It was almost midnight when Sandra found her son Aaron bustling around the kitchen, looking to satisfy a late-night sweet craving. Cooking had been one of the family's shared passions for decades, so it was only a matter of moments before Sandra joined Aaron in digging through old cupcake recipes and experimenting with flavors and frosting. With the counters covered in sweets, the snack craving thoroughly satisfied, and the Sandman growing impatient, the two went to bed, only to awaken the next day and share their midnight creations with family and friends. The reaction was overwhelming. The mother-son team quickly found themselves baking for so many birthday parties and special events that they decided to start a business, eventually earning a spot on Baltimore magazine's list of Our Favorite Cupcakes.
At Midnite Confection?s Cupcakery, Sandra and Aaron continue to channel the enthusiasm and inventiveness they felt that first night. Their selection of more than 40 sweet treats includes signature flavors, such as birthday cake and a carrot-cake cupcake with organic carrots and a bit of pineapple, but also changes to include seasonal favorites. They also top their creations with decadent spreads such as whipped-pistachio or Grand Marnier?tinged icing. Although these handheld snacks are available at the store, Midnite Confection's food truck also travels the streets, spreading cupcakes to working folks.
When Forever Yogurt claims that it has ?literally trillions of possibilities? for combining frozen-yogurt flavors and toppings, it is literally not kidding. At each location, some 16 flavors and 40 toppings challenge self-serve artists to twirl, sprinkle, and festoon cups of fro-yo to their own taste buds' content. Frozen masterpieces can accommodate preferences for low-fat, nonfat, nondairy, and no-sugar-added diets, as well as daily food-pyramid requirements for fresh blueberries, kiwi, and caramel-turtle cups.
Despite the fact that everyone has to eat to live, the culinary team at Liv2Eat thinks it should be the other way around. Sourcing seasonal ingredients, they craft a rotating selection of dishes throughout the year, from fresh seafood selections to a local snap pea salad. Six days a week, the back patio and dining rooms bustle during dinner service, and servers transport bottles of wine, craft beers, and champagne throughout the cozy, low-lit dining rooms. On Sundays, the chef/owner puts his own elegant spin on morning noshes that include a green eggs & ham with wilted spinach that gives eaters a penchant for speaking in rhyme.
The pastry chefs at Gone Cupcaking Across America share a wealth of gourmet cupcake experience with aspiring dessert artisans, in flavors that include whisked buttercream atop classic vanilla, chocolate, and red-velvet cake bases, and more exotic choices such as Grand Marnier or peaches 'n' cream. At lessons, students learn piping techniques, how to make frosting, and how to make iced flowers without the hassle of fertilizing regular flowers with milk and butter.
After emigrating to Baltimore from Palermo, Italy, Gioacchino Vaccaro wanted to share the pastries of his homeland with his new neighbors. In 1956, he founded his eponymous pastry shop, an establishment that has since expanded to include four locations. The culinary team dishes out cannoli that ensconce homemade ricotta filling, three-tiered rum cake, and crunchy biscotti cookies.
Beyond pastries, the eateries toast paninis and stuff classic mufalato sandwiches with Italian pepper ham, mortadella, and salami. To complement their meals, visitors can sip hand-crafted espresso drinks, such as cappuccinos in traditional “Italiano” style and house style, served with a dollop of whipped cream. For more adult pours, patrons can opt for assorted martinis, beers, and dessert wines.
A creative spirit thrives at Creme Restaurant & Lounge. As the chefs meticulously plate their eye-catching entrees, diners enjoy live performances from locally and nationally renowned musicians on the dining room stage. That combination of cozy ambiance and refined food creates a welcoming environment that encourages guests to linger for a while or attempt to move all their belongings in. The Baltimore Sun succinctly summarized the restaurant?s charm by noting, ?If you have had a bad day or simply need to reward yourself with some rich, artful comfort food, this is the place.?
The chefs take a more refined approach to contemporary American cuisine. Shrimp and spicy sausage arrive with a bed of creamy grits and salmon emerges from the kitchen with a bold teriyaki and bourbon glaze. Even the bartenders demonstrate a willingness to push the boundaries of the expected by infusing their own spirits and creating specialty cocktails with chipotle-infused vodka and hibiscus-infused gin.
With its dark wooden floorboards and sunflower-yellow walls, the restaurant?s dining room exudes a similarly cozy, yet stately spirit. Intimate tables flanked by simple black chairs fill the long, narrow space, although virtually every seat presents patrons with a clear view of the stage at the front of the room. Some small touches add extra whimsy, including a dangling chandelier, an ornately decorated fireplace, and a collection of framed eggs benedicts.