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First Look: Michel Richard's New Bakery at the Palace

By Anna Hyclak
August 27, 2013
Photo by: Anna Hyclak

Midtown has been buzzing ever since news arrived that French chef Michel Richard would be taking over the dining options at the New York Palace Hotel, opening a fine dining restaurant called Villard Michel Richard and a casual bakery and cafe in the hotel's lobby. Villard isn't quite ready to open just yet, but the bakery, Pomme Palais, will tentatively open on September 13, bringing a breath of chic air to the Midtown lunch scene.

The space is sleek and modern, done up in hues of rich gold, chocolate brown and bright, bold pink. There are a few tables here and there for chatting and sipping lattes with friends, as well as a communal standing table for those who want to down an espresso and go. Behind the glass pastry case are some of the most beautiful desserts you've ever seen, from cakes polka-dotted with macarons to tarts piled high with fruit. One of the most unusual (and delicious) pastries offered is the "Lemon Egg-ceptional," which at first glance looks like some kind of deviled egg - but is actually a white chocolate shell filled with meringue and lemon curd and nested on a bed of angel hair-like phyllo dough.

Among the savory options are soups, hot and cold sandwiches (including a 72-hour braised short rib sandwich and a tuna salad sandwich with thin slides of cucumber on top of the bread) and salads that come in convenient cylindrical containers to go. There are also heartier comfort food options, like Richard's country bread-coated fried chicken and mac 'n' cheese made with creamy cheddar and Gruyere sauce. Still, nothing is overwhelmingly heavy - as Richard put it, he wanted to create a "French cuisine that is less sweet, less rich" to appeal to New Yorker sensibilities.

Prices remain TBD, but we can guess they'll be similar to other fast gourmet spots in the area, like Bouchon Bakery. Once the Palace's famous courtyard is finished being renovated, we can imagine it will be a popular spot for people to gather with takeout lunch from Pomme Palais - or at least a macaron and a cappuccino.

455 Madison Ave., 212-888-7000

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