Sweet frosting on a layered petit four. Intricate notes emanating from a nearby piano. Steam rising off a teacup as it sits on a delicate saucer. Signs of old-world elegance permeate every corner of Mozart's Bakery and Piano Cafe, and owners Anand and Doris Saha wouldn't have it any other way. The European-trained couple had been slinging their famed tortes and sugary delicacies in the Columbus area for more than 17 years, having learned the ins and outs of pastry making when training in some of Europe's best restaurants and hotels. Mozart’s has more than 80 authentic European delicacies, which have snagged them titles including Best Dessert from Columbus Alive and Best Bakery from Columbus Monthly. Petit fours and truffles are created using imported ingredients from Europe. Continental favorites ranging from beef stroganoff and chicken cordon bleu to bavarian-style wiener schnitzel reproduce the timeless flavors found in dining rooms from Marseille to Munich.
During their European-inspired afternoon tea, a mini meal of pastries parades to tables arm in arm with a steaming cup of 1 of 16 different loose-leaf teas. Alongside decaf and herbal blends, english-breakfast, earl-grey, darjeeling, and rose-petal teas steep in mugs, letting mitts warm up after stealing the noses of arctic explorers. Canapés come in one-bite flavor explosions crowded with curried chicken salad, tomato and provolone, and smoked salmon with cream cheese. Miniature scones cloaked in devonshire cream and fruit preserves serve as diminutive feasts, and peach marzipan and chocolate petits fours, gluten-free truffles, or tea cookies drop a sweet curtain over the afternoon snack.
Soon, Mozart's culinary team will pair this commitment to European elegance with an equally stately local landmark: beginning in early 2013, the cafe will occupy a new spot in the historic halls of High Street's iconic Cord Camera building.
Divine De-lites owner Kim Herring didn’t set out to become full-time baker. “I was really more of a cook,” she says, “but then whenever we had family functions I always baked stuff.” But not just any "stuff"––breads and cookies that had family and friends raving. For nearly 10 years, others tried to convince her to turn her part-time passion into a career, and when the economic downturn led her to leave her job in the corporate arena, she decided to do exactly that.
To craft her treats, Herring employs family recipes––including one for a much-lauded banana bread––and formulations she developed herself using organic and local products whenever possible. Cookies are her No. 1 specialty, which she whips up in flavors such as oatmeal apricot, peanut butter, and almond butter with fig, and can be made gluten-free, sugar-free, or disguised as salads to suit a range of dietary concerns. But it’s her chocolate-chip cookies that are the real crowd pleaser. “They’re kinda crispy on the outside, but when you break ‘em open they’re real soft on the inside. And [there are] lots of chocolate chips.”
Travonna Coffee House serves up expertly poured coffee and a robust menu of sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, and breakfast items 24 hours a day. Kick off with a Charlie Brown mocha, mixing chocolate, macadamia nut, and hazelnut, but no peanuts ($4.10). Served beginning at 1 a.m., Travonna’s morning start oatmeal—a healthy swirl of whole oats, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, raisins, and cinnamon—gives pale night-walkers much-needed nutrition ($3.75). Or scale gastronomic peaks with the ultimate grilled burrito, a hefty package of chicken, bacon, cheese, onion, olives, and banana peppers in a tomato basil wrap ($6.99). Vegan baked goods are also available, and soy milk can be used in place of regular milk at no extra charge.
Bakery Gingham owner Amanda Ellis’s life-long love of baking is evident in the tiny cake creations she switches up seasonally and offers in a bevy of flavors. Her cupcakes come in buttercream-iced varieties such as Dreamsicle (orange cake with vanilla icing), Snowball (coconut cake with coconut icing), What’s Up Doc (carrot cake with cream-cheese icing), and Elvis (banana cake with peanut-butter icing). Cookie Monster's blend of buttery yellow cake with homemade chocolate-chip cookie dough and vanilla buttercream icing might give you googly eyes and blue fur, while Grandpa's Coffee splashes a little Kahlua into the icing of an espresso cake. You can also show your Ohio pride with a Buckeye Nation (chocolate cake topped with peanut-butter icing with a homemade buckeye baked into the center). And if your operating policy in life is to order foods based on their names alone, try the Grim Raspberry, LL Cool Cake, or Mutant Turtle.