If a place sells baked goods, there's a good chance Alex and I will pop in for a whiff and a taste of its goodies. One of our favorite places to visit is the traditional Italian bakery. I'm fortunate to have a few of these near me in Bensonhurst, and we've gone around to Ferrara's and Veniero's in Lower Manhattan. Another cutesy Italian bakery right near NYU is Rocco's.
As per the Rules of Italian Bakery-ship, there is a vast glass counter filled with a huge variety of pastries, cakes, cookies, and nibbles. The sensory experience of an Italian bakery is unmistakable and intoxicating; the eyes take in the glistening pastries, the nose picks up whiffs of dough and powdered sugar and sweet almonds, and the mouth starts to drool. The staff bustle behind the counter, taking orders and packaging goodies.
This trip, we had a napoleon and a key lime mini pie. I liked the napoleon, though the cream was too sweet for my taste, and the key lime pie filling was a strange pale neon green with a sheen...it was alright, but not what I had in mind for a key lime pie. I felt the pastries were pretty standard, but enhanced by the old-school-style decor and atmosphere. It's certainly not old-country Italian, but it definitely rings of Italian-American tradition, the tradition of so many of my Bensonhurst neighbors.