With New York menus suddenly rife with schnitzel, spaetzle, and strudel, we seem to be having a Mitteleuropa moment. Strudel, especially, is conducive to both homey and haute preparations, in sweet and savory form. Indeed, Nora Ephron’s recent op-ed ode to cabbage strudel nearly incited a riot at Andre’s Café, a cramped Hungarian spot on the Upper East Side. Here’s where to find this lovably old-world pastry in a few new-world guises.
85 Tenth Ave., nr. 16th St.; 212-497-8090
Apple-cranberry strudel for two: It’s baked to order by pastry chef T’ai Chopping, presented to the table whole on a wooden board like a branzino, divvied up at the carving station, and then served with stracchino gelato.
1048 Fifth Ave., at 86th St.; 212-288-0665
Strudel fanatics can have it all at Kurt Gutenbrunner’s elegant Viennese kaffeehaus. Start with a nice slice of cod strudel served with a Riesling sauce and sauerkraut, then keep the theme going with the first-rate apple strudel for dessert.
1631 Second Ave., nr. 85th St.; 212-327-1105
This Manhattan offshoot of the Queens bakery serves mouthwatering strudel (pictured) in flavors that run the gamut from sugar-free apple to cabbage. Our favorite: the over-the-top cherry-cheese.
9 W. 53rd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-333-1220
Alsatian chef Gabriel Kreuther puts quotation marks around his braised-venison-shoulder “strudel” served with loin of venison, white dandelion, and huckleberries, but it’s still a strudel—and a good one.
2398 Broadway, at 88th St.; 212-874-7400
In a show of appreciation for winter’s hardest-working root vegetable, Didier Virot gives the common beet the strudel treatment. He serves it with a venison chop and a quince-and-cocoa-imbued coffee sauce.