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Friday, June 27, 2008

Rite of Passage

Now there are people who do not like pastries at all. I have met them. But you won't find them in line here at 342 East 11th Street, home of Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffé.
I won't claim that desserts at Veniero's are the ne plus ultra of the pastry world, but they are excellent and well respected. Veniero's is a New York City institution, started in 1894 by Antonio Veniero and kept as a family run business ever since. You can read more about them here. The bulk of the business is takeout and suppliers to restaurants around the city. You can also eat in their cafe from their extensive menu.
There are certain rites of passage I believe every city dweller should go through to be a bona fide New Yorker. After all, imagine being at a social gathering where discussion turns to a discussion of favorite cheesecakes - Junior's or Eileen's - and the embarrassment when you have to admit you have never been to either. Be prepared for the conversational snub and relegation to social siberia.
Of course a rite of passage is not always pleasant - just de rigueur for initiation (or should I say di rigore?). They come in many forms: hazing, breeching, scarfication, baptism, Bar Mitvah, the aboriginal walkabout, Masonic rituals and the debutante ball. But here at Veniero's your compulsory initiation rite will include requisites like biscotti, miniature pastries, a myriad of cookies, cannoli, tiramisu, sfogliatelle and my personal favorite: strawberry millefoligie. That's not such a painful bad rite of passage, is it?

8 comments:

Mary said...

Veniero's has provided the birthday cakes for my family since I grew up and ventured into Manhattan and was able to get them.

I can't remember who introduced me to them, but I am grateful. Real whipped cream! Not so rare now, but in the past...

alice said...

Even me, I know Junior's and their cheesecakes and I cook mine following their recipe (found in an American cookbook) !

francesca said...

Italy has a very good reputation in New York! It's really flattering, since I am from Rome.
I often read your blog, waiting to come over one day (hopefully as a Columbia student) and discover New York myself. I am finding useful advice here.
I'll link you my URL. Few things are written in English but you seem to be fine with Italian too! :D
Pop by if you like!
Francesca

Anonymous said...

The link to veniero's pastry needs fixing (missing s letter), it should be:

http://www.venierospastry.com/

east village idiot said...

My life has revolved around that bakery. From years of birthday cakes forced upon me throughout childhood to the pignoili cookies that I adore. Everyone should go there once. It smells wonderful.

For The People said...

Food?!! Where!! You mean there are people out there that don't life pastries. That is like a cop not liking donuts! LOL I'm a cop and I like them!

• Eliane • said...

This looks like a good place, that I should avoid at all costs. ;)
(fyi: "nec plus ultra")

andrea said...

I'm one of those sorry creatures, who would totally give up eating anything else but pastries. These look great....