Puddin’ by Clio opened its doors on January 6, 2012.
It closed its doors on January 11, 2012.
It ran out of the fifty-six pounds of puddin’ that were supposed to last that whole first day but were instead sucked out of the place in an hour and a half. It kept running out for the next four days and then it finally shut down for two, both of which Clio spent in the Puddin’ kitchen doin’ nothin’ but cookin’ puddin’.
Since then the store’s been releasing pudding starting at 4 p.m. (though it opens at 9 a.m. for coffee), while remodeling a kitchen that had just been modeled. Clio’s had orders for pudding in England and offers to franchise in Hong Kong. Not to mention a parade of petulant pudding-eaters passing by on St. Mark’s Place.
|Clio, crumbling banana cake.|
“We expected a nice, slow, steady pace,” she told me when I visited on the 11th — “a quiet soft opening that never happened. … On Sunday we opened at four o’clock and sold out by 4:40. I started taking reservations for pudding cups.” She somehow looked like an overworked pudding chef.
Things were different when I went back last week. They’d just installed the blast freezer, which cuts the production time of a pudding from three hours to one. “The blast freezer works!” Clio yelped when she determined that it did, and she suitably jumped up and down. She thinks she can keep the place open now. Still, don’t count on your flavor.
On the other hand, there’s no bad flavor, which is why they keep running out. Puddin’ could conceivably be the best pudding ever made. Clio, after all, has worked for Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer, who are two giant food stars, though I’m not sure either has ever had to close a joint for two days.
Clio is Clio Goodman, who after working at several restaurants became a personal chef with a vision for a dessert that diners give away. A client passed her puddings around, and everyone knew the world was waiting. Puddin’ opened next door to Jane’s Sweet Buns, so the owners could borrow each other’s sugar.
|Tim Zydek, the sous-chef, smiling.|
She also has vanilla, banana, butterscotch, coffee, lemon, and rice, the latter perhaps for those still tempted to go to that rice-pudding place in Nolita. She has toppings of sauces, creams, fruits, nuts, candies, cookies, brownies, and cakes, and parfaits with preset toppings so you don’t leave with a headache.
Clio’s been getting more offers, but she said she couldn’t tell me about them, which was OK, since she did tell me that she names her kitchen appliances. But at 23, she’s also getting a crash course in the less-sweet side of success.
“They all want a piece of the pie,” she said wisely. “They all want a spoon of the pudding.”Get your share at Puddin’ by Clio, 102 St. Mark’s Place, between First Avenue and Avenue A, New York City.