While in New York City for work last week I was able to take a late night break from work to meet a college friend for a drink. Said friend surprised and amazed us all last year when she left her job as an auditor to attend culinary school. Now, she's seven months into her life as a full time pastry chef! One of the perks of being a pastry chef? Knowing other pastry chefs. When I shared with her that I was staying at the Gramercy Park Hotel, she squealed with delight and informed me that her friend from culinary school is the pastry chef at the hotel's restaurant, Maialino. She braced the table, leaned forward and said, "Before you leave that hotel, you must try the sticky buns at Maialino. An absolute must."
So on our final morning in New York, we woke up an hour earlier than we had originally planned to be sure we had time to enjoy breakfast at Maialino. We were immediately struck by the beauty of the restaurant. We felt transported to Europe.
Following my pastry chef's advice, we immediately asked our server for two sticky buns (listed on the menu as Brioche Caramellato). We waited anxiously and a few minutes later he delivered two, warm, petite sticky buns. These rotund pieces of heaven were encased in a sugary glaze that turned your mouth upward into a smile with every bite. Inside the decadent glaze was a fluffy, cinnamon flavored bun. I would travel to New York just to eat these again.
After our sugar high, we moved onto something more substantial for breakfast. We both ordered the Cacio e Pepe which is soft scrambled eggs served with pecorino cheese and black pepper. The dish comes garnished with whole wheat flat bread chips and multigrain toast. The toast was perfectly crisp and the bread had a hearty flavor. I ate my eggs on the toast. It was marvelous.
If you live in Manhattan or are planning a trip to the city, you must add Maialino to your list! Start your day off on a pastry cloud with these sticky buns. Maialino also offers lunch and dinner with menus similar to Ken Oringer's Coppa here in Boston.
Thank you to my pastry chef for this sinfully sweet recommendation!