My friend Lydie stopped into Patisserie Margot in her never-ending quest for the perfect pastry. My friend Caroline went there for sustenance to brace herself for Fairway’s pre-Rosh Hashanah shopping madness. Both gave me glowing reports of the pastries—none over $4, from traditional éclairs and Napoleons to rustic raspberry crumb—and told me there were snackworthy items, such as soups (today’s is French lentil), quiche and sandwiches.
But how to find? Patisserie Margot does not even have a sign, and you sense it’s the kind of place regulars love but want to keep a delicious secret. Hidden within the Ansonia hotel, it is a sliver of a café with eight round marble tables lined against one wall, two chairs at each, perfect for a French tete-a-tete with un ami, and, indeed, the room is packed with women talking between bites of simple, ample sandwiches. Several are $5.99, including the tuna salad and the brie/tomato/mesclun. It’s hard to say which is best—the dense but crunchy French baguette enclosing the brie or the brie itself, which seems to be a quadruple cream. I feel the fat cells multiplying, but with the thought that “French women don’t get fat,” I order a light, buttery Madeleine, which will conjure Proustian memories of this very moment.
(at 74th Street across from Fairway)
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