On a prime block in the west village (albeit perilously close to the cursed space that currently houses Bar Blanc) is Pichet Ong's delectible and unique carry-out, two-seater pastry cafe, Batch. As a longtime neighborhood resident who is (like many) always mystified at the endless crowds of Sex in the City tourists and others lined up for an hour to get one of Magnolia's dry and uninspired cupcakes, I'm even more amazed that the new Batch isn't mobbed 24-7.
Last night after a (perfectly OK, but nothing to write home about) dinner at Kingswood, we passed on the restaurant's dessert list and went to Batch on our way home instead. I've been a few times and always been very happy with the treats, but the selection just keeps getting better. Last night we had what I think is a new item, a green-tea-cake and mango "tiramisu" (a tiny bit savory, mostly tart and creamy, insanely good). He's also added to his extensive selection of cupcakes and now has added raspberry, lemon, and green tea/dark chocolate (among others) to my old favorite, the salted caramel & carrot cake. Another real standout is his coconut calamansi cake (creamy, light, and with the tart-and-sweet southeast asian calamansi citrus flavor as the main note). The prices are not dirt-cheap, but totally easonable for what he puts into it ($2.50 for a cupcake, $4.95 for a slice of cake. He also has a great selection of chocolates and truffles, but at $2.50 each those are a bit higher per morsel.)
So why does it seem like this place is never crowded (last night, we were one of two parties who walked in over 20 mins on a beautiful Friday night), when folks are clamoring to pay $150 a head next door at the same chef's P*ong restaurant, where the main draw is dessert anyhow?
Out of paranoia that this take-out gem in my neighborhood may not last if the customer flow doesn't increase, here's a call to the 'hounds to check it out! Now, while the weather's nice, is the perfect time -- armed with 20 bucks and a blanket, two or three can load up on tasty treats and walk five minutes west to Hudson River Park for a sweet-tooth fiesta.