Oh, My Darling

Darling Coffee scores in Inwood

You wouldn't expect to find the finest pastries and baguettes north of 59th Street steps from the 207th Street terminus of the A train.

But there they are at the new Darling Coffee in Inwood.

Airy and inviting, Darling is the newest addition to Nick Lidakis and Nichole Frocheur-Lidakis's family: The couple's son, Milo, was born nine months ago.

As at any café, the first order of business is caffeination. Here, the espresso ($2.25) and pour-over coffee ($3 to 3.50) come from Blue Bottle and the house drip ($1.50) from Ozone Park-based Dallis Bros.

Once alert, look to the pastries, including the outstanding galettes ($3.50), loaded with apples and blueberries or corn and cherry tomatoes; rich scones ($3.50) with bacon or orange marmalade and currants; and velvety chocolate-stout Bundt cakes ($3.50).

The shop turns out textbook-perfect baguettes, too, with a crackling crust. Only 20 are baked daily and some are used in superb sandwiches ($3.50 to $5.50).

Get there early on Fridays and Saturdays for Darling's fanciful cakes ($4.25 a slice): confections such as Banana Split (vanilla and chocolate layers with strawberry compote and banana-cream-cheese frosting) and Pink Lemonade with lemon curd and meringue icing.

Darling this café sure is–but with baking talent and ambition to spare.

Darling Coffee, 4961 Broadway (between 207th and Isham sts.); darlingcoffeenyc.com