Our favourite one-stop shop for repeat local dessert adventures.
Here in NYC, we have just ended our 13th week of lockdown. In May, we resumed our dessert adventures, albeit by delivery, reviewing an extravagant breakfast pastry box, an assortment of elegant afternoon tea desserts, and a pie slice sampler. This month, we have decided to forgo delivered desserts, and focus on dessert adventures within walking distance of our Brooklyn Heights home.
First up is none other than our favourite local patisserie, Mia’s Bakery. Mia’s Bakery is not a fussy French-style patisserie, where each creation is akin to a miniature contemporary art sculpture. Rather, it is a quintessential American home-style bakery. Upon entering, one becomes immediately enamoured with a seemingly endless glass counter encasing a treasure trove of desserts. At Mia’s, you will find generously-sliced cakes, pies and cheesecake, decadently-iced cupcakes, dinner-plate-sized cookies, colourful macarons, perfectly crusty or flaky viennoiserie, and even a cronut (which we have previously opined is on par with the original cronut from Dominique Ansel). Even after almost four years in the neighbourhood, we haven’t been able to sample all of its offerings. But, we will feature those that we love (and also remembered to photograph!).
You absolutely cannot visit Mia’s without eventually trying one of its magnificent cake slices. The Red Velvet sandwiches cream cheese and is rather dense. By contrast, the Almond torte coated with almond flecks is a subtly sweet pick-me-up, as is the Salted Caramel with its pretty mirror-glazed top layer and mousse centre. The Tiramisu is a textbook evocation of the eponymous Italian dessert, the German Chocolate is dangerously devilish in its unrestrained chocolate debauchery, and the Seven Layered Chocolate Cake…well, if we had to pick one favourite, it would probably be this wonder. And our second favourite cake from Mia’s would be the Black Forest, a striking cake tower of vanilla, chocolate and glace cherries.
Your Dessert Corespondents are generally of the mind that cupcakes are things that anyone can easily make. Cupcakes are therefore not dessert items that we ordinarily crave or have a hankering to purchase. That said, there are a few exceptions. And two of those exceptions can be found at Mia’s — please do not forget to consider the Creme Brulee cupcake or the Black Forest cupcake from Mia’s.
Of the bakery viennoiserie items, Mia’s almond croissant has been our weekly indulgence during this lockdown period. We also recommend the sticky sticky cinnamon bun, the zinging lemon tart with its large meringue rosette, the fruit tart with its bouquet of seasonal berries, and the previously-mentioned cronut.
Sometimes, we love our desserts to be fancy, fussy and futuristic. Other times, we want our desserts to be akin to a warm hug, like when you see your family greeting you at the door after a long time away, when you bounce into your bed after a long day of work or a long trip, when you tuck into a bowl of warm soup to banish away the cold. The desserts at Mia’s follow the latter formula, and because of that, will always hold a universal and perpetual appeal, pre-lockdown, during lockdown and also, post-lockdown.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Mia’s Bakery, 139 Smith Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
- ☑ Budget: $-$$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Assortment of desserts.
- ☑ Must-eat: Any of their sliced cakes, the Creme Brulee Cupcake, and the almond croissant.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Our favourite one-stop shop for repeat local dessert adventures.