French bakery and cafe Maman will be opening at 429 Amsterdam Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets on Monday, October 25. This space was formerly home to Vai, which closed during the summer of 2019 after 12 years on the UWS.
A soft-opening will be taking place at Maman on Saturday, where visitors can “pay as they please” from 8am to 4pm – with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Welcome Baby, an organization that provides low-income mothers with a comprehensive package containing everything she and her newborn need.
This will be Maman’s tenth location to open in the city. Maman opened its first location in 2014 when founders Benjamin Sormonte and Elisa Marshall set up shop in Soho. They’ve now got locations throughout Downtown Manhattan, as well as a couple in Brooklyn. They most recently opened a location on the Upper East Side.
Maman offers sandwiches, salads, breakfast plates, plenty of coffees and teas – but they’re likely best known for their Nutty Chocolate Chip Cookie, which has gotten a whole lot of praise from the press.
While I’m not sure they can beat Levain in any kind of cookie competition, the title of a 2019 post by Secret NYC indicated these cookies might be the best in the city, and they’ve received equal admiration from Grub Street, Food & Wine, and even Oprah (she complimented other cookies they have as well).
These cookies will be available alongside a new fall menu, which will feature items from Maman’s recently released cookbook – including a croissant perdu topped with apple cinnamon compote & brown butter honey roasted walnuts and their roasted carrot soup.
Here’s a look at the new space – photos by @emilyyffeng: