A friend recently celebrated a birthday and I decided to treat her by sharing a breakfast together at the birthplace for our new cookbook obsession: The Clinton Street Baking Company Cookbook. There has been quite a bit of buzz about this small lower East Side restaurant and bakery since husband & wife team, Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, opened in April 2001. Their mission was to make the best baked goods in the city, hand-mixed in small batches, using quality ingredients such as cage free eggs. Soon large crowds were lining up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their cookbook was named one of the best new cookbooks for 2010 by the New York Times (read article at this link). Both the pancakes and the buttermilk biscuits were on our mind as we've heard so much about them.
The Clinton Street Baking Company and Restaurant is located at 4 Clinton Street (between East Houston and Stanton), New York, NY. The Lower East Side is a trendy yet rough and tumble neighborhood of old time tenement buildings and stores as you can see from a previous post I did about the neighborhood at this link. It may not be where you'd expect to find what was rated as the "best breakfast/brunch" spot by Time Out Magazine or the "best pancakes' by New York Magazine, among other honors which you can read about on this link.
The menu offered many tempting breakfasts, as you can see if you double click on the photo above to enlarge it. I really couldn't get a photo of the inside, as we were seated almost elbow to elbow in the small 32 seat restaurant, and I didn't want to annoy the diners at that table.
None of that mattered when our breakfast was served! I chose the "Country Breakfast" of three eggs, grilled "cure 81" ham steak hash browns and a buttermilk biscuit. I had especially wanted to try the buttermilk biscuit as they were modeled after the ones that were served in the once legendary seafood restaurant from my youth called Lundy's. That restaurant has been sadly closed for many years so it was nice to taste their wonderful biscuit again. Martha Stewart has called Neil "The king of buttermilk biscuits," and she is right! My biscuit was flaky, tender, "melt in the mouth" good! The entire delicious breakfast was so large that the only thing I ate for the rest of the day was a small bowl of soup for supper.
Martha Stewart was kind enough to include the Buttermilk Biscuit recipe on her website, and there is also video to view of her and Neil making the biscuits on her show, which you can see at this link.
My friend had the pancakes served with warm maple butter. She could have had wild Maine blueberry, banana walnut or chocolate chunk pancakes for the same price, but we both had decided we wanted to try them plain, so as to really see if we liked the basic pancake recipe in the cookbook.
They were served with a raspberry jam on the side which was wonderful!
Neil whips the egg whites separately from the yolks and then folds them slowly into the batter in increments when he makes his pancakes, which makes them extra light and fluffy.
Again, he demonstrated cooking his pancakes on the Martha Stewart show and you can see the video and get the pancake recipe at this link. Over 600 pancake stacks are served a week in this little restaurant so you know that they must be good!
Of course, as a bakery, they also have cake and pies, pastries and muffins, cookies and biscuits for sale which you can see listed at this link. All are available for pick-up only, and most must be ordered 48 hours in advance.
We enjoyed our breakfast celebration so much that I think we'll be making a trip back to the Lower East Side and the Clinton Street Bakery and Restaurant very soon!
I'm linking this post to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday for this week's letter "Y" and I took the liberty of linking this post for Yummy, Yolks and Yes, those were wonderful biscuits and pancakes!
I'm also linking to Michael Lee's "Foodie Friday" on her blog Designs By Gollum and Sandi's Friday's Favorites on her blog Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.
Thanks to all the hostesses!