I fear that I cannot adequately convey how delicious the Main Street Bar is, though if you imagine a Snickers that died and went to heaven, you begin to get the idea.
The invention of Michael Mignano, proprietor of Main Street Bakery, it got its start in 2005, while Mignano was executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. He was brainstorming for a new confection, something high-end but also unquestionably American.
One day, on the train to work from his home in Lindenhurst, he recalled the episode of "Seinfeld" where Elaine's boss, Mr. Pitt, eats a candy bar with a knife and fork. Mignano began to sketch: The lower two-thirds of the bar would be caramel punctuated with cashews and macadamia nuts and sprinkled with Hawaiian sea salt. The upper third would be chocolate ganache encasing caramelized Rice Krispies. The whole thing would be enrobed in dark chocolate and sprinkled with more salt.
In December 2005, Mignano was called upon to create a dessert arrangement for Oprah Winfrey, in town for the Broadway premiere of "The Color Purple." The chef sent up an elaborate display that included The Bar. Soon, he was summoned to Winfrey's room. As she struggled to get into her dress, he said, she turned to Mignano and asked: "What are you trying to do to me? I've been working on getting into this dress for weeks." The following week, Winfrey raved about The Bar on her talk show.
A few months later, Mignano got a call from Hersheys. Would he be interested in interviewing for the job of executive pastry chef for Hershey Park and its hotel? It was after he took the job that his new employers asked, "Did you make that candy bar for Oprah? Would you be interested in being on our research and development team?"
Mignano never shared the recipe with Hershey (fearing it would become the company's property) and after a year, he returned to Long Island. He opened Main Street Bakery in April 2008 but, for some unfathomable reason, didn't put The Bar on the menu until this week.
Better late than never.Photo Credit: Newsday, 2010 / Erica Marcus
We’ve been a little starstruck lately with Chef Michael Mignano, who owns the Main Street Bakery in Port Washington and wowed us just before Valentine’s Day with a secret-recipe chocolate bar so good that Oprah raved about it on TV.
While Mignano is busy making bread and pastries and about 70 Main Street Bars a day, he also serves brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.. A tasting last year left a colleague somewhat disappointed, but Mignano was on his game this past weekend.
A friend and I split the spinach and goat cheese frittata and the buttermilk blueberry pancakes and were seduced by the mouthful. Also on the menu are challah French toast with strawberries poached in maple syrup and sauteed pencil asparagus with poached eggs, served with melted brie and fresh dill.
What’s so nice about the bakery is that it has a SoHo feel to it, and food and baked goods a cut above the rest.
Main Street Bakery is at 170 Main St., Port Washington; 516-304-5214
The Main Street Bar (Newsday Photo, 2010 / Erica Marcus)