Friday, February 25, 2011
I think that I can officially declare an American bakery trend in Rome. How many places does it take to start a trend? Who knows, but when you’ve got a half dozen cupcake joints in a city as small as Rome, I’d say you’re on your way.
The newest (or at least the newest that I’ve visited) is Officina Dolce. A few friends had told me about this place, located in Parioli, but I hadn’t gotten by until a few weeks ago.
I wrote a round-up of American Style bakeries in Rome recently. And, like Sweety Rome, Perfect Bun and Dolce Roma, Officina Dolce leaves behind Roman tradition, and embraces muffins, brownies, pound cake and - of course - cupcakes.
But Officina Dolce goes one step further. Rather than stick to the tired and true recipes Monica (the owner and chef) starts each morning with a blank slate, and whips up variations according to whim. Brownies are studded with pistachios and hazelnuts, apple season brings mini versions of crumble and cake. Don’t expect to find the same goodies each time, since pastries are made fresh every day and change accordingly.
They do special order cakes, for birthdays and parties, and usually have a selection of gluten free sweeties.
Recent favorites included a selection of mini tartlettes: apple crumble, crema di riso and sour cherry, and sacher. I love their tea cakes, which range both to the sweet (pumpkin spice) to the savory (capers and sun dried tomatoes.)
The space, which used to be a mechanics shop, has a pleasingly retro feel. The kitchen is open to the store, with large steel and glass windows, and the cabinets are all restored industrial display cases. Let’s hope they take advantage of the extra space and add a few cafe tables to enjoy the sweeties in this cozy space. Let’s start a petition here.
Via Savoia 52