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Dominique Ansel Kitchen (CLOSED)

Restaurants, French West Village
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
1/7
Paul WagtouiczMatcha beignets at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
2/7
Paul WagtouiczEgg-clipse at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
3/7
Paul WagtouiczTea-ramisu at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
4/7
Paul WagtouiczAvocado toast at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
5/7
Paul WagtouiczChocolate mousse at Dominique Ansel Kitchen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
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Paul WagtouiczDominique Ansel Kitchen
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
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Paul WagtouiczDominique Ansel Kitchen

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Dominique Ansel not serving Cronuts is like Mick Jagger not singing “Satisfaction”—you risk losing the crowd if you don’t deliver the hits. But with a back catalog as extensive and worthy as Ansel’s, it wasn’t all that earth-quaking when the pastry icon announced he would be favoring deep-cut desserts over that croissant-doughnut phenom at Dominique Ansel Kitchen, the sophomoric effort to his hysteria-inducing bakery in Soho.

The counter-service West Village follow-up is more spacious than the pint-size original, with a wooden pyramid of stadium seating in a corner, a large retail counter overlooking the kitchen and a handful of bloom-potted benches outside. But there are no iPhone-primed lines to be found here—that’s because the work Ansel’s doing is more quietly radical than the hammy Wonka–fied hybrids on the lips of every tourist.

Cookie-milk shots and frozen s’mores have been traded for nipped-and-tucked classics, most of which are made to order, like velvety chocolate mousse folded à la minute ($6.50). Upon first bite, the fresh-from-the-fryer mini matcha beignets ($5.50 for six) are a touch too bitter—that is, until you pop one whole in your mouth, where that musky green-tea dusting acts as a gorgeously savory counterpoint to warm, zeppole-like dough.

Ansel improves upon his own superlative kouign-amann, lacing the buttery, crusty beaut with brown sugar for a deep, molasses-like sweetness ($5.25), but it’s new creations like the spectacularly fudgy sage-smoked brownie ($4) and the EGG-clipse ($7.50)—a head-spinning blitz of squid-ink brioche, garlicky mashed potatoes, confit egg yolks and a blizzard of Parmesan—that make the Kitchen as much a destination as the bakery.

There are moments when Ansel’s loftiness creeps up and richness overwhelms—see the dictionary-thick extra-fluff mille-feuille ($7.75) or the towering avocado-edamame toast that would look more at home at a Super Bowl spread ($8.50). Excellence prevails, however, and though wayward Cronut seekers may be disappointed not to find what they came for, they should stay for nearly everything else.

Details

Address: 137 Seventh Ave South
NY
10014
Cross street: between Charles and 10th Sts
Transport: Subway: 1 to Christopher St-Sheridan Sq
Price: Average dessert: $7; tasting menu: $85–90. AmEx, Disc, MC, V.
Contact:
Opening hours: Daily 9am-9pm
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