Essence Bakery Cafe
Eating dessert first may be a classic faux pas, but no one could blame you at Essence Bakery Café. Chef and owner Eugenia Theodosopoulos studied in France and has earned quite a reputation for her macarons. Unlike the chewy, coconut-based variations commonly found in American bakeries, Eugenia’s macarons are crafted with finely ground almonds and then shaped into tiny sandwiches with decadent fillings like chocolate ganache, salted caramel, or tart raspberry jam. Of course, it's also hard to pass up mini desserts such as white chocolate and raspberry cream petits fours or fresh, buttery croissants, which the chef makes from scratch, and uses as the base for savory breakfast sandwiches topped with fried eggs and melted Dubliner cheese.
But while many of her best-loved pastries originated in France, Eugenia makes a point of sourcing her ingredients locally. As such, the cafe’s sandwiches and salads are simple by design—the only proper thing to do with such high-quality meats and produce is to show them off. After all, what's not to love about dishes like a grass-fed steak and mushroom sandwich, served opened faced with cabernet butter and bleu cheese? Or organic greens tossed with caramelized onions, pecans, and warm pears poached in red wine? And, to further demonstrate their commitment to the environment, Eugenia’s team has also taken pains to ensure that all of the menus are printed on recycled paper, all of the to-go cups are biodegradable, and all of the cafe’s furniture is constructed from marzipan.