So this week I finally got to see my super-chic European friends who are living in Manhattan for the summer. Being a “tour guide” in NYC is stressful…especially for this crowd. Their celeb-thirsty eyes only want to go to potential Brangelina and Gossip Girl starlets spotting ground. I wanted to take them to eat the BEST food NYC has to offer. Since it was only mid-morning, we were only in the market for a snack. I decided to leave a classic NY piece of pizza or hot dog for another time (although Mariella’s Pizza on 8th Ave by Columbus Circle is superb…Oprah’s gal pal Gayle King voted it her fav pizza in NY!) And then it came to me…DESSERT. Having traveled to Europe twice, I can definitely vote the good ol’ USA as having the best desserts. Don’t get me wrong– baklava, and a real Italian cannoli had me from hello from the perfectly tanned, Mediterranean waiter (sorry Tom Cruise), but no one makes a good piece of fudgey, rich piece of cake/brownie/cupcake (take your pick) quite like American bakeries.
And so, we were off to Billy’s Bakery (184 9th Ave).
I was first introduced to this masterpiece-making bake shop a few years ago, volunteering to pick up treats for an in-office birthday party (can we say run-around the town intern?). With only two tables and space for about 7 to wait on line, this place is more than packed every time I go. Loved by all, Katie Holmes even had a photo shoot here for InStyle! My Euro gals couldn’t quite understand my excitement for a simple cupcake, that is, until, they tried it. As the vanilla buttercream frosting melted in their mouths, they began the usual “mmmmmm” sounds in various octaves. Success! After one and a half cupcakes each, we decided it was time to leave before we ordered a whole cake for ourselves. Red velvet anyone? As soon we left, I was just waiting for my skinny-mini Euros to curse themselves for having eaten that many “sweets,” but to my delight, they thought the delectable cupcakes were worth every bite. If Calypso owner Christiane Celle can love them and still look gorgeous, so can we. So for all you Atkins, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig followers out there, grab a friend and a blindfold and have your friend buy you some scrumptious, creamy – now put on the blindfold and pretend you are noshing on celery. I’ll bet celery never tasted SO GOOD 🙂
Check out these delicious delights for yourself: