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JUST A TASTE: Sugar fiends have all sorts of new reasons to splurge. For starters, two well-known French names have opened outposts in Manhattan. Ladurée, which first had a tea shop in 1862 on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, is now selling its colorful meringue cakes in 14 flavors at 846 Madison Avenue. Across town, Epicerie Boulud is serving up tarte aux pommes, apricot danish, blueberry financiers and other treats. The eat-in or takeaway operation is the third dining spot near Lincoln Center owned by Daniel Boulud. The well-known chef knows all about the sweet stuff, having been a cofounder of Payard Patisserie & Bistro.
There is plenty of competition headed their way. Landbrot Bakery will offer Old World treats in two downtown locations in the next couple of months, one at 137 Seventh Avenue and another at 185 Orchard Street. The fashion crowd got a sampling of the German pretzels, flatbreads and pastries at Lincoln Center.
Another confectionery specialist, Butter Lane Bakery, offered cake pops at Rag & Bone and Betsey Johnson events last week. This fall, pumpkin is expected to be the cupcake of choice at its East Seventh Street store, as well as its new Park Slope address. And the owners like to do their homework — they spent 400 hours in a test kitchen fine-tuning their recipes.
Next month, The Smile, a favorite hangout with the designer set, will unveil on the Lower East Side Smile to Go, where baked goods will be in the mix. Jim Lahey, whose Co. pizzeria in Chelsea has a die-hard following, is whipping into shape another carb-loving joint, Sullivan Street Bakery.