A new dessert sweetheart.
Slightly south of Union Square, at the edge of East Village, one will find a tiny French-style patisserie. Petit Chou bakes a range of viennoiserie (croissants, danishes etc), a handful of cakes, and a selection of vibrantly-coloured choux pastries.
Over several visits, we have particularly fallen in love with three of Petit Chou’s dessert lines. First, the “Cream Puff” snowmen, which we previously featured in our guide to the “Best Cream Puffs in NYC.” Whether you get the Pistachio one or the Passionfruit one (our favourite!), either will make for a wonderful afternoon tea dessert treat. Due to their obese profile, they are great for sharing (or we guess, perfect for a super-gluttonous dessert lover). 😛
Second, we recommend the “Parisian Flan.” The type of “flan” commonly found in NYC is in the Spanish-style, i.e. a soft, bouncy panna-cotta-like dessert. By contrast, the French-style is firmer in character. Petit Chou’s interpretation was an egg-y custard pie with a caramelized surface. It reminded us of a similar flan we had at the La Boulangerie Moderne near the Pantheon on our last trip to Paris. Ah travel memories….
And third, you must not miss Petit Chou’s “Eclairs.” Not being lovers of cream desserts, eclairs have never really been a dessert that we particularly seek out. Petit Chou’s eclairs however, made us reconsider this dessert. Each pastry tube is amply filled with cream, and done so consistently throughout its length. We loved the tart raspberry eclair, followed by the intense decadence of the chocolate eclair. We have also sampled the hazelnut eclair with its caramel tones, and the more subdued cookie & cream flavour.
NYC is permeated with an endless line-up of French bakery chains, but the original of these chains on the continent are far more deserving of your time, wallet and stomach space than the NYC offshoots. There are also many “traditional” French bakeries, mindlessly peddling the same-old fifty-shades-of-brown pastries. With its voluptuously-proportioned desserts animated in terms of both colour and flavour, Petit-Chou distinguishes itself from the amorphous mass. In doing so, it has quickly become to us, what its name translates to from French, a new (dessert) sweetheart.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Petit Chou, 229 1st Avenue, between Union Square and East Village, Manhattan, New York.
- ☑ Budget: $$.
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: French-style patisserie.
- ☑ Must-eat: The flan, cream puffs and eclairs.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: A new dessert sweetheart.