The food blogosphere has been abuzz of late about the opening of a New York outpost of Maison Kayser on the Upper East Side. Founded by French baker and pastry chef Eric Kayser, the bakery and patisserie has shops all over the world, and is now taking the Big Apple by storm. Obviously, I had to stop by as soon as possible to see what all the fuss was about.
The goods (I sampled a few different kinds of brioche, a bit of raisin bread, and a bite of baguette) were uniformly delicious. The plié au chocolat I ended up spiriting away to Central Park was delightful - its custardy innards cut through with dark chocolate, its pastry hardy but flaky.
I tried to grab lunch in the café, and it was a nightmare. Since it was their first weekend open, and since the Upper East Side tends to descend upon any decent restaurant like a horde of hungry teenagers, I knew it would be crazy. I was ready for crazy.
But I wasn't ready to be ignored while the host chatted with the people on either side of me, or to be brushed off when I asked if I could put my name on the list to be seated. (Given the whole being ignored thing, I wasn't going to trust someone about my place in line unless it was written down.) While the storefront crew were incredibly helpful and pleasant (especially given that I saw several customers cut the line and generally act like jerks), I am still pretty peeved about my experience with the cafe staff.
I'll likely give them one more go, on a weekday this time, but that's about it. Hopefully it will be a different host, and the Real Houswives rejects around me won't be as exciting for him.