- Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St., at N. Moore St. 212-925-3797
Many a restaurant pastry chef dreams of opening up his or her own cozy bakery one day, far from the fast-paced restaurant fray. Karen DeMasco almost gets to fulfill that fantasy at Locanda Verde, where, in addition to sending out elegant plated desserts like her lush maple budino, she stocks a marble counter in the streetside café with all manner of mouthwatering breakfast and afternoon muffins, scones, tarts, and cakes. There’s a menu-appropriate Italian cast to confections like crumbly Nutella cookies and moist streusel-topped fig muffins, but happily, DeMasco hasn’t reined in all the homespun-American impulses that made her name at Craft. Want proof? There’s her dense, aromatic pumpkin-spice bread; her delicate, barely sweet toffee-date cake; and, most compelling, her tender glazed apple-cider doughnut, a paragon of the form.