Sometimes on Long Island, all you want to do is wish you were in a good italian bakery in the heart of New York City. Well, essentially, Cardinali is the closest you’ll probably get (at least on the island).
Cardinali is a classic Italian bakery right in Syosset. Its placement is a tad awkward off a busy street, with very limited parking. It’s next to a few finer restaurants, such as Steve’s Piccola Bussola, which makes Cardinali an ideal stop for dessert after dinner. The bakery itself, nevertheless, does not disappoint. There is every Italian pastry and cookie you could think of, with huge pastry displays with stacks upon stacks of cookies and more. There is gelato to the side, and a number of cake display pillars in the middle of the bakery.
Behind the countertop, there is an assortment of breads to choose from, with some fancy bread creations for decoration. It’s very common for the bakery to be decorated for holidays or special occasions, so it’s expected to see a cake or bread in the shape of some Easter bunny or Christmas tree. The cakes are aesthetic, and the environment overall is comfortable and family-friendly.
To the left, there is a seating area with waited service if one pleases to receive so. There are plenty of cappuccinos and espressos to choose from, and basically, enough dessert to keep you satisfied.
A trip to the restroom will find you staring at the inner workings of Cardinali bakery. There’s a large glass window peeping into the preparation, baking, and decoration of the various breads and pastries that fill Cardinali, which is a pleasant and tasteful touch.
The desserts themselves are satisfying and exactly the taste and quality expected at an Italian bakery. I’m always a fan of a good slice of carrot cake, so I went straight for that. The desserts have that rich Italian flavor that permeates through every pastry and cookie.
The actual interior could use some TLC, since some of the decor seems a bit outdated at times. Nevertheless, people go for the dessert, and so the interior is largely overlooked. But to be frank, NYC bakeries are substantially better, with Rocco’s Italian Bakery coming to mind. However, for a Long Island escape from 16 Handles or Red Mango, Cardinali is a very pleasant and classy alternative.