The closure of longtime Upper West side bakery Soutine late last year was a tough blow for Upper West Siders and other fans of baked goods. Madge Rosenberg’s tiny shop and catering kitchen at 104 West 70th street had been around for 30 years and had become a neighborhood staple.
Luckily, the space has remained in good hands, reopening a couple of weeks ago as a new bakery. Soutine has morphed into Pain d’Epices, and aside from some new stenciling on the window it looks exactly the same as the old place. Ali and Biba Naouai, the owners of Muffins Cafe just around the corner from Pain D’Epices, have taken over from Madge, and are using many of her recipes, which she sold to them. The new bakery opened about two weeks ago, and the shop sells many of the same kinds of small pastries that fans of Soutine will remember.
“We’re going to do almost the same thing, but cut out some of the sugar,” Ali Naouai told us. (Don’t worry, they’re not eliminating sugar. Naouai treated me to a pecan cookie and a Madeleine, which were plenty sweet, thank you very much.)
Various cakes are available, and Naouai said he’ll also be offering the Epices salad, which he used to serve when he ran Epices restaurant. It’s similar to a Caesar salad. He’ll also be baking breads.
Naouai said he won’t be continuing Madge’s catering business.