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Monday, May 23, 2011

Pastries and Cookies and Brunch--Oh My!

cream puff from Hungarian Pastry Shop

Yesterday (Sunday) began my three day mini-holiday; David took the day off as well and we decided upon Sunday brunch at home. But first: breakfast at Hungarian Pastry Shop (1030 Amsterdam Avenue). David selected a mocha cream puff while I went with a plain. I also ordered a café mocha for "a touch of chocolate." My cream puff was as tasty as it looked, but David's go-to dessert at 'HPS' is their chocolate pudding--I've never had a better one either!

After we'd run a couple of errands in our old neighborhood, we headed back uptown to make preparations for brunch. Our first stop was at PJ Wine to pick up a bottle of sparkling for mimosas. I told David not to pick anything too expensive since we'd be adding juice to it. I selected (for him) Jaume Serra "cristalino" brut cava. ($7)

cava for mimosas

Our next stop was at Fine Fare where we decided upon apricot nectar instead of orange juice.

bellinis awaiting a brunch pairing

Before opening the cava, we first used the remainder of a bottle of blanc de blanc I'd had leftover from a solo dinner, Friday night, consisting of a cheese plate with quince cheese--a favorite new discovery of mine...

a moussy finish, but lacking in flavor; $11

The main courses for our Sunday brunch were: scrambled eggs with salmon and sautéed wild baby arugula and home fried red potatoes.

smoked salmon and eggs

delicious home fried potatoes

David also prepared and whipped some seasoned cream cheese (garlic and fleur de sel) served with hearty Wasa crispbreads. We enjoyed it again, later that night, on round crackers with the leftover baby arugula.

Ritz crackers--nouveau comfort food

Last on our menu, but not least, was the cherry strudel I'd picked up at Hungarian Pastry Shop plus a handful of Florentine cookies.

flaky and tart

seductively sweet!

I restrained from ordering some of our standard favorites and instead, selected new things for us to try. The diners next to us, earlier that day, were having the cherry strudel and I commented to David on how delicious it looked. I also wanted "a little something extra" and picked out five Florentines, although I was tempted to scrap the whole idea and just pick petits fours. Nonetheless, I was pleased with my selections and have now added Florentines to my list of "standard favorites" at HPS.
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