I'm in from L.A. for a week, working on Wall Street, and my pal tells me to check out the now-not-so-new-but-nonetheless-still-uncrowded Financier on Stone.
This place may not impress the soup-and-sandwich crowd, if only because soup and sandwiches are much cheaper around the corner, but it should send you into ecstasies if you appreciate good patisserie.
Flan that wraps seductively around the tongue, given extra texture by a few slices of pear; religieuses that I haven't tasted since I was last in France; delicate napoleons; and the signature financier, a madeleine-like pastry made with almond, all excellent, and these are just four of a wide and impressive selection of delicacies (Sorry, I work out like an Angeleno, but I can only eat so much!).
Coffee is a tad expensive ($4 for a large latte that'll cost $3 at Zigolini's round the corner) but it's Illy, and strong, and well-made (ie without too much foam!).
This place is great; sure, it ain't cheap, but you're getting the kind and quality of pastries you'll find at Payard, for a fraction of THAT place's prices. I can't understand why Financier's not absolutely packed; perhaps becasue it's so far downtown, and a tough call to make to trip for. Whatever. The lack of crowds was my gain this morning when there was no line! But all I can say to you New York hounds is, you don't know how lucky you are with this place - check it out before it gets popular and the prices start to move!
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