A family-owned business, the Kayce Cupcakes shop was built by the hands of the White family—Larry White Jr. assembled the chairs and tables and Kathy Owen White and her daughter Kayce adorned the walls in bright stripes, while their infant granddaughter cooed and gurgled encouragingly. Each morning, the family and its staff fold premium ingredients into fresh batches of gourmet cupcakes in an ever-changing array of flavors. The chefs extend their culinary expertise towards classics like double chocolate and vanilla, and also experiment with innovative flavors such as maple bacon and chocolate chili. Cupcakes in hand, guests can snack at the numerous tabletops that scatter the sunny shop, or order custom cupcakes by the dozens to share with friends in the comfort of their own garages.
Crepes Tea House is a cozy, sun-drenched eatery that offers homemade crepes, more than 100 varieties of tea, and Eastern European specialty dishes for every meal of the day. As customers sink into one of the cafe's big, plush couches, artisan chefs make savory crepes with beef, pork, and turkey, or sweet ones with fresh fruit, warm chocolate, or honey. Items such as zucchini, potato, or farm-cheese pancakes and Polish sausage are served at breakfast, while lunch sees plates of Siberian pelmeni dumplings packed with ground beef and stacked to form a wall that can be seen from space. At dinner, the restaurant's chefs glaze fresh salmon with honey and pan-fry whitefish and tuna cutlets until golden brown. Whether patrons carry a conversation at one of the eatery’s tables for a full meal, or settle at the sleek bar for a quick cup of tea or coffee, the teahouse’s vibrant orange walls and floor-to-ceiling windows make for a comfortable experience.
To unpack everything 226 Jazz Art Java has to offer, it's easiest to work backwards through the name, starting with java. At 7 a.m. each day, baristas begin crafting organic, free-trade coffees into classic beverages such as cappuccinos and espressos. Gluten-free goodies like muffins, bagels, and cookies complement cups of joe in the morning, while entrees of salads and wraps appear around lunchtime. By day, patrons can enjoy these meals while taking in 226's surrounding art shows?panoplies of local paintings, photography, and mixed media that rotate monthly. The final part of the equation is live jazz, which transforms the space on two Saturday nights each month.
Chris' Home Sweet Home Bakery delivers home-baked goods directly to the doorsteps of its customers. Experienced bakers whirl up batches of cookies, custom cakes, pies, fudge, and whoopee pies and strive to offer gluten-free varieties as well. Cupcakes can be filled or decorated with buttercream frostings in flavors such as Nutella, carrot, or orange. The bakery also encourages special orders for other baked goods not seen on the menu.
Every spring and summer, Janine’s Frostee puts on a classic Americana clinic with hearty helpings of diner classics, fresh seafood, and ice-cream concoctions. The traditional drive-in, a local haunt since 1956, scoops 36 Gifford’s Ice Cream flavors, swirls 15 varieties of soft-serve and frozen yogurt with a choice of 14 different sundae toppings. Janine’s entertains roadside diners with live music every Friday night and an annual classic-car show.
Alexandra and Romeo fell in love in France over cups of flour and sugar as Romeo completed his professional boulanger and patissier training. Today, the couple recreates quintessential French flavors in their West Hartford bakery-caf?, where the menu kicks off with breakfasts of pain au chocolat and almond croissants. For lunch, chefs build sandwiches such as Le Brie with cheese and butter, and the Eiffel, whose roasted chicken breast, carrots, and cucumber stands 324 meters tall. Desserts such as macarons and chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake pair with a cappuccino or caf? au lait to round out each meal.
La Petite France also rolls out its portable crepe cart to special events throughout the area, where French-speaking chefs (upon request) whip up sweet or savory crepes for parties of 20 or more.