When you are craving something sweet, almost nothing can satisfy your taste buds besides a beautifully homemade crafted treat from your local bakery. The frostings and fillings are fresher and fluffier, the service is always better, the coffee is the perfect pick-me-up, and the chocolate always melts in your mouth a little quicker. I don’t know about you, but dessert has always been my favorite part of the dining experience. Macchiato, Cappuccino, espresso or if you’re feeling basic, regular coffee will do, always compliments you and your favorite choice of pastry. There is one bakery that has been in existence for over a century and continued to be a hit in the neighborhood. Nothing compares to Italian pastries with recipes that stretch back to the old country. Veniero’s Bakery in New York City is located at 342 E 11 St.
This old-school Italian pastry shop has been serving hand-made pastries in the East Village since 1894. The café, which embodies a 1900, Italian feel seats over 100 people at one time. The ceilings are covered in imported Neapolitan stained glass that adds an authentic Italian atmosphere to the bakery. Governor Cuomo and Mayor Giuliani have both cited Veniero’s Pastry Shop as being a true New York Immigrant success story. Veniero’s has been in business for more than one hundred and twenty years because of the ingredients in their delightful treats. Also, everyone who is employed at Veniero’s prides themselves on the same values of the original owner Antonio Veniero.
One of my favorite Italian dessert dishes of all time (and my favorite Veniero’s dish) is the Italian Cheesecake. Made with homemade ricotta and whole eggs, this traditional classic melts in your mouth the second it hits your tongue. In addition to the cheesecake, one of the most popular items on the Veniero’s menu is the cannoli. Now who doesn’t love cannoli to death? Because I sure as heck do. With your choice of a chocolate shell or regular shell, this is one of the few pastry shops in New York that actually serves the cannoli with fresh ricotta cheese, just like authentic immigrants from the old country serve cannoli. The filling is extremely creamy. Along with the crispy shell, this combination makes for an excellent late night treat. Before you leave, you need to try the “lift me up.” One may be thinking what is the “lift me up?” In Italian, the translation is tiramisu. Soft, fluffy, and loaded with flavor are just a few characteristics to describe Veniero’s tiramisu. Doused with espresso this slice of cake is truly the perfect “lift me up.”
What I admire most about Veniero Pasticceria Caffe is that throughout the time they have not jacked up their prices or become too main stream. Yes, it gets busy, but not busy enough to change recipes or delete classic Italian favorites from the menu. They have stuck to their guns and persevered through many generations and eras, making Veniero’s a famous landmark in the East Village.