By far the most extravagant of the new arrivals is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery New York, which opened in December near the meatpacking district. Folded into the vast three-level coffee merchandise mart is a branch of Princi, a Milan bakery in which Starbucks is now a major investor and partner. (Breads are baked at a commissary in Red Hook, Brooklyn.)
Cliff Burrows, the head of the Starbucks retail division, said that bringing the bakery to the city was essential. “New York is the world stage,” he said.
At the maze of counters throughout the place there are some nice pastries, sandwiches made on focaccia and cornetti (croissants), and pizzas with varied toppings on somewhat doughy crusts scissored into squares.
Serious breads, though, are given short shrift. If you can find them, they’re lined up in a window to one side of the pizza station and sold by employees who seem to know little about them. The breads are attractive, but several had thin crusts and insubstantial interiors. At another Princi in the theater district, without the elaborate coffee experience, the breads and pastries are given a better spotlight.
Ole & Steen, 873 Broadway (18th Street), 929-209-1020, oleandsteen.us. (Opens Thursday)
Fabrique, 348 W 14th Street (Ninth Avenue), 347-210-5641, fabriquebakery.com. (February)
Bourke Street Bakery, 15 East 28th Street, 917-675-6394, bourkestreetbakery.com. (February)
Princi, Starbucks Reserve Roastery, 61 Ninth Avenue (15th Street), 212-691-0531; 1633 Broadway (51st Street), 212-247-2527; princi.com.