Pudding has a way of transporting full-grown Chowhounds back to puppyhood. But don't visit Puddin' by Clio expecting Bill Cosby's Jell-O treats. StevenCinNYC, who's tried Clio's banana, vanilla, and butterscotch (spiked with real Scotch) puddings, describes "smooth, strong flavors, regressive yet sophisticated ... they make you feel like a kid, but they are definitely more adult."
This East Village sweet shop, open just a couple of weeks, is still tinkering. Steven dropped by when the kitchen was whipping up a special Elvis-inspired dessert—peanut butter pudding, chocolate, banana, and banana cake—and scored a free taste of the off-menu pudding: "Truly incredible. It almost stuck to the roof of my mouth. I've never had any peanut butter pudding that approaches what they made." Clio's also makes cakes, pies, and cookies. Its chocolate cake, laced with coffee and chocolate puddings, is very good, DaveCook says.
Almost as much as its desserts, Steven appreciates Puddin's DIY ethos and personal touch. The kitchen makes everything it sells, including some 20 pudding toppings—even the sprinkles—and the friendly staff is proud of their wares. "It's a small personal operation, and everyone there seems to care about the product and the customer experience," Steven says. "I'll go every time I'm in the neighborhood, and I'll go now and then even when I'm not!"
Puddin' by Clio [East Village]
102 St. Marks Place (between First Avenue and Avenue A), Manhattan