BREAKING NEWS! Sam Mason is back to baking.
And he's making breakfast pastries that will make you want to stay in bed all day.
Earlier this week I had what was purportedly a Kouign Amann at Dominique Ansel bakery on Spring Street. Dominique Ansel is a lauded Parisian pastry chef, known for his Viennoiserie and the creation of the Cronut, his sensational marriage of a croissant and donut that perhaps catapulted him to fame, but left the care and keeping of his Kouign Amann off to the side, like some unfortunate pastry roadkill. Indeed, the Kouign Amann I had at Dominique Ansel was one of unparalleled sadness: bland and pale, puffy and soft, lacking that shingle of sugar and butter, that sticky gloss and crackle, without any buttery airy flakiness, just a depressing squishy lump, like something that had been hermetically sealed in plastic and tucked away on a dusty shelf in a corner deli. I was devastated by the state of this Kouign Amann. It’s possible I have issues related to poorly made pastry.
Look, I know where to get good Kouign Amann in Paris (Cyril Lignac, Terroir D’avenir, among many others), and here in the city at Lysee, and at the humble, perpetually packed French Tart Deli on Court Street a few blocks from my home. But the point is when you go to Dominique Ansel (where, to be fair, the plain croissants were VERY GOOD), you should not be served something that seems to have a closer relationship to Pepperidge Farm than Paris.
You’re in the know because you’re on the list. If you’re not get on it now! Read it and eat!
But wait! I am not here to dwell on the pastry misfortunes of my past! I am here to share some very good pastry news!!!
Sam Mason, whom I met 20 years ago when he was the dazzling pastry chef at WD-50, has begun rolling out his first pastry program since beginning his spectacularly screwball ice cream brand Oddfellows! Sam (who is still dazzling, let’s be honest) has joined the team at Chef Franklin Becker, Stephen Loffredo and Tora Matsuoka's Hospitality Department restaurant group in the Martinique New York on Broadway, where he is baking breakfast treats for you!
There in the hotel’s lobby, tucked into an assuming little corner you will find Early Edition Espresso Bar where Sam and his co-pastry chef Romina Peixoto are serving the most delicious bacon egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches on homemade English muffins, and a collection of just fantastic baked goods.
How about a Sour Cherry & Chai Spiced Scone with your coffee? Or a Butterscotch Cinnamon Bun as an afternoon pick me up? You might bring home a Miso Caramel Apple Tart for dessert and instantly become your kids favorite parent. And you might as well pick up a few slices of Brown Butter Pound Cake with Sage Icing while you’re at it. And, if you or someone you love is a fan of rich, dark, delicious brownies, don’t delay. Sam’s Valrhona Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownie is a square of heaven you can call your own. Up to you if you share. Maybe get two so you don’t have to.
I suggest you go. Now. And often.
Sam’s menu is available to take out or eat in the lobby from 6:30am - 6:00pm at the Hotel Martinique, 49 West 32 Street, near of Broadway.