1457 Third Avenue (82nd Street)
New York, NY
212 628 2110

730 am to 730 pm 7 days/week



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New York Outdoor Dining Blooms on Upper West Side

79th Street Boat Basin Cafe

79th Street Boat Basin Cafe

Finally, this past weekend, summer arrived! So that means it’s time to scout out some outdoor dining options on the Upper West Side.

This is the time of year when the Upper West Side shines. The neighborhood brims with outdoor cafes, hidden gardens and other warm weather dining spots.

Later this week, I’ll list some outdoor eateries elsewhere in the city. But here are some of my favorite summertime hangouts in the neighborhood:

1.  Hudson Beach Cafe. This verdant spot at 105th street in Riverside Park has simple pub grub like burgers, a cold shrimp platter and beer and wine. It’s a relaxing place to watch people stroll in the park or to catch a glimpse of dogs frolicking in the dog park across the way. Plus, if you sit on the top level of this bi-level eatery, you can glimpse the shimmering Hudson River through the trees. For sports enthusiasts, there’s almost always a volley ball game going on at the adjacent athletic field.

105th St. in Riverside Park.

2.  Boat Basin Cafe. If you want more action in Riverside Park, then this is the place for you.  Here, the bustling scene is more important than the food. There’s great views of the boat basin—and if you’re lucky of smashing sunsets over the Hudson River.

W 79th St in Riverside Park

3.  Café du Soleil. It’s unbearably noisy inside.  That means the sidewalk café—yes, there are blaring car horns and the roar of the M-104 bus—is by comparison an oasis of tranquility.

104th St. and Broadway.

4.  Bello Giardino. There’s a charming backyard patio adorned with a grape arbor.

71 W. 71st St., nr. Columbus Ave.

5.  Henry’s. For well-prepared American fare like burgers, salads and steaks, Henry’s fits the bill.  You can sit on the patio and watch the usual mélange of Upper West Side types walk by—from moms pushing strollers to packs of Columbia students.

2745 Broadway, at 105th St.

6.  Isabella’s. It’s the scene at this neighborhood Italian. Sit yourself down in their sidewalk cafe across from the Museum of Natural History if you want to see and be seen.

359 Columbus Ave., at 77th St.

7.  La Rural. The steaks are surprisingly tender and affordable at this Argentine grill which sports a garden for warm weather dining.

768 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 97th St.

8.  Nice Matin. This is where the famed five napkin burger originated, and there are Provencal themed choices as well. The sidewalk cafe is always bustling at this busy Upper West Side corner.

201 W. 79th St., at Amsterdam Ave.

What’s your favorite Upper West Side outdoor dining spot?


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