Ah, dessert. Just the word makes me happy. Put the word free in front of it and add an "s" at the end and hot dog! I'm a happy camper.
The TV network Bravo decided to make the day of thousands of dessert lovers across the country last week by partnering with bakeries, patisseries and ice cream parlors to give out free sweets and promote its new show Top Chef: Just Desserts. Of the 69 participating locations in NYC, I mapped out the closest five to my office and my coworker Andy and I headed out for the most perfect afternoon adventure you could possibly fit in a lunch hour.
First stop was the Little Pie Company on Greenwich Street for a bite of their signature Sour Cream Apple Walnut Pie. When I used to work in midtown, I belonged to a gym just down the street from the Hell's Kitchen location and I would smell the heavenly aroma of fresh baked pies to and from a workout. Some might call it torture, but I found it a wonderful exercise in self-discipline. Sometimes. Anyway, this pie is divine and I would highly recommend picking up one of their self-proclaimed "little pies," popping it into the oven for a quick warm up and enjoying it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the couch with your best bud.
Next we visited Duane Park Patisserie for some brownie goodness. Even though it was only our second stop, I had the forethought to be excited about the fact that all the goodies were wrapped in plastic. I saved my cherry dark chocolate brownie for the next afternoon and it was truly scrumptious. Andy got the espresso brownie and I'm pretty sure it was gone in two bites, so it was probably wonderful as well.
|Me with my brownie in front of Duane Park Patisserie|
|Duane Park Patisserie|
|Mini s'mores cupcakes at Tribeca Treats|
Feeling the sugar rush start to take hold, we turned south to visit Takashi Bakery on Murray Street for some Asian-inspired treats. I snapped up the last strawberry choux, a sort of cream puff-like pastry filled with a custard made with real strawberries and topped with strawberry sugar. Andy tried their chocolate chip cookie and we were off to freebie #5.
|Strawberry Choux from Takashi Bakery|
We made it back to the office in just under an hour, but I was satiated and content. If I hadn't been full of dessert from the afternoon, I would have participated in the evening's events, which included free desserts at hundreds of nice NYC restaurants with the purchase of an entree. As for now, I'm excited to watch Top Chef: Just Desserts to see what kinds of innovative ideas they come up with. Who knows, maybe the finalist will create some concoction for another Free Dessert Day in a couple of months. One can wish.