Beloved pastry chef Umber Ahmad is finally close to opening the doors on the first brick-and-mortar location of her bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr — currently a wholesale operation that’s a favorite of people like Tom Colicchio and Oprah. Ahmad and executive pastry chef Shelly Barbera now only await gas for the cafe at 28 Greenwich Ave. and expect to open in the next few weeks. It’s a long time coming — they raised more than $35,000 for the project about two years ago, and they’ve been working on opening since then, partly due to a head-to-toe reconstruction of the space.
Once it’s open, expect both old favorites like dark chocolate brownies and Mah-Ze-Dahr bars and new options that previously weren't offered widely because they didn't ship well, such as devil and ganache cakes and blueberry peach tarts. Ahmad will also be introducing savory items for the first time, like hand pies with spinach, feta, and za’atar; Moroccan chicken; or soft scrambled eggs. People will be able to stop in for coffee and pastry or hang out in the nearly 30-seat cafe, including a table in the back that’s adjacent to part of the baking operations.
All of the pastry options will be simple at their core, part of Mah-Ze-Dahr’s philosophy. "Pastry isn’t something that one needs to reinvent every day," Ahmad says. "A lot of people have this philosophy around being trendy with pastry. We don’t ascribe to that. We ascribe to trying to evolve every pastry item into something that makes it somewhat modern and fresh and interesting." Take a look at the space and some of the pastry options below, and stay tuned for an official opening date once it’s available.