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Cedric Grolet & Dominique Ansel Bakery Le Citron, La Noisette, and La Fraise pastries: About 24 hours ago, I was waiting in line at Dominique Ansel Bakery at 7am, an hour before opening, in what would turn out to be a 2 hour await for a taste of French pastry chef Cedric Grolet's NYC debut. This chef is known for concocting fruit desserts whose outward appearance mimics the texture and color of the real fruit, a style many describe as works of art. When its thin shell is shattered, the desserts reveal a layer of cream and a molten filling of fruit compote. Winner of the 2018 World's Best Pastry Chef award (from World's 50 Best Restaurants) and with over 1 million Instagram followers, Grolet attracted the longest line I've ever seen, with many devoted fans from the restaurant industry (from what I gathered from in-line conversations), though I was mostly following the lead of my partner who knew of this collaboration. After finally making it through the doors of the bakery, we ordered one of each: a lemon filled with lemon peel and mint, a hazelnut dusted in gold and with hazelnut praline, and a strawberry with strawberry compote. The fruits were decorated with a smooth, light-catching glaze that made it look less like real fruit than ornaments you might use to decorate a tree during the holidays. At $18 a piece, and with a 2 hour wait, the expectations for these desserts were very high, and sadly they did not rise to any considerable heights. All three were very sweet, though the fresh mint and sharpness of the lemon peel did help mitigate the sweetness a bit for the lemon. The strawberry and hazelnut pastries were all too recognizable in flavor, with the strawberry being the most unremarkable. I would imagine they were made with high quality ingredients, but the sugar dwarfed any natural flavor from the fruit or hazelnut. The flavors were neither surprising, nor simplicity at its best. Overall, these were desserts definitely made more for show than for taste. 2.5/5.0

nyc pastry strawberry chocolate lemon mint dominiqueanselbakery cedricgrolet chef cedricgroletdominiqueanselbakery le citron la noisette fraise pastries 2.5