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Week of January 27, 2003

Late to Bread
Until recently, the “Bakes” part of Margaret Palca Bakes, a modest Carroll Gardens pastry shop, referred specifically to sweets: cookies, carrot cake, and especially the irresistible rugalach that have earned the eponymous owner citywide recognition. Now, after a little yeasty experimentation, the name also encompasses bread. “I didn’t really know what I was doing,” says Palca. “I was going for something between La Brea and Amy’s,” referring to Nancy Silverton’s temple of dough in L.A. and the Manhattan chainlet famous for bread twists and fennel-raisin loaves. Whatever the intention, the results are impressive: a fine baguette and terrific rustic white or whole-wheat rolls with a light and airy open crumb. The latter are great for sandwiches, and Palca puts them to good use in a range of simple, delicious combinations ($3 to $5) like roast turkey with New York State Cheddar and mango chutney, and grilled chicken with fresh mozzarella, pesto, and tomato.
Margaret Palca Bakes
191 Columbia Street, Brooklyn

Ask Gael
I feel like pigging out.
Images of a crisp-skinned critter, faintly pink and very juicy, dance in your head, I imagine. Stake a claim quick for Sunday’s pig pull at the small and funky Biscuit. It’s definitely worth the voyage to Prospect Heights—especially now that chef Josh Cohen has mastered the crackle of the skin. The place is just a hole in the wall with a comfort-food menu most of the time. But on a Pig Pickin’ Sunday (February 2, March 30), oil-cloth tabletops are crowded with potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, and collards in vintage mixing bowls—amuse-bouche preludes to the pig. Maio Martinez, the gifted baking partner, sends out sensational warm biscuits. And later, when you’re excessively porked-out, her homey desserts seduce you into a final gluttony. Watch for pineapple upside-down cake, the cobbler, old-fashioned devil’s food, pecan and buttermilk pies, and maybe the best peanut-butter cookie ever.
367 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

Bites & Buzz Archive

Week of January 13
Wall Street's new lunch retreat; Cipriani's specialty drink to go; a culinary delight in Washington Heights.
Week of January 6
The BLT gets upscaled at RM; Beyoglu's Sultan of Swagger has gone.
Week of December 31
Chef Collichio hones his craftbar; the applejack cobbler martini; a chocolate garden in SoHo; birthday season at Trattoria Dell’Arte

and more ...

Photos:Tina Rupp, Patrik Rytikangas

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