Joining mashed potatoes, short ribs, and mac 'n' cheese, cupcakes are the latest comfort food to go glam, with "boutique" bakeries springing up from coast to coast.
The trend arrived in Hudson earlier this month with the opening of Main Street Cupcakes (238 North Main Street, 330-342-0833), a serene little coffeehouse and bakeshop in the city's historic downtown.
Taking their inspiration from N.Y.C.'s popular cupcake shops, husband-and-wife team Sean Nock and Kimberly Martin opened on February 2 with a handful of tables, pots of freshly brewed coffee, and a glass-enclosed case displaying the day's freshly baked cakelets. Nock comes in early and stays late, baking between 300 and 800 cupcakes daily, in flavors ranging from classic vanilla and chocolate to raspberry, lemon drop, and red velvet.
We're partial to the Cup of Java, goosed with espresso and topped with chocolate-covered coffee beans. But the best part of any of the flavors may well be Nock's superlative buttercream frosting, which he pipes on in giant florets, almost as big as the cupcakes themselves. Sleek, smooth, and rich as whipped cream, it's some of the best around.
At $1.95 a pop (or $2.50 for the specialty flavors), the petite confections aren't cheap; still, served up on one of the shop's dear little cupcake-shaped plates, a mug of coffee at the ready, they make a cheery midday pick-me-up or a tasty after-work snack. Winter hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.mainstreetcupcakes.com for info on tea parties, luncheons, and other special events.
Rising Crust . . . Downtown's Crust & Crumbs bakery and café (4700 Lakeside Avenue) closed on February 16, but will be revived in the Tyler Building (near the intersection of Superior and East 36th) by late spring. Chef-owners Ismail Samad and Vanessa Robinson say the two-and-a-half-year-old eatery finally outgrew its space. The new digs will allow for longer hours (including evening and weekend operations), a larger menu, and a 50-seat dining room featuring high ceilings, contemporary decor, and an urbane vibe. Till then, Crust & Crumbs catering will continue. For more info, or to schedule an event, call 216-881-7544.