East Village Bakery: Deciphering Deliciousness at Pinisi Bakery

Date January 20, 2009

NYC Food Guy loves bakeries that create unique and fresh desserts.  The only trouble is, when you find a place like this, it’s hard not getting one of everything. I’m taking it upon myself to make things easier for you by discovering what’s delicious at Pinisi Bakery on 4th Street near 1st Avenue.  Read on for a new take on red velvet cake, a surprisingly delicious cupcake and some chocolate filled treats.


Chocolate Croissant

As far as chocolate croissants go, this doesn’t rank high on my list.  Crispy bits of dark chocolate emerge from the end of an extremely buttery outer shell which upon first slice reveals an interior that isn’t as flaky or delicate as I had hoped.


The airy yet chewy inner croissant houses soft, mousse-like chocolate which was the croissant’s saving grace and a nice departure from the fudgey and hard chocolate usually found in most chocolate croissants.


Chocolate Rugelach

Nothing like the tiny, cream cheese infused rugelach you would find at most bakeries, Pinisi’s version is very similar to the chocolate croissant.  The main differences are a chocolate-dipped exterior and denser insides.  Regardless, the taste wasn’t close to the rich, decadent rugelach I’ve grown up with at Bruce’s Bakery in Great Neck, Long Island and Manhattan.  Not that I’m someone to worry about calories, but I wouldn’t waste them on the rugelach next time.


Pistachio Cupcake – My favorite discovery of the the bunch

I’m a big fan of  salted pistachios and naturally flavored pistachio ice cream but this was my first foray into the world of pistachio cupcakes and after tasting Pinisi’s I regret that I hadn’t tried one sooner. A deliciously green, pillowy cupcake strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and pistachio.


It’s crowned by light cream cheese frosting sprinkled with chopped pistachios, the latter of which adds a little crunch to contrast the airy cake.


Red Velvet Cake with Cream Chees Frosting & A Cheesecake Base

While it looks delicious, my reaction was more “Hmm” than “Mmm”.  One wonders how this interesting combination could possibly go wrong but the answer is simple: the red velvet cake was too dense to provide the light middle ground between the cream cheese frosting up top and the rich cheesecake below.  The cheesecake, although tasty, was overkill.  It didn’t really combine with either of the other components of the cake to create the harmony of flavors I was hoping for.


13 Responses to “East Village Bakery: Deciphering Deliciousness at Pinisi Bakery”

  1. Phil said:

    thanks for the review. so all being said, do you actually recommend going there for anything other than the pistachio cupcake? did you try any of their cookies?

  2. Eric said:

    NYCfoodguy –

    I also like the sweet and salty combination of salted pistachios in desserts. Any interest in trying out the Momofuku bakery? I’ve been there once and had their pistachio cake and pistachio ice cream. The cake had a sweet and salty frosting that was layered between the moist cake. I found the combination delicious but the salty pistachio ice cream tasted too much like brine for my tastes. It was more like eating sea water ice cream than eating a dessert.

    Give me a shout if you want to try it out. I’ll gladly join.

  3. Before Sunrise said:

    That pistachio cupcake is right up my ally! This might be part of my “post nationals celebration”.

  4. FN said:

    NYCFG – if you like pistachio cupcakes, you should try the one at Sugar Sweet Sunshine, it’s pretty good.

  5. stevenp said:

    Sign me up for the pistachi cupcake! I may try the red velvet cake too-it just looks too damned good, and I’m sure it has some merits despite the lukewarm review. Of course,I’m open to other suggestions for rvc. Haven’t had a good one in quite some time.

  6. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Great question. You read it correctly, of all of these desserts I really only recommend the pistachio cupcake. The red velvet was tasty but not great.

    Definitely game for a Momofuku Milk Bar adventure. Let’s make it happen. I just read they added new soft serve ice cream flavors. Root beer float, graham. Intense. I have tried the volcano (nothing special) and the compost cookie (interesting) as well as the blueberry cream (nice confluence of salty and sweet but not transcendent).

    I’m all about Sugar Sweet Sunshine, it’s hard for me to not get the banana pudding though. I’ve had the chocolate chocolate ooey gooey cupcake too and that always hits the spot. What else have you had at Sugar Sweet that wowed?

    There’s a place Penelope on 30th and Lex that has great RVC.

  7. stevenp said:

    Penelope’s nis walking distance. I’ll be there VERY soon! Thx.

  8. FN said:

    NYCFG – I agree, the Sugar Sweet Sunshine banana pudding is ridiculously good. It is the other thing I get there other than the cupcakes. I think I have had most of the cupcakes they offer.

  9. FN said:

    Steven P – if you want RVC, there is a perfect spot in Brooklyn to get it. The name of the spot is Cake Man Raven. That is the ONLY thing for sale in the entire place, the guy makes nothing but RVC.


  10. Phil said:

    Food Guy – did you try any of the cookies at this bakery? I love cookies!

  11. Sweet Freak said:

    NYCFG, Just what my post-holidays butt needs: another irresistible cupcake. Dang, I’m going to have to try that pistachio cupcake now. Probably the Red Velvet Cake, too. I have a feeling that the cheesecake won’t be overkill to me. : )

    FN, I think the pistachio cupcake at SSS is called the “Ooey Gooey” and I agree, it’s divine.

    God, I’m hungry.

  12. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    I ended up going here because of their glutton free cupcakes for my friend who’s allergic, but had a slice of the coconut cake. I thought it was pretty good, and she liked the cupcakes. I’d still travel to SsS for all my baking needs.

  13. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Looking forward to your thoughts on Penelope’s red velvet.

    Which is your top cupcake at Sugar Sweet? Have you ever had any of their other puddings?

    I didn’t try any of the cookies at Pinisi, they didn’t really stand out. Let me know if you do though.

    Sweet Freak,
    I think we’re mutually bad influences when it comes to our respective websites. I’m pretty sure the Ooey Gooey is the chocolate cake with chocolate almond buttercream frosting. It’s pretty damn delicious. Not sure what the pistachio one is called. I think it’s just called pistachio ha. I came home to Long Island tonight and stopped at a great German bakery called Steiner’s in Manhasset, got a plethora of goodies for just over $10, review to come.

    Lil NYC Food Guy,
    I spoke to Mama Food Guy, the final word on all coconut desserts, and she said the coconut cake was just okay. I trust both of you so now I’m going to have to try it myself.

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