It has been a while. Last time I was here, I was lamenting about leaving Rome and never seeing the Pantheon again and missing out on all that delicious pizza. Well, it’s about 4 months later and nothing has changed. Except that I just moved to New York City!!! I’m here to get my Masters degree so that I can get a job so that I can be a real person so that I can fund my pizza/pasta/cannoli addiction.
Speaking of cannoli…
What better place to bridge the gap between Rome and NYC than Little Italy? Now really just a few blocks on Mulberry St., Little Italy is packed with restaurants, bakeries, gelaterias, and knockoff handbag stores. All of this is located dangerously close to where I live, perfect for when I get hit with a big wave of Romesickness. I haven’t really started to try out the restaurants yet, but dessert is really more important anyways, right?
I first came to Ferrara years ago with my family, and we haven’t stopped talking about it since. My mom remembers the soft pignoli cookies, my dad remembers the long line, and I remember the cannoli. A crispy, flaky outer shell that is just dying to crumble itself all over your clothing, filled with a sweet ricotta filling studded with mini chocolate chips. Yes, please.
Lest you think Ferrara’s is a one-trick pony, the display case is filled with all kinds of treats. A girl can get overwhelmed when confronted with these kinds of choices! Who can possibly choose??
Not me. Luckily, almost every dessert is available in a mini size, allowing for the creation of a small sampler box, in the event you should find yourself as flustered and torn as I was. The sales ladies are very nice, and extremely patient when you are trying to decided between a regular or chocolate-dipped mini cannolo (get both, obviously). In addition to those, I ordered a mini Napoleon (redundant?), a strawberry tart, and a mini eclair.
I came home, took one bite of each, stuck the box in the fridge, and repeated the sequence each day until they were all gone.
The cannoli were excellent, and I think I’m partial to the chocolate-dipped one because…well…it was dipped in chocolate. The eclair and strawberry tart were both filled with delicious pastry cream, and I would order either again.
For me though, the most delicious was the Napoleon. The flaky layers of pastry are such a perfect contrast to the creamy filling, and the sweet glaze on top complements the whole thing perfectly, and I’d like another, please.
If you’re ever in Little Italy, be sure to stop by and try something! If you do it now, you’ll sweat off any consumed calories just by walking 3-4 blocks. Fa caldo, friends.
Ferrara Bakery and Café
195 Grand St.
New York, NY 10013