Best Croissant - 2006
La Brioche Dorée
It is supposed to be a flaky, crescent-shape roll painstakingly prepared by rolling butter and pastry dough into thousands of microlayers. The crisp, crusty exterior should give way to so ethereal a bite that it will taste like a Ferran Adriá concoction called "butterair." And, preferably, it should be made fresh daily. The croissants at La Brioche Dorée match all of these criteria, which is why so many French expatriates, as well as locals, cram the quaint little storefront bakery every morning. The secret ingredient that makes these croissants so buttery is -- and this is a shocker -- the butter. It comes from France and is denser, richer than the American stuff, which is served on the side but is totally superfluous. Croissants are $1.50; a cup of espresso $1.50. A copy of Le Monde would be a few francs extra.