Framed art lines the walls at The Grey Goose, where whimsical paintings of geese and vintage light fixtures set the mood for food. But sight is just one of the senses treated to a feast. The aromas of freshly baked cookies and pastries waft through the dining area to supplant the equally pleasant scents of classic southern meals. Hearty offerings such as the pulled-pork barbecue sandwich meet lavash sandwiches in the form of the veggie burger served up on protein-packed, stone-ground flatbread. The husband-and-wife culinary team of Dana Clark Epstein and Phillip Epstein invite diners to take in a Dinnertainment show while supping at the establishment, where they can hum along to live music or become engrossed in a play while acting out the plotlines with their silverware—napkins make great curtains over a plate stage or a colleague’s face.
Behind a distinctive pink-and-purple-painted storefront, Blend of Buckroe's baristas brew individual cups of coffee and espresso drinks. The fledgling cafe enchanted the palate of an Examiner.com reporter, who heralded the shop's selection of light and dark roasts as "delightfully smooth" and "satisfying". Mugs of macchiato and mocha partner with plates of pastries and quiche on the simple café menu, augmented by sumptuous spoonfuls of ice cream. Artwork dangles from the purple walls of the WiFi-saturated seating area, and colorful couch cushions, old-fashioned benches, and an antique barbershop chair nestle patrons as they flip through magazines or compose lengthy sonnets to their favorite Supreme Court justice.
As spotlighted in the Daily Press, the confectionary skills of Bella Cakes' owner, Anna Lilly, bloomed in time to pull her family from the brink of bankruptcy. Now, with a booming business that was voted "Best of the 757" in 2013 by HamtptonRoadsMag.com, Lily leads a crew of bakers that swathes a weekly rotating cast of fluffy cakes in homemade buttercream icing and stuffs their cores with 12 creamy fillings, contributing a portion of weekly cupcake proceeds to charitable causes. In addition to freshly baked cookies, muffins, and bread, the boutique bakery specializes in wedding cakes whose dazzlingly detailed fondant exteriors and towering tiers provide ample cover for bouquet-hunting bridesmaids. Lilly also happily works with clients to design custom cakes and can even invent new flavors to suit particular palates.
Taste & See Cakery's confection crafters quell the incessant chatter of sweet teeth with an array of gourmet noshes that include cupcakes and cakes, pleasing palates with a rotating array of classic and inventive flavors. The peanut-butter-and-jelly cupcake whisks nibblers back to a simpler time with a crustless peanut-butter-cake base, grape-jelly filling, and a crown of peanut-butter icing, making the dessert worth more than 10 fruit roll-ups or 25 handfuls of tomato soup on the cafeteria-lunch markets. Velvety coffee and caramel serenade taste buds in the dulce de leche cupcake, and a 24 Carrot cupcake gilds palates with a rich patina of cake made from fresh carrots and snowy cream-cheese icing gathered from the hives of frosting-loving bees. Call ahead to place a custom order that mixes and matches flavors.
Scratch Bakery is fittingly named?using fresh butter, French vanilla, and other baking essentials,?the shop's dessert specialists hand-craft each of their confections.?They bake as many as 20 varieties of cupcakes each day, including decadent Death by Chocolate and the summery Strawberry Lemonade. They even turn their buttercream toward wedding cakes, which can also be decorated with smooth fondant or sugared tears from the wedding guests.
Couture Cakes by Nika bakes scrumptious gourmet cupcakes in a number of flavors, including lavender essence and banana fudge. It complements these sugary mouthfuls with warm sips of caramel latte, chai tea, and mocha, or with a chilled treat in the form of fruit smoothies or an iced white-hot chocolate. For those with dietary restrictions, Couture Cakes by Nika also can make any of its cupcake flavors in gluten-free varieties.