6 hours ago
Friday, May 22, 2009
Lamazou, Billy's Bakery and Three Tarts
Thursday morning I had graduation rehearsal. First off, because of swine flu, our headmaster wore leather gloves avoiding contact with the 'unknown contaminated' and second, we were not allowed to shake hands or hug while receiving our diploma. It's a little ridiculous, but parents are worried.
Rehearsal was a little surreal. Forty two of us sat in pews listening to the order of the impending procession thinking that tomorrow, we will be graduates. Memories of my thirteen years, from Kindergarten to Senior year, flooded across my mind. I am going to miss it.
Rehearsal ended and I ventured to the Shake Shack on 77th and Amsterdam Ave. to do research for a mondo review I am going to be posting soon.
Afterward I met with my friend Allison near the #6 train at 32nd street. We walked downtown and headed toward Lamazou which I had never been to but whose location I had in my trusty Moleskine. So we walked over to 27th and 3rd.
We were heralded across the street by the bright red sign and entered what seemed to be, the highest concentration of Italian gourmet goods in the space of a long walk in closet. Jams, olive oil, candies from Italy, dried fruits, olives, etc. filled shelves, refrigerators, baskets, every corner imaginable; no bare wall could be seen.
Behind a low glass case of olives and cakes, a slide-door refrigerator of cheeses, prosciutto and meats, are the ingredients used for a list of delectable sandwiches, salads, and such. I felt like I had walked into an authentic mom and pop store; a real neighborhood gem.
The sandwich menu (above) is squeezed in between products on top of a counter, veiled by hanging baskets and other menus. Allison ordered the number 6, Bohemian, containing grilled vegetables and the option of Havarti or Smoked Mozarella. I went for a Lamazou Favorite; imported prosciutto Di Parma with Mozarella and Roasted Red Pepers on Rosemary Ciabatta. THESE PRICES ARE AMAZING! We both ordered half sandwiches, which would be considered a full sandwich at some many delis lunch stops.
This picture is only one side of my half order! There was another half like this and it only cost me $5.95! For some reason this discovery delighted me and made me smile even more than after my first bite. The mozarella is sliced thin, the prosciutto smoky. On that first bite my mouth missed the bread and went straight for the fillings. My teeth sunk through mozarella, into layers of salted prosciutto, hit the vinegary sweet juice of roasted red paper, and made it to the lettuce for a refreshing and crisp finish. The bread was unexpectedly soaked with a balsamic vinaigrette that played nicely with the red pepper taste and kept the sandwich moist. The bread wafted smells of rosemary as I bit into the meat. Hmm, I think next time I will ask them to toast the bread, yummm.
Allison's was equally delicious. It contained thick smoky slabs of Havarti, sliced artichoke, red pepper, tomatos, tender zucchini layered between, creamy pesto and bread to smack your lips over and indulge in roasted veggie goodness. I suppose from these descriptions you can tell I liked my lunch :)
We chatted with the woman behind the counter for some time, who told us her favorite sandwiches and such. She warmly greeted a customer that walked in, knew her order, and prepared it as soon as the neighbor approached the counter. This place gave me a really warm feeling. A shop that welcomes it's customers and keeps them for life.
I have been on the search for a Moleskine planner. I had heard a papperie on 18th between 5th and 6th would have them. So we walked in the blistering heat, walked past lost souls waiting in a snaking line for the 23rd street Shake Shack, only to discover that the stationary store had run out of planners. Saddened, we decided to search for dessert.
We were relatively close to Billy's Bakery. So we walked over for an afternoon treat.
Right in the front window, a tray of carrot cake cupcakes were being lathered with cream cheese icing and accessorized with roasted pecans. Sun filtering in through the trees made these shimmer and I immediately went in for a shot.
My mouth was watering as I snapped these. Still shooting pictures, I ordered a carrot cupcake, specifically asking for it to be from a tray. Hey, it's okay to be picky sometimes. Allison and I split this in half.
Each morsel was filled with shreds of carrot, plump raisins, and nibs of pecans. The frosting was deliciously subtle, it's flavor a proponent of moisture throughout the cake, and base for sweet raisins and roasted pecans.
The cake was moist through and through, not dry and crumbly, but light and filled with goodies. Definitely on of my top favorites!!
Of course this was gone in five seconds and we obviously had to order one more cupcake. Always in search for the perfect red velvet, I opted to try one.
The color reminds me of the fire engine red of Pinisi's red velvet, but this cupcake is not nearly as enjoyable.
The cream cheese frosting on this is different from the carrot cake, sweeter, and grainier. The cake was slightly dry, but overall moist. It is a good cupcake, but Pinisi still has my vote.
No longer did we feel the sense of defeat, but curiosity as we passed by Three Tarts signs for $1 marshmallows.
We went for the yuzu, a type of Japanese fruit and basil marshmallow flavors. An interesting combo. The yuzu is bright, citrusy, poofy and refreshing. The basil is strange, as you would expect basil to be in marshmallow form. All I can say is that it has a definite basil flavor, and I am not sure if I liked it as a dessert or not. The taste stayed with me as I walked Allison uptown, and it was not pleasant. I will need to try the other flavors, because the texture of the marshmallow was fabulous.
Thanks for reading! Graduation luncheon and Momofuku/Pinisi outing will be posted soon.
370 3rd Ave (27th street) New York, NY 10016
184 9th Ave (21st street)
New York, NY 10011
Three Tarts Bakery
64 9th Ave New York, NY 10011