Best Bakery - 2012
We like our bakers like we like our pastries: balanced, with just a bit of salt. Never was a bakery so aptly named as the Salty Tart. Owner Michelle Gayer is a rock star with flour. She's also a bad-ass chef with some major chops. After working for years under culinary superstar Charlie Trotter, another stint with baking impresario Nancy Silverton, and a short time at another local bakery, she opened her own shop inside the Midtown Global Market. The just-sweet-enough brioche, ensconced in sugar and stuffed with pastry cream, are some of the best sweets available in the city. Her chocolate cupcakes topped with dense, dark ganache are deceptively simple cakes, perfectly sweet and moist. Her chocolate chip cookies, vessels of butter and chocolate with just a tiny hint of sugar, are irresistible. It's not just the sweets that make us swoon; her sourdough bread is crusty on the outside, perfectly soft, and full of that delightful sourness of age and care on the inside. Her adorable milk buns, shiny little white bread domes, have popped up in some of the finer food trucks in town. Even her savory soups are divine. This bakery has everything we're looking for: salty, savory, sweet, and just a bit naughty.