Happy National Peanut Butter Day! (Yes, really.) Today, January 24th, is a national holiday that ranks right up there with Christmas. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with peanut butter any way I can get it. Hell, I’ll eat it straight from the jar, preferably Skippy Super Chunk, but there’s so many more delicious and creative ways to get it. There’s the peanut butter BLT sandwich at Peanut Butter & Co., the monster-size dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookies at LeVain Bakery, the peanut butter and grape jelly sundae at Oceana, and The Breslin’s fried peanut and banana sandwich to name just a few. Here’s my top ten…
Peanut Butter & Co. – Peanut Butter BLT
Sullivan St., btwn West 3rd & Bleecker Sts.
West Village spot makes their own peanut butter in lots of tasty and unusual
flavors, including cinnamon raisin, white chocolate, maple, and even a
hot version with spices. If you can’t get to New York, you can buy
them online, but if you’re as obsessed with peanut butter as I am,
you’ll want to stop in for lunch. The menu is, of course, all about peanut butter.
There’s a peanut butter cup sandwich layered with nutella and peanut
butter, an Elvis with peanut butter, banana and honey, and even a
“Pregnant Lady” with pickles. But our go-to is the Peanut Butter BLT with crunchy
bacon, peanut butter, and lettuce between two slices of toast — a salty, sweet, and crunchy
Bouchon – Nutter Butter Cookies
Columbus Circle, 3rd floor
chefs are putting their spin on retro desserts and cookie classics, but Thomas Keller was
one of the first with his haute rendition of nutter butters. The
peanut and oat cookie is wondrously delicate and moist, while the
Skippy-laced filling offers an incredibly silky texture. They’re the bomb.
Gramercy Tavern - Peanut Butter Semifreddo
Address: 42 East 20th St., nr Park Avenue
While Gramercy Tavern’s only been open since 1994,
it’s practically become a New York dining institution. Everything from the food to
the service is flawless and there happens to be peanut butter on
the dessert menu. Jackpot! Chef Nancy Olson has created a cold, smooth peanut butter
semifreddo (pictured above), which is paired with a chocolate macaroon. If you can’t get a table,
you can always eat dessert at the bar.
Le Vain Bakery - Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip
Address: 167 West 74th St., nr. Amsterdam Ave.
These aren’t your average cookies. For starters,
they look more like scones than cookies and they’re outrageously moist. There’s several, excellent flavors, but our favorite is the dark chocolate
variety (pictured right) – a rich, dark cookie, studded with peanut butter chips. And really, what’s
better than chocolate and peanut butter? Enough said.
Sweet Revenge – Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
Address: 62 Carmine
St., btwn. Bedford & Seventh Aves.
West Village haunt features the best of all worlds: cupcakes, coffee, beer
and wine. There’s a lot of different cupcakes, but none quite compare to
their signature, Sweet Revenge, made with peanut butter cake,
chocolate ganache and a righteously addictive peanut butter fudge
Telepan - Crunchy Peanut Butter &
Milk Chocolate Gianduja
Address: 72 West 69th St., nr.
There’s so many wonderful
dishes at Bill Telepan’s eponymously named restaurant on the Upper West Side, including a house-smoked brook trout and squash pierogi. When it comes to dessert, I’m partial to the crunchy peanut butter and milk
chocolate gianduja, which comes with a phenomenal peanut
brittle ice cream and huckleberry gelee.
The Breslin - Fried Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich
16 West 29th St., btwn. Broadway & Fifth Aves.
There’s nothing simple or restrained about April
Bloomfield’s cooking. She’s gifted New York with so many wonderful and
admittedly gluttonous dishes, like onion and bone marrow soup, thrice-cooked chips and pig foot for two. Still, her tour de force just might
be the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich (pictured right), which is conveniently available during brunch and a wonderful cure for a hangover. What happens when you fry a pb & j sandwich? The result is crispy bread oozing with warm peanut butter and
bananas, flavored with bourbon and vanilla.
- Peanut Butter & Concord Grape Jelly Sundae
1221 Sixth Ave., at 49th Street.
concord grapes are second only to peanut butter, so this is my dream
dessert. Jansen Chan is one of the best pastry chefs in the city and he
doesn’t disappoint with this over-the-top sundae, layered with peanut butter ice
cream, concord grape jelly and Cabernet toast. It’s sensational.
City Bakery - Peanut Butter Cookies
Address: 3 West 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.
City Bakery has a lot going for it, like pretzel croissants, chocolate chip cookies and a hot chocolate month with a different flavor for ever day of the month! One of my favorite things are their peanut butter cookies. They’re small, simple and just plain delicious — the perfect balance of sweet, salty and nutty. You could eat them on their own or dip them in hot chocolate all February long.
Cafe - Peanut Butter Bomb
Address: 73 Second Ave.,
btwn. Fourth & Fifth Sts.
I’m a full-fledged carnivore, so I had my doubts about this vegan eatery in the East Village. But I’m happy to report that my instincts were wrong. The food’s surprisingly tasty, particularly the sweet side of the menu, which includes donuts, soft-serve and a peanut butter bomb. I don’t know exactly how they pulled it off without milk and sugar, but the peanut butter mousse is wonderfully velvety, layered with chocolate cake and covered in a hard, dark chocolate shell.