Sneak Peak at Petite Shell (Rugelach Cafe): Open This Week


Last updated: January 13, 2015

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petite-shell-outside-kosher-rugelach-ues-nycThe owners at Petite Shell (P/S) invited YeahThatsKosher over to have a taste and check out their unique cafe before their official opening this week — although between you and me, it’s already open — GO!

I have to say that as a member of the kosher media, I was treated to a tasting of a smattering of what they had to offer earlier this evening, and there was not a single thing I tasted that wasn’t amazing. It’s not often that I can say this, but literally everything I tasted I can recommend to you.

The great thing about Petite Shell’s offerings is that many of them have not been done before, and if they have, they perfected it. Until now, Marzipan Bakery in Jerusalem was my favorite purveyor of rugelach. Petite Shell offers a VERY different product, but equally awesome.

There are, however, a few major differences between P/S & Marzipan:

  1. The flavors offered at Marzipan are mainly chocolate and cinnamon (although everyone knows that their chocolate rugelach are what people dream about), whereas Petite Shell’s flavors are exotic, many include cheese (not Cholov Yisroel, sorry), nuts, fruit, including 3 savory flavors!
  2. P/S is a full fledged cafe with some of the best brewed coffee in the city. They do a Japanese cold brew iced coffee which is something you will not find at the majority of cafes in the city. Besides that fact, there’s also ample seating (granted it’s not a large place, but enough seating), wifi, and a beautiful “post-anti-modern” design aesthetic (according to the owner) to the eatery. Not quite comparable to the Marzipan Bakery. Very different experience.
  3. Pricing – at Marzipan you could buy a kilo (~2lbs) of rugelach for 20₪ (~$5+), and Petite Shell’s artizan rugelach will cost you $2.50 for one, $25 for a dozen. That’s prime Upper East Side pricing right there, but it is definitely worth it. (Whereas the $25 burger being charged by this Queens restaurant, is not)

Some of the most delicious #Rugelach you'll ever taste: Chocolate Nutella, Farmer's Cheese Raspberry, Dulce de Leche, Tomato Pecorino (from R to L)

A photo posted by Dani Klein / YeahThatsKosher (@yeahthatskosher) on

 

Here’s a full list of the rugelach flavors they offer:

  • Chocolate Nutella
  • Farmer’s Cheese Raspberry
  • Dulce de Leche
  • Tomato Pecorino
  • Jalapeño Cream Cheese
  • Blue Cheese Pear
  • White Chocolate Granny Smith Apple
  • Olive Feta

As you can see, those are not traditional rugelach flavors, with 3 of them savory, all of them inventive, and all of them delicious. They totally nailed the texture: soft center + flaky shell. Perfect. Especially when hot.

P/S also offers sandwiches on their delicious croissants which come in 3 varieties: butter, whole grain, and pretzel (a salty, delicious, pastry). Here are the sandwich offerings:

  1. Manchego Breakfast – omelet, salsa, avocado, wasabi
  2. Ricotta Omelet – avocado, tomato
  3. Goat Cheese Avocado – tomato, beet horseradish
  4. Brie Apple – wild flower honey, roasted walnut
  5. Blue Cheese Fig – arugula, salted pistachios
  6. Mozzarella Pesto – chunky tomato, kalamata olives
  7. Nutella – salted butter, roasted hazelnut

All of the above sandwiches are $7.50, except the Nutella which is $4.50 (only one without cheese)

I tried both the Manchego Breakfast & Mozzarella Pesto. They were both delicious, perfectly executed sandwiches that I would order for breakfast or possibly at any other meal time.

"Mozzarella Pesto" sandwich on a Pretzel Croissant – damn this was good #kosher #cafe #UES #NYC

A photo posted by Dani Klein / YeahThatsKosher (@yeahthatskosher) on

Additionally, they had me try their coffee. I was a bit warm inside their cafe, so they blended me an Iced Nutella Latte, which rivals many of Starbucks’ flavored drinks. And while they do not offer Cholov Yisroel pastries, they do offer CY milk for their coffees.

petite-shell-kashrut-nycMany people asked about the kashrut and the fact that they are open on Shabbat. Kosher supervision is under NKS (Rabbi Mehlman) and the owner told me he leases out the restaurant to a non-Jew every Friday afternoon until 2 hours after Shabbat has ended and does not see any money from their Shabbat sales.

Petite Shell is definitely a place to hang out by yourself to study or chill, or it’s definitely a place to bring friends or a date.

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  • Aaron D. Neufeld

    At $2.50 they BETTER be amazing. But they certainly sound enticing. Always nice to see kosher eateries experimenting with fresh takes on classic foods.

  • Daz

    Not sure what they mean by “Japanese cold brew iced coffee.” Japanese iced coffee is brewed hot and then poured over ice.

  • Abie Dweck

    After seeing both posts on the website, my mouth was watering. Today after going back and forth abt taking a 20min subway ride up to 86th st from 34th st. I decided to go and boy am I happy I did. I got 3 petite shells. Nutella (9/10)(which tasted like heaven, I went back and ordered 2 more to go and ppl on the train were asking what smelled so good), Farmer’s Cheese Rasberry (6.5/10) and White Choc Apple (7.5/10). I also ordered the Mozzarella Pesto Sandwich which was incredible. The croissant was perfect and the combo of fresh ingredients (tomato, pesto, olives, mozz cheese) made it the perfect lunch. I had a cold brew coffee which had some Japanese way of brewing it. On the coffee I have had better (but that’s becuz I’m spoiled by a local coffee shop by me in Deal), but it was still a great combo to go along with the shells and sandwich. Towards the end of my meal I found myself taking smaller bites so that I would enjoy it more and make it last longer.

    Bottom line if you are anywhere in NYC or nearby, this is a MUST GO. They have seating for about 20 people. 6 on a picnic bench, 4 on two small tables and then bar stool seating around the edge. Place is on a corner with glass windows around.

    This probably was the best lunch I have had to date and I look forward to making the 20min trip up to the UES again. Whether it’s bkfst, lunch or a date, it’s the perfect spot for a quick snack or a meal.

  • JBUB

    If the owner isn’t seeing any money from the sales on Shabbat then why not just close on Shabbat?

    • good question but he can still make money from leasing it for the day, just not off of the business itself.