I don’t know about you, but I’ve been eating a lot of sweets lately. I don’t think it’s just my body’s response to the stress and exhaustion of these past few weeks – I also believe it’s got something to do with the season. Between my mother-in-law’s baking at home and numerous lunches and potlucks at work, the sweet tooth, pie & coffee cake aficionada in me has never felt happier!
For me, now is the perfect time to indulge and to try to put the worries and challenges of this past year behind me. Lovely: a bake shop provided the perfect opportunity for me to do just that, when they recently invited me to sample their holiday sweets menu. I happily obliged – and off I went 🙂
Lovely: a bake shop is owned and operated by Bob and Gina Hartwig, two graduates of the French Pastry School in Chicago. The shop opened its doors in the Wicker Park neighborhood in June 2007, and has been thriving ever since. Lovely prides itself with being an excellent destination spot for gatherings with friends and meetings with colleagues, and a comfortable space for hours of work and study. To make its guests’ intellectual forays sweeter, Lovely offers a variety of treats including pastries, cupcakes, cookies, pies and tarts – all of which go great with the freshly prepared ipsento coffee.
The menu I sampled at Lovely was generous in its offerings. Still, one favorite stood out for me from the very beginning: the pear butter linzer tart. Light as a feather and baked to perfection, the tart was moist, was made up of delicate flavors, and had the right amount of sweetness. The mild pear flavor was complemented beautifully by the aromatic cinnamon – so seasonal, so delicious!
Overall, seasonal flavors are well represented in Lovely’s holiday menu. From the peppermint French macarons to the pumpkin pie, from the apple pie and pumpkin cupcakes to the cranberry almondine, everything is thought out in great detail and points to the holiday season in charming and delightful ways. This menu brought back memories of past winter celebrations and a big smile to my face – and to my heart.
One special mention here: try the chocolate pecan pie if you’re in the mood for something rich and decadent. You won’t be disappointed!
I had a great time at the Lovely: a bake shop holiday sweet tasting menu. I was impressed with Bob and Gina’s hospitality and I enjoyed the unassuming yet charming atmosphere inside their shop. With so much to taste and so little time to spare, I had to leave early – yet, I promised myself I would go back one day.
I came, I ate, I loved! 🙂
*Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Lovely: a bake shop for writing this review. All opinions expressed here are my own.