You don’t even need to look up La Delice Pastry Shop to know
exactly where it is. Just follow the
aroma of their delicious deserts.
La Delice is filled with an assortment of over 30 kinds of cakes,
pastries, and muffins, giving customers a wide range of choices that is hard to
find in the modest bakeries of Manhattan.
“I looked through their window and saw piles and piles of
desserts,” said Violet Brooks, a fashion design student at New York University’s
Gallatin School of Individualized Study. “At first I was a little overwhelmed by the selection,
but I went inside because I was sure they would have something I like.” The pastry shop is the closest place for her
sweet tooth when she is in her dorm. “I
like that it isn’t a bagel shop and that it isn’t Starbucks,” she said.
La Delice is about the size of a high school classroom,
lined with baked goods on all four sides with a gap for the door. On one end are the cheese Danishes, chocolate
cigars, French macarons, and the like.
Directly across is a display case with fruit tarts, cupcakes made to
look like Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster, and whole pies made from a variety of
fruits including pineapple.
Open since 1935, La Delice is a
mom-and-pop shop that prides itself on hand-made desserts using traditional
baking techniques and quality ingredients.
The current owner, simply known as George, went to culinary school in
Greece and bought the pastry shop from its founder in 1976.
Even with its promise of both quality and quantity, La
Delice remains affordable with handmade cookies starting at $14 per pound with
a minimum purchase of one-fourth of a pound.
You can take home a whole pie for $12.
“Only a couple of things are pricey like the macarons at $6
for one-fourth of a pound,” said Anna Gonzalez, an Italian and history major at
NYU who lives nearby. “Other than that,
I think $4.50 for a small fruit tart is fair.”
Lizi C. has mixed feelings about La Delice and took to Yelp
to post a review. “Excellent selection with
huge variety,” she wrote. “I think it’s
probably a bit of a double edged sword because there is no way that everything
could be fresh.” She said that fresh
food is either a hit or miss.
The entire shop has a vintage feel to it, both inside and
out. Outside stands a friendly looking
and pale mannequin baker complete with flowing apron, thick eyebrows, and a
slight smile. The name of the shop is
written in three fronts, “La Delice” in cursive, “Pastry” in block letters, and
“Shop” in a casual handwriting print. Inside,
the walls are covered in pictures of wedding, communion, and birthday cakes
they have made. The pastry chefs are
friendly and willing to explain what each dessert is made out of.
On the left window of the shop, a city required health
inspection card clearly displays its most recent grade in blue – A. Mandatory since 2010 under former mayor Michael Bloomberg, restaurant inspections occur at
least once every year, or more if necessary, and the grade received must
immediately be made visible from outside the restaurant.
system consists of 68 possible violations, sorted into three categories: public
health hazard, critical, and general violations. The violations range from food “contaminated
by sewage or liquid waste” to inadequate lighting, according to the city’s
Guide for Food Service Operators. Each
violation corresponds to a certain number of points and generally the more
severe the violation, the more points.
Restaurants earning fewer than 14 points receive an A.
La Delice has two violations equaling 12 points since their inspection
last April. They are due for another one
Cindy Valenzuela, an NYU film major that lives in Gramercy Green, goes to
La Delice for their specialty cakes.
“I had a cake made for my roommate’s birthday in the shape of an
iPhone,” she said. “It looked just like
the real thing. Every detail from the
icons to the speakers was perfect.” She
said she also considered the Starbucks coffee cup cake.
AY W. turned to Yelp
to share her experience, which is every customer’s worst nightmare: moldy
food. “Beware!” she started her post
with a warning to readers. She wrote
that halfway through her cake, she “peeled off the remaining wrapper and
discovered green mold.”
Despite the off-putting review,
people continue to go to La Delice for their cannoli that seem to be a hidden
gem in the Rose Hill area dominated by Indian restaurants. Their regular cannoli, which come in vanilla
and chocolate, are the length of an iPhone 6 and as thick as a quarter. A mini cannolo is half that size.
The fried pastry dough shells are
perfectly circular and crunchy, filled with sweet ricotta cheese and chocolate
chips that are chilled, but won’t freeze your teeth. Dusted with confectioner’s sugar, they can be
finished in three delicious bites.