This morning at 8 a.m. sharp, Dominique Ansel opened the doors to his two story West Village bakery, Dominique Ansel Kitchen. It's a completely different beast than his little Soho shop, spacious and Cronut-free. Most (though not all) the pastries here are made or assembled to order, something typically found in full service restaurants, not pastry shops.
Ahead of the opening, Eater got a peek inside the shop, and a look behind the scenes at all the whipping, scooping, and baking preparations in the final days before opening. The tour starts in the retail space up front, where the menu is displayed in photos on a row of hanging cards. Pastries get their final touches in the narrow kitchen behind the counter, and there's a towering pyramid of stadium seating (not pictured) in one corner. Lightboxes hanging on the wall display the pie fight that Ansel christened the space with, plus there's plenty of seating outside.
Upstairs is a prep kitchen, with windows overlooking 7th Avenue. In a few weeks, a long table hanging from the ceiling will be lowered down in the evening for Unlimited Possibilities (U.P.) the dessert tasting menu that Ansel plans to serve. That menu will run around eight courses, and be served to just eight seats at a time. Ansel's team also tells Eater that U.P. will use Tock, the ticketing system created by Chicago restaurateur Nick Kokonas (of Alinea, Next, and the Aviary).
The pastry menu, as to be expected, contains all sorts of crazy creations. There are simple things like chocolate mousse, and a super flakey mille feuille all prepared to order, but also a sage-smoked brownie, a garlic bread croissant, and a baba rhum made with Guinness. Other pastries are not made to order, but "best served after some time" – a "tea-rimisu" for example, made with black tea and honey. Lunch options include a croque monsieur, and toasts topped with things like chorizo corn succotash, or sumac chicken salad. Check out the full menu, below, and take the tour above.