photo credit: Camila Gutierrezh

Maman’s original SoHo cafe opened in early Fall 2014 without much fanfare. That is, until people tasted their Nutty Chocolate Chunk Cookie and that cookie alone should make you want to stop at their newest location at 80 Kent Street (between Franklin and West). Luckily, the southern-France-chic bakery has plenty of attention-worthy treats beyond the cookie to make it a welcome addition to our neighborhood!

The morning pastries at Maman

Founded by Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal, restaurateur Benjamin Sormonte, and baker/designer Elisa Marshall, Maman is a café serving classic French and American dishes in a relaxing, airy dining room. After creating two stand-alone Mamans in Manhattan—they also have one in Tribeca—the trio turned towards Brooklyn. The Greenpoint location is relatively huge compared to our other coffees shops as the space is 3,000 square feet; a whole second floor of seating should be open within the next few weeks to feature a daytime brunch menu with cocktails.

For savory dishes, there are simple breakfast items such as yogurt with fruit and croissants, whereas the lunch menu is a selection of traditional French quiches, sandwiches, and healthy salads. Dessert consists of beautiful fruit tarts, colorful cakes and loafs, and cookies (they bake up a few other versions beyond the famous Nutty Chocolate Chunk). All of the lunch plates are under $10, while pastries won’t cost you more than $4. On the coffee front, they’re using Williamsburg’s own small-batch roaster, Toby’s Estate, with a full array of espresso drinks.

The Nutty Chocolate Chunk Cookie

For my lunch, I opted for a quick sandwich, instead of a slab of vegetable-laced quiche. The Maman C.L.T. is thick slices of hearty multigrain bread containing slices of roasted chicken breast, crispy lettuce, a couple of juicy red tomato slices, and subtle mayo. At only $8.50, the sandwich is substantial enough to be a satisfying lunch, especially when taken around the corner to Transmitter Park for an impromptu picnic. Of course, you’ll want to leave room for dessert. The biggest draw of the Nutty Chocolate Chunk cookie ($3.75) is the crispy edge surrounding chewy center. Encased inside are macadamia, walnut, and almond pieces, plus almost-melting chocolate chunks. If salty-sweet is more your style, there’s the other crisp-edged cookie of white chocolate and pretzel ($3.50) usually available. Maman is definitely another great cafe (and so far, a quiet one) for our neighborhood, and I hope we get a chance at their legendary ice cream sandwiches soon!

Maman’s is located at 80 Kent Street (at Franklin Street). They are open Monday – Friday, 7am to 6pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 6pm.

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