Doughnuts, brownies, and vanilla choux are ready to go at chef Umber Ahmad’s long-awaited first brick-and-mortar bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr. The cafe and bakery at 28 Greenwich Ave. has been in the works since she raised more than $35,000 on Kickstarter two years ago, and Ahmad finally swung open the doors to the public at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning.
The pastry chef, who first developed a cult following after a ringing endorsement from people like Tom Colicchio and Oprah, has been selling her goods wholesale, but having a physical cafe means that New Yorkers can sample a wider range of goods. It’s the debut of Ahmad and executive pastry chef Shelly Barbera’s savory items, including a ratatouille gallette and hand pies filled with spinach, feta, and za’atar. Morning passersby can also pick up Greek yogurt with the bakery’s popular granola and a fresh whipped cream. The cafe sits about 30 people, including a table near a finish kitchen in the back of the space.
Ahmad tries to modernize pastries without turning them into novelties, she says. Ultimately, she wants it to be a place that people want to stop at regularly. "We’re putting a lot of care and thought into what we’re doing," she says. "We tend to not be trendy. We have things that have longevity and can be part of your every day." Take a look at more pictures here, and let us know what you think if you stop by.