If you're a fan of all things dulce de leche, you're in luck: Chilean pastry shop Dulceria–the kind of place where the chef might spend seven hours making ten pounds of the caramel spread from scratch–just opened at 2220 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (between 119th and 120th Sts).
The week-old pastry destination is the brainchild of Marco and Daniel Minzer, a South American couple living in Harlem who had dreams of opening that rarity in New York: a pastry shop that exclusively makes Chilean confections (no, you won't find any croissants here).
As the idea quickly turned into reality, Marco coaxed his childhood friend from Chile, pastry chef Daniela Canete, to bring her talents to New York; she now lives down the street from the couple on Strivers' Row.
Behind the counter of the narrow, exposed-brick space you're likely to find at least three different varieties of alfajores, small sandwich cookies filled with dulce de leche; lemon meringue tarts; and what's been the shop's most popular dessert so far: the Amor, a layered confection combining raspberry preserves, chantilly cream and dulce de leche.
Because Canete works alone in the small open kitchen, the display case typically features only a day's worth of goodies. "We want to make quality over quantity," says Marco. But you can bet that everything is made with the best ingredients (only fresh butter and fruit) and comes exclusively from the back of the shop.
The final, special touch? Every purchase is wrapped–by Marco–in the shop's signature paper and tied with colored string.