My first encounter with Lady M occurred at Takashimaya, the elegant Japanese department store on Fifth Avenue whose doors sadly closed in 2010. There were many afternoons where I would tuck into the hidden tea salon downstairs and treat myself to a cup of frothy matcha green tea and a slice of Lady M's signature mille-feuille cake, which was then a secret enjoyed only by true insiders. At the time, the confections were baked by one baker in Japan and flown to New York. The price tag for a whole mille-feuille cake back then was a hefty $90. Today, it's $75. (Still hefty, I know.)
Thankfully, just because Takashimaya vanished did not mean that we had to bid adieu to Lady M's gorgeous creations, as its own retail space soon appeared on the Upper East Side—a white lacquered box filled with baked jewels. The mille-feuille (which means "thousand layers"), of course, is a must: twenty delicate layers of crepes filled with an airy almond custard cream and finished with a caramelized burnt sugar top. It will quite possibly be the lightest "decadent dessert" you will ever try.
I also adore their pristine cheesecake, which is topped with a glossy white blanket of sour cream and named gåteau nuage, or "cloud cake", for a reason. However, if it's grandeur you're after, go for the banana mille-feuille, which is an architectural stunner of flaky puff pastry, whipped cream, layers of vanilla sponge cake, ripe bananas, and a kiss of triple sec.