Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
De Robertis Pasticceria and Caffe
1st Avenue, Lower East Side, NYC
Review by Diana
We know this place is old ... it has that kind of scummy aura that you see in gangster movies of a certain era. The walls are tiled so the acoustics are bouncy and loud. Reminds one of an old subway maybe. Or actually, reminds one of a toilet ... The harsh fluorescent lighting doesn't help, either.|
It really is kind of creepy both in decor and in aura. The shop is semi-subterranean, meaning you need to step down a half dozen or so stairs to get level with the doorway. You go in and there are pastry cases some refrigerated lining either side of the long narrow room. On the far end is a space set with tiny marble-topped tables on a skinny pedestal apiece. Sitting on the accompanying chairs might cause you to sit upright, only because everything is so precarious looking.
The guy behing the counter came to ask what we wanted ... the pastries seemed kind of synthetic, which actually didn't look inviting. I guess for many, these might be fun and fancy, but the condensation in the coolers and that rather gummy texture meringues and icings can get in such humid and cool conditions reminds one of the spinning pastry case at your local diner. Only the cakes are iced with lard flavored with powdered sugar.
In the interests of thoroughness, we orderd capuccinos and a couple of cakes they touted as "specialties of the house." One was called the "josephine" ... you know how a "napolean" is basically a mille feuille? His wife is apparently layers of chocolate genoise with chocolate buttercream and piped with chocolate roses. It was okay but too ... um, fatty. Too much like middling-cheap birthday cake. The lime meringue pie had the aforementioned gummy meringue and the lime custard didn't taste like anything but sweet. Ugh.
The dishes are the cheap Arcoroc style octagonal things popular in the 1980s. They were very worn. It was like visiting an elderly relative you didn't want to see because they always remind you of death. I didn't want to drink my coffee out of it.
All in all, a waste of a few dollars and a few minutes and calories which might have been ingested more enjoyably. We have no idea how this place on the lower east side has managed to stay in business, unless its a front for something. Or the customers are generally threatened and they have to eat here. Feel lucky that you don't have to, and don't. And we don't care how long a place has been in business. If the food, service, and atmosphere aren't there, it has no reason to stay open. Time for retirement!
Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. This webpage is presented by Wookieehut.com. Enjoy!