Why Pâtisserie?…

A Pâtisserie  is a French or Belgian bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets.  In both countries, it is a legally controlled title that may only be used by bakeries that employ a licensed maître Pâtissier  (master pastry chef).

In France and Belgium the Pâtissier is a pastry chef who has completed a lengthy training process, typically an apprenticeship, and passed a written examination. Often found in partnership with a boulangerie, Pâtisseries are a common sight in towns and villages in France.

Why place a section about Pastries and Chocolates on a site devoted to jewelry and people?

Why not?

Jewels, chocolates and Pâtisseries have in common attractions such as indulgence and beauty.

The Japanese are great admirers of the finer things in life. Throughout the 1980s, it would have been hard not to have seen Japanese tourists in Europe avidly clicking away with their cameras at displays of Pâtisserie and chocolates.

As a self-confessed Pâtisserie-holic, and one with many years of experience and travel, I wish to share reviews and thoughts with readers of New York Jewelry Diary.

Over the coming months, I shall be reviewing Cafe Sabarsky, Maison du Chocolat, Tea and Sympathy, Dallmayr Munich, Ladurée, Dalloyau, Fortnum and Mason, Charbonnel et Walker and many more international venues.

By Clive Kandel

Café Sabarsky
1048 Fifth Ave. New York, NY, 10028
Within the Neue Galerie on the corner of 86th Street and 5th Avenue

Café Sabarsky is the former dining room of the Grace Vanderbilt mansion which is now the home of the Neue Galerie.

Café Sabarsky

The setting is outfitted with period objects including Josef Hoffmann lighting fixtures and banquettes upholstered with 1912 Otto Wagner fabric. The atmosphere is based on the fin de siècle Kaffehaus, boasting authentic Viennese specialties and traditional pastries. Unless one is seated by a window on a banquette, tables are small and the bentwood chairs are uncomfortable.

The High Altar. Kuchen and so forth on display whilst cream cakes remain refrigerated.

The pâtisseries, Austrian kuchen, Sacher Torte and strudel are the best of their kind in New York. Having said that, I do not believe that Sabarsky has any real competition unless you want to make a comparison all the way down to the sugary bakeries on Arthur Avenue, Brooklyn.

Apple Strudel correctly made with strudel dough and breadcrumbs

Regular food is served but I only go to Sabarsky for my German-influenced pâtisseries fix. Best time to visit is when the museum is closed but the Café remains open. Two warnings. Out of some misguided sense of Viennese politeness, those visitors drinking one cup of tea and reading either the entire Bible or Baedeker’s Guide to the USA are not told to pay up and leave. If you don’t want a large dollop of schlag, you must tell the waiter that. I personally prefer to taste good cake without. Watch this space for reviews and guide on what is good to eat at Café Sabarsky.

Klimt torte, neatly stacked layers of hazelnut cake alternating with firm, bittersweet chocolate. One of my three favorites.