Do you know what they call a danish in Denmark? It sounds like a vaudeville routine, but I happen to know the answer. I visited Denmark way back in 2007, where I had the best danish of my life. They call danishes “wienerbrod” — Vienna bread — because the danishes are modeled on Viennese pastries. Unlike most of the danishes we have here in the States, which have dense and chewy crusts and thin smears of filling, the weinerbrod have a light, flaky crust and a wonderful custard-like filling. Since my trip I have been on an unofficial quest to find the best cheese danish in NYC, or at least one that lives up to the Danish ideal.
Runner & Stone, the new bakery and restaurant in Gowanus, has the best cheese danish I’ve had outside of Denmark, hands down. The filling is not quite right — it’s delicious, no question; my biggest complaint is that there’s not enough of it — but the crust is the real star. The buttery taste, the flaky texture… it all adds up to my ideal danish. About what I would expect from someone who used to be the head baker at Per Se. It’s probably also worth noting that they also have a great baguette, and serve at least one fantastic sandwich. I’m looking forward to many more meals there.
Runner & Stone — 285 Third Ave