BEST NEW BAKERY

Metuka: The Pastry House

Critics' Choice

The owner of the new Metuka pastry shop along West 39th Street's restaurant row, Brazilian-born Ellen Hume, isn't a novice to these awards. Her previous bakeshop, KCK's Jay WaLe's Bakery-Bistro, took our Best Bakery prize in 2009. The tastes that made Jay WaLe's so special — elegant frosted cakes, teacups filled with creamy tiramisu, shiny fruit tarts, an array of pretty cookies — are all here in this narrow storefront space, named for the Hebrew word describing a sweetheart. Sweets are the sole selling point in Hume's shop. She doesn't serve brunch or lunch here, and there are only two tables. Hume observes the Sabbath, so don't stop by on Saturday. But the other six days of the week, she serves a damn good cup of coffee right up until 7 p.m.

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