Wednesday, April 7, 2010
It has been a while since I’ve posted on this sad and neglected site and what better way to resume than with the best darn cookies in Manhattan! Heck, let’s just go for the gold and call them the best darn cookies I’ve ever tasted (sorry, Mom)!
And speaking of the best, I have a hard time labeling anything “the best.” Unequivocally once something is branded the best, a host of “the better” crop up. I should know. I’m a hard-core judgmental eater: never fully satisfied and always on the prowl for the Holy Grail of eating.
Without a doubt, however, I have never ever tasted a more perfect cookie than those made by Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I stand by my bold statement (and feel free to play devil’s advocate). My cookie monster husband and I both agree- Levain makes the most bang-up cookie in town.
Each cookie weighs a whooping six ounces. Though their choices of chocolate chip walnut, oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate peanut butter chip and dark chocolate chocolate chip seem limited, once you take a bite out of any one of them, you will crave anything but diversity. My Achilles heel is the dark chocolate peanut butter chip but all varieties leave their competition in the dust. Each are perfectly chunky mini-mountains of dough, slightly crispy yet tender on the outside and if warm, gooey (read: almost raw) and soft in the middle.
A Levain cookie costs $4 and worth every cent, ample enough to satiate even the most consummate sweet tooth.
The bakery itself is a petite and uber-French-looking subterranean hole-in-the-wall on 74th and Amsterdam. The sweet aroma of chocolate morsels, decadently fresh baked bread, baked jelly doughnuts, scones, and cinnamon brioche wafts onto the street level, making it difficult for anyone, even exclusive salt lovers, to resist.