Go to ‘Sweet Rehab’ for some dessert ‘therapy’

Sweet Rehab, opening in mid-November, will construct desserts in an open kitchen, including this Vacherin Peche Mure Myrtille. (Courtesy Sweet Rehab)

Those with an addiction to dessert can feed into their vice at Sweet Rehab, a new French patisserie opening this month that will create your delectable order right in front of your eyes.

Located at 135 Sullivan St., the dessert bar will offer up traditional French sweets with a twist by chef David Zaquine, who has constructed fine French pastries for the Plaza Athenee and Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and Bagatelle in New York. Unlike other dessert bars, Sweet Rehab will give customers a front-row view of their orders being made through an open kitchen.

“I want to show customers something they’ve never experienced before — a dessert bar that allows them to
witness the creation of their desserts from start to finish, whether they’re stopping in for a quick snack, strolling by on their lunch break, or picking up desserts for a dinner party,” Zaquine said in a statement. “The open kitchen concept unlocks all of the senses, customers can see, smell, taste and hear our creations being made.”

The Tarte Framboise Huile d’olive. (Courtesy Sweet Rehab)

The new spot, which will have both a 14-seat full-service cafe and a to-go patisserie, has been made to look like vintage Parisian storefront with imported and antique light fixtures and mirrors and a brass and steel glass wall and an original 1904 brick wall. There is also a storefront countertop with a working chef station so passersby can stop in awe of the craft being done live before them.

“Our goal is to open the kitchen and the French savoir-faire to the cosmopolitan world of New York City,” said Jerome Assouline, who co-owns Sweet Rehab with chef Zaquine. “We want every New Yorker to discover and experience unique desserts that are not found just anywhere.

“David and I partnered because we share the same passion for pastries and culinary delicacies,” he continued. “We combined my business background with his Michelin-trained background to create a dessert bar that brings a new concept to consumers. It’s more than ordering an item off the menu; it’s about seeing the full creation of a pastry, learning about the ingredients, watching and talking to the chefs while they work – an experiential dessert destination.”

What’s on the menu?

The menu will be seasonal and have vegan and gluten-free options. Some dishes include a peach blackberry/blueberry cake (made with saffron-infused peaches, fresh blueberry/blackberry jam, a white chocolate and crunchy granola mix, red fruit meringue, white peach glaze, and orange peach mousse) a lemon tart (with a crunchy almond dough, lemon jam, fresh mint, a lemon/lime cream, topped with a French meringue and pieces of lemon confit) and an orange/caramel coconut eclair (a choux pastry dough with hazel nut sprinkles, orange blossom/caramel pastry cream, dulce de leche chocolate, coconut chips, and orange/mandarin confit). The recipes use ingredients that are either imported like Moroccan oranges and vanilla from Madagascar — all of which are grown sustainably, according to Zaquine.

“At Sweet Rehab, pastries are the star of their own show and we’re taking them to a new level — one where they are independent and have their own place, while still carrying on the same ideals of a Michelin-starred dish,” he said.

Sweet Rehab will officially open on Nov. 25, Tuesdays through Sundays.