Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Something Sweet

I dropped in at Bonbon Pastry and CafĂ© last week for the first time and was thoroughly charmed. It’s a lovely place for breakfast (and brunch) any time of day or night, from early in the morning until long after dark. The corner spot on Lorain and West 26th Street with two walls of big windows just opened about a month ago, but it feels like it’s been there for a hundred years. The look is modern with touches of 19th century Parisian patisserie: a marble countertop with pastries displayed under glass “bells,” wooden tables with ornate old-fashioned metal pedestals, church pew seating along one side of the room.

Courtney Bonning is the woman behind this new addition to the burgeoning Ohio City culinary district, relocating her business (started in 2009 and formerly known as Bonbon Bake Shop) from the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. She’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America’s Baking and pastry program and is famous around these parts for competing and winning in the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars last summer with teammate Becca Ritterspach, now her bakery manager.

You can get coffee in all its variations and muffins, scones or croissants to go, or settle in for a leisurely meal of chocolate French toast, cinnamon pancakes or herbed omelette. There’s also a burger, a wrap, a couple of salads and a few heartier entrees, plus a luscious lineup of dessert options. I was on my way to drinks and dinner and couldn’t indulge in a serious tasting but couldn’t resist a mug of warm cider and fig bar, made with am excellent shortbread crust and dense fruit filling. I noticed two long shelves of wine and martini glasses, reinforcing the message, on the menu and repeated to me by Courtney, that a liquor license is expected very soon. Corn beef hash and cabernet anyone?

For now, focus on hot chocolate and bring the kids (your own or somebody else’s) this Saturday, Dec. 17. There’s a large and beautifully decorated gingerbread house. It evens opens revealing two levels of cookie- and candy-covered rooms. Santa will be sitting beside it at 4, reading aloud from The Polar Express and T’was the Night Before Christmas. Courtney, who plans to be here serving sweets and brunch for a long, long time, hopes it’s the start of an annual tradition.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Courtney's pastries are delicious! I am so glad her shop is open as a cafe now. i can't wait to try it out. Thanks for the review.