7117 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY | Directions 1120440.615175 -73.993801
Horrible. It's getting 1 star simply because there wasn't anything lower I could give it in order to write my overall feelings regarding my last purchase. To say that I'm terriblly disappointed is a gross understatement.
Years ago (prior to the Alba merger) their cookies were delicious. Now since the merger they must have forgotten how to bake and lost their original recipes. I can bake and often do even making pignoli cookies using almond paste (as it should be) so I know what they are supposed to taste like and which they very much did in years past.
I ordered two 5 pound trays of Italian cookies for this Christmas. They are $60 each coming to a total of $120 in cookies. In one 5 pound tray was a giant ball of what was supposed to be marzipan shaped like fruit. It must have weighed 1 pound in and of itself! If I had wanted a giant ball of marzipan I could have purchased that anywhere.
Most of the cookies in this "special assortment" were jelly filled (with very little jelly) with the tips dipped in chocolate. Another big "filler" cookie was a generic sugar cookie dipped in pink and green icing - wow! What a hit :-(
There must have been a total of 5 pignoli cookies and maybe 2 of the Amaretti (which they used to make in coffee, raspberry, orange, and pistachio and was primarily why I would get these cookie trays year after year. The pignoli cookies were not like I had remembered from years past either. These were definitely more flour than almond paste (probably cost) and they added so much sugar that my mouth burned! I'm surprised that I woke the next day after eating some these that I didn't just go off into a diabetic coma! And I am not even a diabetic - that's how much sugar was used. Sickeningly sweet. Some of the cookies were actually burned! Yes - overcooked and very floury - not the moist almond cookie that I remember from years past.
The aforementioned jelly cookies were very skimpily filled with jelly and even the sprinkles that are used to decorate the chocolate tips were very sparse. Also, to my disappointment there were no confections used to decorate the tray as in years past. None of the the sugar coated almonds nor the licorice flavored "confetti" were used to decorate which in and of itself isn't such a big deal, but just was a nice festive extra touch which was missed. Another blow to the visual senses of things that just aren't as they used to be or how they were fondly remembered
In my opinion, you'd do better to buy some Pepridge farm jelly filled cookies and Stella D'oro anisette toast. I think it's disgusting that I spent 120 dollars on regular run of the mill sugar cookies! , Villabate/Alba can look forward to my loss of business next Christmas.
To sum it up "a horrendous sugar burn" - it even tastes like they put pepper in the cookies - very odd. Hope this helps anyone from making the same mistake as I did. An expensive lesson learned - but learned well!
NONE BETTER – IT IS UNFORTUNATE FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE THERE EXISTS AN ALL AROUND BETTER PASTRY SHOPIN BROOKLYN. THEY WILL SPEND THE REST OF THEIR LIVES TRYING TO FIND ONE AS COMPLETE AS VILLABATE. MERCHANDISING,DISPLAY, QUALITY, SELECTION AND AUTHENTICITY ARE ALL COVERED.SURE, THERE ARE DIFFERENT PASTRY SHOPS THAT MIGHT HAVE 1 OR 2 SPECIFIC ITEMS THAT ARE EXCELLENT, BUT NOT THE WHOLE PACKAGE. WHEN YOU ENTER VILLABATE, IT HAS IT ALL. BREADS, PASTRY, CAKES, WEDDING AND PARTY CAKES,GELATI, ESPRESSO,CASSATA. IT IS SIMPLY A WELL RUN BUSINESS FROM THE PRODUCTION END.
YES, I WILL AGREE THE SERVICE IS RUDE AT BEST. ARROGANT IS MORE LIKE IT.
TO EXPLAIN HOW ARROGANT..I TRAVELED FROM ATLANTIC CITY EVERY WEEK FOR 20 YEARS TO GET2 ITALIAN CHEESE CAKES EACH WEEK FOR MY BUSINESS. THEY STILL DON'T CARE TO KNOW MY NAME.. NEVER SAY ...HI! OR EVEN ASK.. HOW WAS THE TRIP... 5 HOURS BACK AND FORTH.
I NO LONGER SHOP THEIR I PUT UP WITH ALL THE RUDENESS FOR 20 YEARS. I STOPPED THIS YEAR. I DONT DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE THAT. ONCE AGAIN, THEY PRODUCE A GREAT PRODUCT, THE FRONT SERVICE AREA IS A DISASTER. EVEN IN THE NEW STORE.
Overrated and Overhyped Dump – I totally agree with the reviewer who called this place horrible! The cake, cookies, pastries and bread too are AWFUL! Ricotta flown in from Italy my buttocks! There is no way they have it flown in specially for them. Common sense tells you the cost would be prohibitive. Sub- par ingredients and a lack of artistry and imagination abound here. Don't waste your time and instead head over to a REAL gem where all the products are presented with true style and substance- It's called Tasty Pastry Shop and it's located on 13th Avenue and 82nd Street. I will never go back to this bogus bakery where the people are rude and they lie to your face. My wife and I stood on a long line that stretched around the corner this Easter expecting to receive fresh and palatable pastries and cookies. What an embarassment! Take my advice, stay far away!
The BEST Pastry Shop in Brooklyn – I don't know what pastry shop the person who gave the previous review saying Villabate is bad was at, but it sure wasn't Villabate. My family has been going there for years and never had a bad piece of cake or pastry from there....even the stroffoli for Christmas is great.
I sent cookies from there to my son when he was in Iraq for a year and he shared them with all his buddies. And recently when that same son (he's home now) got married I served them to his out of town in laws who are now looking for me to ship them pignoli cookies and all the other goodies to them. If you go on line and google Villabate you come up with reviews from different people and an article called the Best Cannoli in NYC and another one "take the D train to the best bakery". All of these people can't be wrong. I suggest you go back and try again.
NEVER AGAIN. – This bakery is an over-rated dump with really bad desserts. The cakes are made with truly sub-standard ingredients and the breads are tasteless and bland. The texture of the bread is very unappealing and they sell some of the worst Italian pastries I have ever had in my life. I dont know who gave the previous review but it is totally without truth or merit.
I also discovered an insect in my cannoli which turned me off bigtime. The place looks very dirty to me and I would not ever recommend it to anyone.
BEST CANNOLI IN THE USA!!! – This is probably one of the best Italian pastry shops in the USA. Everything is alway fresh and delicious. No one in Manhattan can come close to their quality. Italian cheesecake, Cassata Al Forno and pastries you never saw in other bakeries are great. There baba rum is filled to order with yellow custard or cannoli cream as you wait. Great cookies also and the best cannoli you ever tasted!! Shells are thin and crispy, cream is the best I have ever tasted in the U.S. or Canada.
Brick oven crispy bread adds to the attraction. Whoever wrote the review saying they use bad ingredients should keep going to the supermarket for there breads and cakes they DO NOT know what they are talking about! The ricotta is flown in from Palermo, Sicily on a regular basis. I spent many years in the specialty foods business and I and many people I know that are from Italy will tell you there products are the best anywhere and I have tasted them from many locations.
I must add that the new bakery is NOW OPEN ( Corner 70th St. & 18th Ave.) with beautiful fixtures imported from Italy.
In answer to the person that has mentioned in their review that the ricotta cannot be from Sicily I must make mention that I know for a fact that a number of distributors fly ricotta in from different parts of Italy on a regular basis and YES IT IS COST EFFECTIVE! I know because I have purchased FRESH RICOTTA FROM ITALY on several occasions from different cheese shops in New York & Philadelphia.
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