This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to our very opinionated editors’ favorite things to eat, drink, and buy.
There are a lot of mediocre Italian rainbow cookies out there. They can either be dry, flavorless, and full of food coloring, or drowning in almond extract and a chalky chocolate coating. The bad tend to out number the good so often that the question logically follows: If getting it right is so hard, why even try at all? Well that’s because when the cookies are good, there’s little else that’s so perfectly fudgy but not dense, sweet but not cloying, satisfying, without putting you over the edge. The promise of greatness is enough to keep me crossing my fingers for a version to love. And at Ciao, Gloria in Brooklyn, the pastry gods made all my cookie wishes come true.
Technically, it’s called a Neapolitan tricolor bar, an “offshoot” of the green, red,
But that’s not the only thing Ciao, Gloria gets right. The Mediterranean blue counter practically overflows with prayer-answering baked goods made by Polifiato and pastry chef Ginger Fisher Baldwin. There are limoncello bars with salty shortbread-pistachio crust, coffee cakes with espresso-tinged batter, flaky croissants filled with pistachio cream, and banana bread that can (and should) be ordered with whipped mascarpone on top.
I say go ahead and try them all. Now that you’ve reached pastry heaven, there’s no point in holding back.