It has been nine years since restaurateur Ricardo Barreras has opened the doors of Pilar Cuban Eatery in Bedford Stuyvesant, and this Thursday, he will be debuting Pilar Cuban Bakery to showcase the baked delights of his native Cuba, Eater reports.
The bakery, located next door to Barreras’ eatery at 397 Greene Avenue, is inspired by the family-owned Cuban cafes of Miami, which are famous for their sugary pastries and their strong coffee. A casual, counter-service cafe with limited seating and a grab-and-go window for outdoor ordering, the bakery will specialize in sweet and savory goods like chicken empanadas, ham croquettes, and guava and cream cheese pastelitos, as well as house-baked Cuban bread, sandwiches, tamales and Spanish-inspired pot pies.
“Our approach here is to really highlight and showcase Cuban ingredients, and use them in very creative ways,” said Barreras.
The need for good Cuban bread — to improve his Cuban sandwich — is what compelled Barreras to consider opening a bakery. Cuban bread, a white baguette made with lard, is not common in New York City, he explained. And once he decided to take over the space adjacent to his eatery and he began thinking of other baked goods he could create, the menu quasi wrote itself.
While the menu pays tribute to traditional Miami and Cuban cafe culture, Pilar Cuban Bakery will also present playful, modern takes on classic staples with its dulce de leche brownie and a red velvet cake topped with a cream cheese flan. The drink menu will highlight Cuba’s famously strong coffee and also feature fresh juices and tropical fruit shakes.
Barreras hopes that Pilar could be an “oasis” for Cubans as well as people from Miami, or become “the Cuban-est corner in NYC.”
Pilar Cuban Bakery will open on Thursday, January 31, from 7:00am to 8:00pm.