Friday, February 20, 2009
Cupcake Wars - Week 1
Every Friday I intend to profile one bakery in the NYC area to give a little taste of what makes them stand out. I was going to pick my absolute favorite bakery to start, but to encourage you to keep reading, I'll save that profile for another week.
This week: Sweet Revenge - http://www.sweetrevengenyc.com/
Heralded in Time Out New York and profiled on the Martha Stewart show (where my mother found out about it and proceeded to barrage me with emails encouraging me to check it out), this small venue close to the Houston stop of the 1 train is a cute way to end a nice dinner or a great place for a sweet treat anytime. What it is not is a place to have dinner, though their website and menu of "Savories" might convince you otherwise.
The luncheon/dinner baked goods and lame cheese tray leave something to be desired, but the cupcake I sampled really was tasty. I tried the signature "Sweet Revenge" - peanut butter cake (not moist enough for me, but with great flavor) with a ganache filling and a peanutbutter buttercream icing - and enjoyed the complexity of the cupcake (I am usually a vanilla-vanilla girl). Some of the special flavors worth making a trip back to try include Spice Islands Carrot and Malaysian Coconut. Plus, the presentation is beautiful – raspberry topped cupcakes wrapped in a decorative parchment…Martha S. would be oh so proud.
Sweet Revenge has a decent beer (bottle only) and wine selection and the special cupcake choices change daily (they always have four signature flavors). The menu is also full of suggested alcohol and baked good pairings which are surprisingly on point. The tiny tables still have room to set up a laptop for the coffee break crowd and Sweet Revenge is a perfect place to head after a dinner date if you aren't in the mood for the White Horse and Little Branch is a bit intimate…or their potent cocktails might make you do something you normally wouldn't.
Overall, this bakery get points for creativity and atmosphere, plus the timely story about how the owner came to start her baking adventure. The cupcakes are good, just get rid of the cheese tray.