I'm headed back to Paris today and saved Sweet Melissa for last. This is one of the four places in NY I would confidently take a Parisian for baked goods (the others are Baked, Trois Pommes and Amy's). It's a patisserie/cremerie/sit-down brunch/lunch spot. It's one of those rare places where I like everything they make and is named after a real person, Melissa, who can often be seen hunched over a bowl of dough, covered in flour, a big smile on her face. She loves baking and you can taste it, especially in the almond brioche bread pudding. Unlike other versions, hers is light, moist and brimming with flavor.
I'm also partial to the pumpkin cookies with their rich cream cheese filling. I remember getting one of these for the first time and pretending it sucked so I didn't have to share any with Puffin. Just thinking about that now makes me laugh. I bought her cookbook, in which she gives away the recipes for all her best stuff. I've made her banana-apple bread so many times I've almost memorized the recipe. Melissa, I want to thank you - that recipe made me look like a stud to my girlfriend. Ain't that right, babe?
276 Court Street
(and another location in Park Slope)