De Robertis is now closed.
Happy St. Joseph’s Day! Two for Tuesday just happened to fall on St. Joseph’s Day, so the two are the two variations of St. Joseph’s Day treats–zeppole and sfinge. The zeppole are a kind of cream puff filled with custard cream, sometimes topped with a cherry (or not). These are Neapolitan treats (from Naples). Sfinge are also a type of cream puff with a cannoli-cream filling. These are Sicilian. I prefer the sfinge because I prefer the cannoli-cream filling. But both are good. My favorites are from Monteleone’s bakery in Jersey City, New Jersey (a few blocks from Journal Square).
This bakery goes way back and was the bakery where my dad’s family got their pastries.
(Little India is in this area in Jersey City, and it used to be largely Italian and Polish.) I also like the ones from Villabate bakery in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
In Manhattan, since there are fewer Italians living in the borough, the turnover for these is not as large as it is in the outer boroughs where you will wait on a line to get them. You can find them at Rocco on Bleecker Street in the West Village; Ferrara‘s, Caffe Roma (I’m guessing they have them–didn’t actually go), Cafe Palermo (ditto) in Little Italy; Bruno Bakery in Noho and Veniero’s
and De Robertis
in the East Village.
I got some at Ferrara in Little Italy. Another customer asked a waiter and counter staff for “St. Joseph’s Day” pastries, but no one knew what they were even though they were sitting on top of the pastry case. So I told him where they were. The times they are a changin’.
I also got them at Veniero’s and De Robertis’s. If you are curious and want to try them, I’d say any Italian bakery in Manhattan is a good bet.