Lily and Anthony Fable have been making Greek pastries at their store, Poseidon, on 9th Avenue in New York City since 1952. Today their bakery is one of the last to make paper-thin phyllo dough by hand. The Fables use their wonderfully supple dough for their own baklava, spanakopita, and strudel. They also sell it raw to their customers, including many of New York’s best restaurants.
Anthony used to make the dough himself, but a booming business and bad knees prompted him to teach the craft to staff members. As the men work, salsa music from the portable radio somehow only emphasizes the silent, mesmerizing nature of their work—tossing, pulling, and stretching a flour-and-water dough until it’s the size of a bedsheet and as thin as tissue paper.