Our latest installment of Quick Bites brings us to the West Village for sweet and savory treats.

The enormously talented Umber Ahmad and Shelly Barbera have been delighting pastry fans for a number of years now (including a certain Tom Colicchio, who became something of a mentor), with their mail order and wholesale outfit Mah-Ze-Dahr.

I first encountered their treats in the lobby of the High Line Hotel, where you could get a few of their treats with your cup of coffee. They were good but, frankly, only just good. Selling your stuff via secondary venues can do that sometimes.

Then last week, after way too many months of waiting, Ahmad finally opened her Mah-Ze-Dahr storefront bakery in the West Village, and wow what a difference it makes to get these goodies right from the source.

Mah-Ze-Dahr—the name is based on an Urdu word, describing the "magic that makes food delicious"—feels a bit luxurious by bakery standards, with a tall, cushioned banquette across from the wrap-around pastry counter in the sunny main room, and more seats in the back at a communal table by Barbera's finishing kitchen. A moodily-lit, deep-blue hallway connects the two spaces, buffering the laptoppers in back from the rush of after-school snackers up front, fresh from PS 41 which is right next door.

The staffers are all as friendly and welcoming as you would hope a group of people selling you sweet treats would be.

(Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

Nearly everything I've eaten at Mah-Ze-Dahr during its opening week—and that's about a dozen different pastries—has been exceptional. The textures Ahmad and Barbera coax out of dough are phenomenal.

To take just one example, the Chocolate Explosion manages to be crisp, chewy, and dissolve-on-your-tongue ephemeral in the same bite. Add a deep cocoa flavor and a liberal dusting of sweet powdery sugar, and you have a cookie for the ages.

The Brioche Donut is both, somehow, perfectly airy and dense. Veins of thick vanilla custard within provide a smooth texture to the mix, and sugar crystals on top add extra sweetness as well as a bit of crunch.

Other highlights here include the decadent, cream-filled Choux, available in both vanilla (which is superb) and chocolate. The latter finished with a fleck of gold leaf just to make you feel extra special. The Brown Butter Blondie looks fairly innocuous but packs a wickedly-good butterscotch punch. The baking duo's thickly-iced riff on the classic Black and White hits all the right notes of chocolate, vanilla, butter, along with a hint-of-citrus.

The round Coffee Cake is studded with fruit and infused with espresso. The Chocolate Chip Cookie is solid, if a bit unnecessary amidst all of the other wonders. And if you want something on the super-sweet side, the sublime Mah-Ze-Dahr Bar (contents: chocolate chips, salted caramel, toasted pecan, TONS of butter), really explodes with gooey goodness.

There are several savory options as well, such as their terrific Savory Scone with sharp cheddar and bits of jalapeño, and the even more terrific Spinach Feta Hand Pie, complete with a special za'atar blend for extra zing.

Locals are understandably thrilled that the spot is finally open (the coffee, by the way, is from the first-rate Intelligentsia), but Mah-Ze-Dahr is a true destination bakery as well. Ahmad and Barbera are indeed working that magic here in the West Village, and this is instantly one of the best general pastry shops in NYC.

Mah-Ze-Dahr is located at 28 Greenwich Avenue, just north of West 10th Street, and is open during the week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on the weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (212-498-9810; mahzedahrbakery.com)