Friday, January 16, 2009

Heading For Japan and Ending Up in France

Box of Macarons
I'd been hearing about Itzy Bitzy Patisserie for MONTHS now. There was the wanting to do delivery, but knowing I didn't need two dozen macarons. Then I was going to go to the Brooklyn Flea and pick some up, but I always needed my Sundays for other things. It appeared I would NEVER get to eat what some are calling the best macarons around. I would have to wait until Mitzy Budiono and I were both at the Brooklyn Flea, or maybe a chance passing at Serious Eats HQ, but alas there were other plans in store for me!!

During lunch yesterday, I needed a little sweet something, but not overwhelming or too filling. I choose to brave the cold and head over to Tafu for some more Wabi-Sabi cupcakes, mini subtly-flavored cupcakes sans cloying frosting. Little did I know that they had expanded their sweets options!!!

Me: "Oh look, you got macarons. How long have you had them?"
Counterman: "Just three days. Since Monday."
Me: "OH! Where do they come from?"
Counterman: "Um, New Jersey, Itzy Bitzy..."
Me: "Itzy Bitzy!!"
Counterman: "You know it?"
Me: "I'll take one of each."

Lemon Macaron


Pistachio Raspberry
Pistachio Raspberry


Caramel Fleur de Sel
Caramel Fleur de Sel


They are also selling a special macaron made for Tafu, Hojicha. Unfortunately, they had sold out! I saved my box of macarons, following the very specific instructions.

Important Instructions

And I was not disappointed. The crispy and smooth outer layer crumbles under the smallest amount of pressure into the chewy almond meringue inside. Between the two cookies is a generous helping of creamy filling. Each one was amazingly flavorful and tasted exactly how it should i.e. you're not going to think "is this matcha or pistachio?", yet it's not overwhelming or too powerful. I was left wanting one more bite, and there will definitely be more bites of Mitzy's macarons. These may just be the best macarons I've ever had. Of the flavors I tried, vanilla and pistachio were my favorites, while the matcha came in last place (sometimes you feel like matcha, sometimes you don't.) It does make me sad that Brownie can never eat these little pieces of heaven, nut allergy and all.

Itzy Bitzy's macarons are $2.50 each, both delivery and in Tafu.

Itzy Bitzy Patisserie
Delivery of two dozen or more macarons, Saturdays only, up to 100th Street in Manhattan. More instructions on the website here.

Tafu New York
569 Lexington Avenue (on the side of the Doubletree Hotel)
(212) 980-1310


Unknown said...

I have been in the SAME EXACT BOAT that you have!!! I've attempted to venture out during those sundays that she was at the Flea Market, but was never able to.... and when I received the email about being available at Tafu, I freaked out!!!! I unfortunately haven't been able to get them (the other day I walked by, but stopped myself due to budgetary reasons lol)... but you bet I will DEFINITELY not pass it up again after reading your review

thebooth said...

I went there today and got the last macaroons they had (they were down to 3). I agree the vanilla was the best by far (I tried the lemon, vanilla and tea). I usually go to Payard for my macaroon fix but these were by far superior. I will definitely be going back again (especially to try the pistachio and caramel). The lady behind the counter told me they should be restocked by Monday.

Anonymous said...

I went there today as well (thanks for the tip!). The vanilla and the pistachio raspberry were my favorites, with the lemon a close second. The flavors are great! The ladies behind the counter were so sweet. They were so excited abou the macarons. The only one I didn't love was the matcha (I guess I can save that one for my husband - ha!).

Anonymous said...

Hi Blondie,
Yay, you finally tasted the macarons :-) Thank you so much for the feedbacks, I really appreciate it!
I'm glad that vanilla is one of your favorites, it is my husband's favorite too. I guess hand scraping those vanilla beans one by one paid off :-D
I remember meeting Brownie at the Gifted Holiday Market and she mentioned about the nut allergy, I'm so sorry.
BTW, I've been following your blog for a while and I hope that I will meet you in person in the near future.

Cakespy said...

Total yay for Itzy Bitzy Patisserie!! Having had the extreme pleasure of working with Mitzy, I think that hers is such a good business to support on so many levels: awesome people, and delicious product! It's win-win!

Siobhan said...

@blizzard: yes, you must!!!

@thebooth: I've never had Payard, but more and more people are saying Mitzy's are better.

@anon: The people there are so sweet, that's why it's one of my favorite spots in Midtown.

@Mitzy: I can't wait to meet you!! If you ever need a vanilla bean scraper, you know who to ask. Just pay me in macarons.

@cakespy: win-win is right.

Anonymous said...

So I am confused. Are these macarons French or Japanese? Also, are they sold by the piece? If so, where?

Siobhan said...

@Elaine: I guess all macarons are French. Tafu specializes in Japanese teas and the process of serving them (a Japanese friend of mine loves going there because it reminds him of Japan.) I have yet to find out how or why they took Mitzy up on the selling her macarons there.
They are sold by the piece for $2.50 each at Tafu only. Otherwise Mitzy does do Saturday delivery of at least two dozen in Manhattan only.

Anonymous said...

Tafu is teas as well as sweets shop :-) Even though macarons are French, they are popular in Japan too. In addition to that, they go very well with either tea or coffee. That's why they are excited to carry my macarons at their store :-)

Sarah said...

I went the other day, and unfortunately they just had the chocolate and matcha flavors. I really enjoyed both of them, but I was so looking forward to trying all of them!

Best green tea I ever had, btw (sencha). And got a cupcake. I am unstoppable!