This has been a fairly exciting weekend; two good friends got married and I went to Paris! Well, almost.
I went to Maison Kayser with Steph for an impromptu lunch and it was the most elegant recovery food I could have asked for. I say "recovery" because, let's be honest, on this side of twenty five "hangover" is just vulgar. Maison Kayser is the creation of Eric Kayser; a renowned baker who now has a handful of locations in the city. Judging by online comments and reviews I am not the only one who seems to have been whisked away to Paris for a couple of hours. I've actually never been to Paris but I imagine a bakeshop there looking something like this Third Avenue location. The clean lines and neutral color palette keep it chic yet warm. The servers are in stripes and suspenders but it's natural, not forced. And then there's the food.
Steph and I split an autumn salad and a sausage and egg open faced sandwich. I made Steph order since I can barely count in French without sounding foolish. Seriously, the word for "eggs" is "oeufs" and I sound like I have a head cold when I try to say it. Once the food was delivered we sort of just stared for a few seconds. It was one of the best looking salads I'd seen. The bowl was brimming with mixed greens, dotted with cranberries and hazelnuts, sprinkled with feta and grapes, and spoonfuls of roasted yams and grilled pears. It was a truly autumnal dish.
The eggs and sausage was a simple dish layered with flavor. The bread was hearty, not heavy and was topped neatly with a swipe of pesto. Then came thin slices of sausage and a pile of creamy scrambled eggs (not even close to Gato's but good enough). Both the salad and the eggs were simple but when ingredients are as fresh and well sought out as these there is no need for extravagance. Not to say presentation isn't important but high quality ingredients speak for themselves.
Speaking of high quality ingredients, let's get to the best part of a bakery/pastry shop: the sweet stuff. We saw multiple desserts whizzing by us during the course of our meal but we had trouble deciding. When in doubt, ask your server. He recommended the "Adagio": a chocolate mousse filled with passion fruit.
I don't think the necessary adjectives exist to describe this dessert. Rich? Decadent? Not good enough. I gently scooped through the extra thick outer layer of chocolate to reveal what can only be described as a chocolate explosion. When the spoon touched my lips my senses were flooded with chocolate (that's not a bad thing). Once I made my way to the passion fruit center I could understand why our server recommended it. The boldness of the bittersweet chocolate paired perfectly with the bright, punchy passion fruit. Again, the simplicity of high quality ingredients.
We left feeling more than satisfied and full of excuses to come back. I can't wait to see what they have in store for the holidays! Until the next dish, ciao!