From Caramello to Cafe Sant Edesia to A’Putia in just a couple months, the space at 179 5th Avenue has seen a whirlwind of activity lately. This newest business, a cafe specializing in Sicilian pastries that has another location in Hoboken, NJ, opened last week, and while the menu of panini, quiche, and other dishes will grow in the coming months, what you need to stop by for are the cannoli.
First, you can take a taste of the sheep’s milk ricotta cheese filling, which they’ve got in small tasting cups behind the counter. On its own, it’s a bit unusual — not sweet, with a rich and gamey flavor that may cause you to wonder how that’s going to work in a pastry. But when it fills the fried shell that’s lined with chocolate, the ends topped with a pieces of candied orange peel, the cannolo ($5) is complete, and it’s one of the most delicious ones we’ve had in Park Slope, and perhaps in Brooklyn.
The ricotta is shipped from Italy each week, and the cannoli are assembled here. The shell stays crunchy, and a hint of sweetness comes from the chocolate and the fragrant orange peel. There’s something more complex in this little pastry than the ones we grew up on from a countless number of Italian bakeries, but it still brings back those same memories of holidays and special occasions when we were able to enjoy them.
If you’re headed to an event this holiday season and you’d like to bring your hosts a gift, you’ll be warmly welcomed with the cannoli, though A’Putia is also known for its cassata, and they’ve also got some panettone in stock. This also seems like a nice choice for coffee and dessert after dinner in Park Slope — we just have to hope that the rest of the menu is enough of a draw for neighbors to keep this space open longer than its predecessors.
A’Putia is located at 179 5th Avenue, between Berkeley and Lincoln, 718-789-2466. Hours are Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, and Saturday-Sunday 9am-8pm.