If you do not live in Chicagoland and have no intention of visiting, you'll probably want to skip this post.
However, if you do live in Chicagoland, and you have not visited the wondrous tasty heaven that is Bittersweet, you really need to get yourself down to Belmont and give them a try.
I have a very active and demanding sweet tooth. I always have. I love sugar in all of its scrumptious and wonderful forms, but there is nothing that makes my mouth water like pastry shops. Ever since I studied abroad and discovered the wonders of French pastries, I have been trying to find their equals in the United States. Bittersweet's are worthy of a corner in Lyon.
They sport a lovely variety of tarts, ganaches, cookies, and cakes as well as, you know, real food. Bittersweet was the first pastry shop that I found in Chicago, and it is still my favorite. The quality of their sweets is hard to beat, and I was very happy to find that they offer free samples pretty much all the time.
Naturally, I wanted to do a wedding cake tasting to see what they could really do.
So, so worth it.
I really like the way they set up the tasting. They gave us pieces of the cakes they provide (unfrosted), a small cup of frosting, a row of cups of filling, and pieces of fruit so that we could try different cakes with different fillings and see if we wanted to add fruit. It was really nice to be able to customize our own cake on the spot, and I enjoyed downing the fillings after we were done with the actual tasting part. I also really liked that the lady who was helping us left us alone while we were looking through cake pictures and when we started the actual tasting. It was nice to not have someone watching us while we discussed options.
Speaking of which, Daniel and I got a little carried away in the experience. We actually picked out a cake and everything. I think our enthusiasm was mostly due to the fact that the cake was so good that we both really wanted to actually book Bittersweet as our cakery. I don't even want to think about what the delivery charge on that would be, haha.
But seriously, we would probably be booking them if we were having our wedding in Chicago. They aren't cheap, but the aren't any more expensive than most of the places I've looked at, and the quality is to die for.
So yeah, go check them out if you can. It's so worth it.
1114 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
Yummy Bittersweet Cakes
All right Chicagolanders, what are your favorite pastry shops/bakeries/other places Nicole can get her sweet on? And Southern California residents, if you got this far, where are you getting your cakes? Cuz I seriously don't even know where to start looking when I get back.