When Benjamin Sormonte, Elisa Marshall, and Armand Arnal opened the third New York location of Maman in Greenpoint last summer, they quickly saw how much the café’s rustic-chic style and French-inflected food resonated with Brooklynites. I, for one, was happy to welcome the cozy café with its free wifi, wholesome sandwiches and salads, pretzel chocolate chip cookies, and other hard-to-resist pastries. Oh, and matcha lattes. Finally, Greenpoint has a café that serves matcha lattes!
But that’s not the only place on the menu where you’ll find the Japanese green tea everyone seems to be going crazy for. When Maman started serving weekend brunch upstairs, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they’ve taken matcha to the next level—mixing it into their waffle batter. The result is emblematic of their approach to cuisine. “At the end of the day we felt it was—I don’t like the word fusion—but a great intersection of the culture we grew up in and the culture we live in now,” says Sormonte, who hails from the French city of Montpellier.
On weekends when the temperature hovers below freezing, it’s the perfect excuse to stay snuggled up at home and make a scrumptious brunch. Order the matcha powder from Panatea—the Maman team’s favorite brand—or buy it at Whole Foods. If you don’t have a waffle iron, you can use the batter to make pancakes. ♦
MAMAN’S MATCHA WAFFLES
WAFFLE DOUGH (FOR 24 WAFFLES)
2 cups of flour
¼ cup of yeast
¼ cup of sugar
2 cups of milk
¼ cup of melted butter
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons matcha powder (we like PANATEA)
TOPPING FOR EACH WAFFLE
1 cup pineapple, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons ricotta
Maple syrup to taste
In a large bowl, mix the flour and yeast. Add the eggs and mix together. Pour the milk in slowly. Add the melted butter, sugar, salt, and matcha. Mix everything together thoroughly. Let the dough rest for an hour. Make the waffles using a traditional waffle machine. Cut one waffle into 2 pieces (diagonally) and put waffle in the middle of a medium plate. Scoop 2 tablespoons of ricotta (as you would spoon ice cream) and place at each extremity. Roast the pineapple in sugar and honey. Put 1/2 cup of honey and 4 tablespoons of sugar in a frying pan. When it starts browning, add the pineapple pieces and sauté. Spoon 1/3 cup of roasted pineapples over the waffles and ricotta. Drizzle maple syrup on top.
Photos by Jane Bruce