Handsome scones, pastries, and loaves of bread crowd the shelves of this ridiculously small bakery, but all I know about is cookies. When I said I was considering breakfast of hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya, New York Roadfood sage Bill Homan suggested I skip the wieners and head a couple of blocks up Amsterdam Avenue for a cookie at Levain. I got two, and those two cookies decimated my appetite for hours thereafter. Knowing that there were many more meals to eat that day, the plan was simply to have a bite or two of the cookies. Not possible. These cookies are infinitely irresistible, demanding they be thoroughly consumed beyond any reasonable measure of hunger.
They’re very large. Not all that wide, but triple tall – as high-domed as a generous scone, and each one weighs about a half pound. If it’s a chocolate chip cookie, that’s a misnomer because the chocolate is so much more than chips. Half of the cookie’s weight is thick, oozy loads of molten chocolate. It is impossible to have a bite of the chocolate chip walnut cookie without also getting large pieces of fresh, crunchy nut. The dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie, which is coal-black, is outlandishly intense, verging on chocolate overload (if such a thing is possible). There is more chocoholic indulgence in this one cookie than in a double slice of triple-layer devil’s food cake.
Note: Levain Bakeries are also located at 2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd in New York City and at 354 Montauk Hwy, Wainscott, NY. The latter is seasonal.