Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous SF

Dec
19

In the spirit of the holiday countdown to Christmas, our Dessert Tour team takes you to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous in San Francisco for their “Peppermint Stix” ice cream – among other tasty handcrafted ice cream flavors. Behind the spacious black and white shop stocked deliciously with a homemade goodies like peanut and almond brittle just to name one, and an ice cream counter hosting such flavors as “White Sesame”, “Candied Violet” and “Honeywine” (made of Ethiopian honey mead), is a husband and wife duo. Both were formerly pastry chefs that hailed from the Los Angeles Four Seasons Hotel. They were working with the Wolfgang Puck Group, in particular with Sherry Yard. They moved back up to their native home, San Francisco to start the creamery and haven’t looked back since.

Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
699 22nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

James & Michelle: Ovaltine was malty, nostalgically reminiscent of movie theatre chocolate “Whoopers,” while their “Peppermint Stix” was perfect for the holidays. Michelle particularly liked the “Peppermint Stix” because of the candy cane chunks, and the minty taste. It’s almost like mint ice cream but better and more festive! Like a bite of Christmas in your mouth every single time. Michelle and James also tried the: “Pink Guava,” “Cardomom,” and “Rose.”

Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous handcraft a wide array of unique flavors and they nail all the flavors. The ice cream is good, creamy, flavorful, and refreshing. Their menu changes daily and is focused on seasonal products and themes.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography

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dream.believe.inspire.MNN & JL
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Levain Bakery NYC

Dec
12

Levain Bakery has established itself as the neighborhood bakery of the New York City’s Upper West Side, attracting both a following of regulars as well as tourists – all lined up to partake of their renown baked treats. Their mix of rustic breads as well as their world famous six ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie, are all baked fresh each day on-site  with only the finest ingredients. Michelle of Dessert Tour details below highlights from her visit to the bakery.

Levain Bakery, Upper West Side
167 W 74th Street
New York NY 10023

Michelle: We ordered all four of the cookies: Chocolate Chip Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip.

We were walking through Central Park and took a wrong turn to walk towards the Upper West Side. During rush hour, we spent 45 minutes hailing a taxi down – just to go to Levain Bakery. Eventually, we made it there. The bakery was tucked away under ground.  

From a block away, you could smell the cookies. Right as we walked up to the bakery, we waited in line that began on the sidewalk and entered into the bakery downstairs. The cookies were not your ordinary sized cookies, they were big.

The thing I loved about these cookies was that they were both chewy and crunchy at the same time. The outside was crunchy, but the inside, because they were so big (and tall), the inside was extremely chewy and some of the chocolate was still gooey.
My favorite was the Chocolate Chip Walnut and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip – the Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip was a bit too chocolatey for my personal preference. 

All in all, the cookies were delicious, but too big for one serving for me! However, perfect for sharing with your friends! 

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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Gelateria Uli

Dec
05

Gelateria Uli makes their gelato and sorbet fresh daily. Founded by Uli Nasibova, this downtown gem is tucked away in the heart of Los Angeles’ historic neighborhood. Their delicious array of gelato may be accompanied by the fine drip coffee and expresso drinks they serve, and if you so wish – you may also choose from a fine selection of fresh pastries. Our Dessert Tour colleague James, share below his experience when we visited Gelateria Uli.

Gelateria Uli
Spring Arcade Building
541 South Spring Street, Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90013

James: The old downtown Spring Arcade Building houses one of the best gelato shop in Los Angeles. All the gelato are made in house with premium ingredients. Their Pistachio was smooth and buttery with a great contrast of rich nuttiness to it. I believe they used Sicilian pistachio nuts. The Strawberry Sorbet was clean and refreshing. This particular flavor is definitely something perfect to have after a heavy meal, almost as a palette cleanser.

Gelato is similar but different from ice cream in that it has both less fat and air – whipped into its final product. Because of this it is typically served at a slightly warmer temperature. This also make Gelato more palette-able on the tongue, less shocking. It will melt and dissolve in your mouth.

In an area of downtown Los Angeles that is being revitalized, Gelateria Uli is a great addition to draw the crowds. Their premium gelato is executed with great attention and care, I would definitely come back for more.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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Dessert Tour NYC at LADURÉE

Nov
28

Just a mere mention of the Ladurée House immediately brings to mind sweets of beautiful pastel colors and eye candy delicacies. They are a French luxury bakery and confections house founded in 1862 by Louis Ernest Ladurée and synonymous with the much loved dessert – the double-decker macarons. A fire in the bakery in 1871 sparked the transformation of it into a pastry shop that skillfully melded the style of Parisian cafés and the pastries of French patisserie. In 1930, Ladurée’s grandson Pierre Desfontaines came up with the original idea of taking two macaron shells and stacking them together with a creamy ganache filling. The rest is a delicious and colorful history, as even today Ladurée remains one of the top premier sellers of these beautiful treats. Michelle, recently visited their Upper East Side location in New York and she shares her Dessert Tour adventures with us below.

