Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Gian Piero Bakery - Making Astoria That Much Sweeter!
Gian & Piero Bakery - 44-17 30th Avenue, Astoria NY 11103
N/W Train to 30th Avenue
After our evening at DiWine, we wanted to finish with something sweet so we headed over to the famous Gian & Piero Bakery on 30th Avenue--an Astoria staple for 14 years. Known for traditional Italian pastries and strong espresso, we were ready to satisfy our sweet tooth.
In terms of decor, Gian & Piero's is no frills, very simple. The pastries are the main attraction, and despite the plain furnishings, there's always a crowd to be found--especially outside where they have a couple of benches set up. From young people to Italian nonnas, Gian & Piero's seems to be a popular gathering spot for exchanging the latest news or maybe even neighborhood gossip.
We immediately set our sights on the cannolis as well as the carrot cake. Meg told us that she heard the latter was great so naturally, our curiosity got the better of us.
Cannolis - It's nice that in addition to traditional sized cannolis, they also carry minis. Meg and I chose these in two variations--I got the chocolate dipped while Meg ordered the traditional. Although I didn't try Meg's, mine was absolutely delicious. The crust was crunchy and buttery and the cannoli cream was the best part--luxuriously thick with a hint of vanilla extract. The small size was just perfect to satisfy our craving.
Carrot Cake - Martha's carrot cake looked gorgeous, with colorful buttercream (not cream cheese) sprinkled with walnuts. We all shared it, as the slice was large and we loved its sweet-spicy flavor. Boasting nice texture, the cake was perfectly moist with yummy carrot shavings, raisins and an infusion of cinnamon. I could've eaten it all myself but that would've been gluttonous--and embarrasing.
Espresso - Martha also got a shot of Gian Piero's legendary espresso, which I didn't try but I trust her when she said that it was "awesome," and really strong.
Service and Cost:
The servers here are very old school, and they get things done. You might not be greeted with a smile but know that you'll be taken care of very well. I think they take their jobs seriously.
Gian Piero's sweets are by no means bank breaking. For three desserts (2 minis) and a shot of espresso, we paid $5.20 total! Watch out Magnolia, you aint got nothin' on this pasticceria.