Maison Kayser – West Village

Maison Kayser is a French bakery founded by Eric Kayser back in the 90s. There are many locations throughout the city, including the first Maison Kayser in the USA located in Upper East Side. The bakery is very inviting from the outside, with many colorful and delicate pastries in the window.

My dad and I decided to try out dessert at the bakery after many years of passing by the place. There are display windows upon entry to quickly take something to go, but there is also table service available.

I initially thought that the bakery was largely desserts, but there are a variety of entree items good for brunch or lunch. I personally had slight difficulty orienting myself to the menu since half of it is in French, but fortunately the English descriptions underneath the titles put me at ease.

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The interior is very pleasant and quaint. The service is very kind and attentive. I got good vibes from the whole atmosphere. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but rather did fit the description of the bakeries I’ve encountered in much of Paris.

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I ordered a hot tea, and was pleased to see that they had a variety of choices on the menu. I asked for a recommendation, and was told to order the “ThΓ© du Hammam,” which was a sort of green tea with berries. The cappuccinos also looked very pleasant. Each drink came with a tiny cake that appeared to be a Madeleine. My tea came in a nice heavy cast iron tea pot, which I am a fan of. The tea selection was very delicate and delicious, and I would take it again.

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As for dessert pastries, we asked for the top two recommendations amongst the staff. They all were very delicately crafted, and often encompassed a signature “KE” logo for the bakery. We ordered the Adagio, which was a highly recommended chocolate dessert with a passion fruit filling, and we ordered a raspberry tart, with a lemon filling.

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Although the staff truly hyped the chocolate Adagio, I was not thoroughly impressed. It was a beautiful dessert, no doubt. However, it was truly a simple chocolate mousse without any truly distinct flavor or layers of depth. The filling was not extraordinary. I enjoyed the dessert, but it was far too rich and boring for me to ever order it again.

The raspberry tart, however, was a much better selection. It had more variety in its flavor, and was generally a lighter and more pleasant dessert. I would order the tart again.

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Overall, Maison Kayser is a refined French bakery that is perfect for brunch, lunch, or simply dessert. There are surely many good pastries and desserts on the menu, but I’m not sure if Maison Kayser would be my first pick for a dessert joint out in SoHo. There are many competitive bakeries, such as Rocco’s Italian Bakery, and other popular ice cream or crepe places that may offer a more fulfilling dessert experience. All is a matter of taste. Perhaps, if I visit Maison Kayser again, I will have an even more positive experience. Nonetheless, Maison Kayser is a very good option for a pleasant, quiet, and enjoyable dessert experience while sitting down. It is a great spot for a cappuccino or cup of tea. I will likely be back in the future for something, no doubt.

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