On a recent afternoon, I met a friend for lunch at Sugar and Plumm after an unsuccessful attempt at trying to reserve a table for two for lunch in the Upper West Side. I have always thought of Sugar and Plumm as a bakery / candy store, but after this visit I am inclined to head there for lunch / dinner too, there are atleast 4 vegetarian salads, a vegetarian panini, and a vegetarian pancake.
Sugar and Plumm calls itself a boutique bistro, a whimsical bakery, and an artisanal chocolate maker. All their desserts are handmade from scratch under the supervision of pastry Chef Pichet Ong, and all chocolates by Thierry Alan, Master French Chocolatier, were pretty (and yumm…). I think the best thing about Sugar and Plumm is actually Chef Ben Dodaro’s cooking – we loved the buckwheat crepes that we got.
Sugar and Plumm is a very spacious, bright, and well designed restaurant with bright colors on the walls as well as on its chocolates, pastries, and macarons. It’s a great place to have a cupcake party with your child there in the store / party section. The main dining area for guests has tables laid out with enough room to walk around and so you do will find it hard to hear the conversation at the tables next to yours – it’s a luxury in Manhattan if you ask me. Sugar and Plumm is also surprisingly expensive for the portions it serves, most dishes are above $15.
Despite the price, I am glad I went there – the buckwheat crepe with spinach, mushrooms, and cheese was delicious. I love the flavor of buckwheat in a savory crepe – the one that I got. The spinach was wilted, the bite-sized chunky mushrooms were sautéed, and the cheese was perfectly melted – definitey among the best buckwheat crepes that I have had in NYC. Although the portion was small, it was perfect for me – my friend was keen to have a dessert (how can one go to Sugar and Plumm and not get dessert?)
My friend had the avocado shrimp buckwheat crepe that arrived with a lot of arugula. The shrimp was cooked perfectly and had been tossed in a lemony vinaigrette. The crepe tasted fine, but was somewhat challenging to eat – the shrimp, avocado and arugula were in 3 neat piles on the crepe. This crepe would have benefited from a small dollop of something (melted cheese / mayonnaise?) that would help bring together all the toppings (or fillings?)
For dessert, we got the volcano in a fish bowl knowing very well that it would be too much for us, because we were both keen to try different desserts. The Sugar and Plumm menu lists a certain combination of ice creams and cakes, but they are also substituted by the restaurant without notice to the guests (as it happened with us and we were guessing if we did get the key lime pie, or the Brooklyn blackout cake). I liked the creamsicle ice cream and the butterscotch pudding the best.
Order this dessert if you go with a group of people and want to share dessert – 5 or 6 people may be able to do justice to this portion size. In case you were wondering, my friend took most of the dessert back home.
I would get the two crepes again if I were to go to Sugar and Plumm. The fries that arrived at the table next to ours was extremely appetizing.