Ladurée NYC
864 Madison Ave
New York NY 10021

Michelle: first learned about Ladurée when I visited Paris back in 2011. Ladurée is famous for their macarons and pastries.

In New York City, there are two locations. One on the Upper East Side on Madison between 70th & 71st, and the other in Soho. We went to the one in the Upper East Side. This Ladurée location was a nice cozy shop for walk-ins, to order your macarons and/or pastries and go, in contrast to the more formal shop in Paris on the Champs de’Lysses where there was a dining area and places to have afternoon tea. Since I traveled to New York City with three friends, we decided to all try every single macaron flavor to get a little taste of everything. The shell was crispy on the outside and the inside was gooey and bursting with flavor. Some of our favorites were Rose, Raspberry, Lemon, and Red Fruit.

Permanent Flavors in the Macaron Collection were as follows: Vanilla, Coffee, Chocolate, Pure Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, Lemon, Caramel with Salted Butter, Roses, Orange Blossom, Raspberry.

Their Seasonal Flavors were: Red Fruit, Lemon with Lemongrass, Chestnut, Praline, Coconut, Mint with Anise, Gingerbread, Fig, Green Apple, Chocolate with Blackcurrant, Montello Cherry with Almond.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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dream.believe.inspire.MNN
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Vanessa And Josh – Wedding Film

Nov
26

Congratulations to my fun loving couple Vanessa and Josh! Their special day was all about family, friends, and their love for one another. Thank you to Kelley and Paul Gilster at 618 Studios for finishing their wedding film in time for the holidays!

dream.believe.inspire.KLG

 

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Semi Sweet Bakery

Nov
21

Tucked away in Downtown LA, Semi Sweet Bakery a charming local bakery serving up freshly made handcrafted desserts and simple fresh food – organic, sustainable and made from scratch. True to its moniker, the shop’s desserts are skillfully engineered to be just the right amount of sweet.

As it was the first stop on one of our Dessert Tour days, we enthusiastically ordered the Red Velvet Ding-a-ling, the Creme Brulee Crullant, and the Maple Donut Sticky Bun. The Red Velvet Ding-a-ling was a soft moist cake textured with Valrhona chocolate crisp pearls and topped with cream cheese frosting. It was reminiscent of a childhood favorite – Ding Dongs. The Creme Brulee Crullant – Semi Sweet’s take of the cronut – is a cream pastry decadently flaky but tempered perfectly with the crunch and burntness of the top of a Creme Brulee. It is a must try for Creme Brulee lovers. The syrup on the Maple Donut Sticky Bun sexily drips down and the scent of the Apple Wood bacon is alluring. Sweet and salty, the bun lives up to the sticky goodness its name implies. There is a perfect crunch to the outside of the bun while the inside reminds us of a French Toast – soft and bready. It is a wonderful contrast of textures. If you should be in downtown, definitely swing by for a visit and treat yourself.

Semi Sweet Bakery
105 E 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Photos courtesy of Michelle Nicole Photography
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il laboratorio del gelato New York

Nov
14

For Jon Synder, owner of il laboratorio del gelato in New York, his love for ice cream stretched back to Westchester County where his grandparents owned an ice cream shop. During a visit to Italy at 19, this love transpired into a passion for gelato and resulted in the opening of the his first ice cream shop, the Ciao Bella Gelato Company in 1984. il laboratorio del gelato, opened in August of 2002 on Orchard Street of the Lower East Side, and marked Jon’s return to his love of the Italian method of artisanal ice cream making. True to it’s name – “the Lab” was developed to be a custom laboratory where chefs and caterers work in collaboration with the lab to create unique flavors for their menus. James of Dessert Tour, takes you there today for his delicious firsthand experience.

il laboratorio del gelato 
188 Ludlow Street
(at East Houston)
New York, NY 10002

James: il laboratorio del gelato is one of the best gelato places boasting of a most diverse collection of flavors. From your everyday flavors like vanilla to very eclectic ones such as chocolate thai chili. All are made superbly well and at any given time they offer over 40 flavors to choose from. So the only question how adventurous would you like to be. 

I personally recommend the black sesame, smooth creamy with nice nutty flavor, and the yuzu sorbet – refreshing and light as expected and a great palate cleanser. 

Photos courtesy of James Lee of Mr & Mrs Creamery

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dream.believe.inspire.JL
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