Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Smearing Nutella on a pain au chocolat, what is that on a scale of 1 to awesome?
It took me a while, but I finally made my way out to Bien Cuit. Bien Cuit is a fairly new bakery, that opened last year and despite the current rage of cupcake bakeries opening, Bien Cuit is making delicious breads and pastries. Bien Cuit is Frog language for “well cooked” from the breads and pastries I have tried here, that is certainly the case. The inside of Bien Cuit has a rustic vibe going on with beige wood décor but gives a relaxed atmosphere and the feeling it has been here for years. The breads and pastries at Bien Cuit are of the French tradition, meaning that there will be a lot of butter and nothing covered in frosting.
The first thing I noticed about Bien Cuit is that their pastry case differs in which it is not completely filled and in fact, looks empty anytime of the day. However, do let it turn you off, thinking you are getting leftover pastries because they are constantly making and turning out fresh pastries. My usual go to Frenchie-like pastry is a pain au chocolat. Buttery laminated dough and chocolate? Yes.
The pain au chocolat was the size of a fist and was a buttery and well folded, imparting chocolate with every bite. Despite its darkened shell, the pain au chocolat did not have a flaky, crunchy exterior that you would expect however it was still tasty. The Danishes here are not adored with dollops of jam and they put creative twists on them. One of them is their Apple Crumb Danish which is wonderfully crisp and plenty covered with crunchy streusel.
The breads are not to be missed here as well and they give the majority of their breads, you can buy half a loaf rather than a whole, which I am always thankful for. Do you know how much space a boule takes up in a backpack? Answer: a lot. Though his Pan Pugliese is their best selling bread, I however, dig their rye sunflower bread. I also will openly admit I am going to attempt to recreate this at home. This health bread is a wonderful mixture of nutty slightly sweet sunflower seeds with the slight bitterness of the rye. This bread is versatile and can be made into a badass grilled cheese to a perfect vessel to eat with jam, speculoos, nutella or all combined (note* never tried this combo, if it is good, someone tell me).
Bien Cuit is a welcomed edition to New York and a good addition to an already foodie centric neighborhood. I have only sampled a few things here but so far it has all been good. They also have sandwiches and pretty good coffee program, meaning I can order a cortado and not have to explain what it is. As a home bread maker, I avoid buying bread anywhere for the simple fact I feel I can make better bread at home so to want to buy bread here does give me a slight feel of defeat, but to eat their great breads it is a defeat I accept.
120 Smith Street