It's amazing to think that there's been a bakery in one form or another at 588 Fifth Avenue, between 16th and Prospect, for well over 100 years. For the past several years the tenant's been Three Star, an under the radar old-world bakery that churned out serviceable rolls, loaves, cakes, and other baked goods. When they decided it was time to close and put the shop on the market a couple months ago, the landlord insisted that another bakery move in (a great move), and in came Sweet Treasures, run by a family that's run several bakeries in South Brooklyn for many years.
They renovated the space (but not too much), brightened it up a bit, and gave it a decidedly Italian-American twist. Refreshingly, it's not particularly sleek or trendy, and the baked goods (all made from scratch in the large kitchen in the back) stand on their own: this place is a real gem, and I would seriously recommend stopping by.
The diminutive new owner, Rose, is about the friendliest person you'll ever meet, and takes great pride in her work. The selection is impressive, a wide variety of items both sweet and savory: Italian cookies, danishes, sfogliatele, turnovers, sweet breads dripping with icing, eclairs and cannolli, tarts, cakes, pies, cookies, and muffins. They're also baking a lot of bread, from sesame seed-flecked semolina loaves to sturdy sandwich rolls, and there are fresh cold cuts that they'll be more than happy to pile on for you.
But their real (soon-to-be) claim to fame, however, is the prosciutto bread (top). These rustic loaves are dense and filled with chunks of prosciutto and provolone, and sell for $5 each, a steal. They're about the most savory thing imaginable, and I was about ready to walk out with the entire plate of free samples that's been generously laid out (I opted to just buy a loaf instead).
Next time you find yourself in that neck of the woods, stop in, say hi to Rose, and try some of that prosciutto bread. You'll thank me later.
Sweet Treasures Bakery, 588 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-788-7898