Sugar and Plumm first made itself known to its Upper West Side soon-to-be neighbors late last year when construction began on the 2,300-square-foot space, and a stretch of lavender-ish painted plywood stretched up nearly half the block. Not a little local outrage soon followed, with folks complaining about everything from the mall-ification of Amsterdam Avenue to the dangers posed to the health of neighborhood kids by having so many sweets so readily available, not to mention the imagined arguments which were sure to ruin many a family outing if parents dared to tell their children "no". Last week, after surviving a passive-aggressive attack by area "vandals" and a redesign of the interiors by the Rockwell Group, Sugar and Plumm finally opened its doors… and when we stopped in on opening night, Sugar and Plumm on the Upper West Side was packed. Only question is, is it indeed a "destination of yumm?"
Sugar and Plumm: Bakery, Candy Store & Bistro in One NYC Shop
Residents of Grand Tier and The Regent on the Upper West Side are in for a treat as Sugar and Plum is a mere three subway stops away on the “1” train. Sugar and Plumm NYC basically serves three different functions. On your right as you walk in the door there's the candy (those plastic bins filled with scoop-your-own, by-the-pound sugary treats), and cutesy-themed gift area. There's nothing unique about any of this stuff, and most of it you'll neither want nor need, so if you fear a power struggle, keep the kids away. Things start to get interesting in the center area of Sugar and Plumm, however, which features an array of ready-to-eat desserts (the butterscotch pudding, a too-rare offering, caught our eye), housemade "artisanal" chocolates, piles of baked goods (the more refined among you will want to try the Chinese Walnut Cookie… the less sophisticated will go straight for the Levain-sized Rocky Road Cookie), a cabinet-full of macarons, a freezer-full of gelato (there's an entire milkshake program here) and a creperie operation (banana/chocolate/caramel, anyone?). Sugar and Plumm consulted with first-rate dessert-mercenary Pichet Ong (of, most recently, Coppelia and Spot renown) on a lot this here, so it all looks great and should be, at a minimum, worth the calories.
Sugar and Plumm on the Upper West Side is More Than Just Sweet Treats
And Sugar and Plumm just keeps on giving! To your left of the entrance is the Sugar and Plumm "Boutique Bistro", with seating for about 100 and which, in addition to two pages of dessert dishes, serves a full menu of regular food. Like Striped Bass, Spinach Salad, Chicken Noodle Soup, Mac & Cheese-type regular food. Diners at other tables seemed very pleased with their orders of all of the above, but at a restaurant that bills itself as "Your Destination for Yumm " we figured we had to all in and try the Pulled Pork and Waffles, drizzled with maple barbecue sauce, topped with pickled onion slaw and jalapeños. Sounds like dare food, right? We were stunned at how good this was, well balanced, the pork juicy and sweet, the waffles fluffy, not leaden, the slaw lively and crunchy. Maybe because we were starved by the time it arrived (forgivable opening-night glitches), but, really, this was excellent. And the funny thing was, our dessert, the Jack Tripper Sundae–a complicated chocolate/brownie/butterscotch/blondie concoction–was just mediocre, with no real taste except cold and sweet. Which isn't a terrible thing, but a place like Sugar and Plumm should be sending out desserts that you crave for days, otherwise, no matter good the regular food is, you're not going to want to deal with the scene here too often.
Sugar and Plumm NYC Location & Contact Information
Sugar and Plumm is located on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 78th Street and is open for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner and, of course, dessert, seven days a week. For more information please see the Sugar and Plumm website, here. For a look at the copmplete Sugar and Plumm bistro menu, see here.