Bay Ridge may be better associated with cannoli and lard bread, but old-guard residents also happen to take their Scandanavian pastries very, very seriously.
It was like a death when word spread of Leske’s imminent closing last spring—besides the annual Norwegian Day parade, the 50-tear-old bakery was one of the last vestiges of Nordic life in the ever-evolving neighborhood.
Luckily, a crew of locals with a sentimental streak as wide as a freshly-filled Sacher Torte decided to take up the lease — bringing plenty of pastry-cred to bear (two own big-time baked goods supplier The Bread Depot, another was the former head baker at Leske’s), without reinventing the wheel.
From kitchen staff to counter crew to the readily identifiable blue and yellow Leske’s logo, the shop remains essentially unchanged — upgraded, perhaps, by the addition of a few new high-end ovens — although the owners did ask their Facebook followers for help in finding older-model kransekage ring molds (a customer’s friend wound up picking them up a set in Norway).
They’re also hewing as close as possible to recession-era prices (and keeping nostalgic taste-buds satiated) by faithfully recreating all of Leske’s former pastries—which means no messing with high falutin organics, fancy Black and White fudge frostings or whole fruit Danish fillings if the original didn’t distinctly require it.
The Bay Ridge faithful may be more open to wine bars, gourmet groceries, and farm-to-table fare than they once were — but when it comes to fyrstekakes and limpa bread, they also know better than to mess with a winning recipe.
7612 5th Ave, (718) 680-2323