Sweet Revenge: Cupcakes, Wine & the West Village

/ Monday, May 18, 2009

If I were to imagine the perfect party, there are a few fundamental elements I'd keep in mind: great friends, family, bistro fare, cobblestone streets & cupcakes. New York City is saturated with quaint cafes and a myriad of other party locales, but finding your "perfect party" is more difficult than you'd think. Luckily, when you find your gem of a venue everything else seems to fall into place. Welcome to Sweet Revenge, my personal party rêve!
Sweet Revenge is tucked in the midst of Carmine street in the West Village. As a hybrid between a bistroesque resto/bar and a small bakery, Sweet Revenge has a tiny something to suit everyone's taste. The menu is simple yet completely delicious. Stop in for an early morning meal of oatmeal with honey & streusel or savor the evening with a glass of pinot noir in one hand and a artisan sandwich in the other. Try the Parisian, it's fantastic! My favorite feature of the spot are the beer & wine pairings with the signature cupcakes. You'll hear more about those later :)

Before I get into the festivities of the evening, you need to know a bit more about Sweet Revenge and its beginnings. Owner Marlo, pictured at the beginning of the post, is an inspiration for myself and anyone else who has dreamed of owning their own culinary outpost. As an employee of "corperate America" Marlo enjoyed baking & cooking, but it was not until she lost her job that she was able to take on the challenge of opening her own cafe. Her launch into the culinary industry of Manhattan was her "sweet revenge" against the corperate world that let her go. Stick it to the man Marlo, you have an amazing thing going for you!!The spot has been opened for a while now and continues to grown in popularity. More and more frequently I hear friends and acquaintences whispering about the cupcakes that sit, waiting to be eaten, on Carmine street. Part of me wants to keep this place a secret, but there's no way I could deny Marlo & her cupcakes the attention & recognition that they deserve! I hope you all go out to visit her in waves. Go to Sweet Revenge! It rocks!

Sweet Revenge is known for their savory cakes; scones like confections speckled with cheese, veggies, meats and/or herbs. Marlo set up a spread with all four of her savory snacks. You can see from the picture that each one is chocked full of color and flavor...can you see the bits of roasted red pepper? Each savory cake is paired with it's own dipping sauce. I love food that's interactive. You can try one yourself at Sweet Revenge. The four flavors are:
  • Jamaican Curry-Curry Cake with Chickpeas, Ricotta, Red Pepper with a coconut curry sauce. (Has a great mellow curry taste with the spicy peppers)
  • Seville- Chorizo, Manchego, and Scallions with a Romanesco dipping sauce.
  • Tuscan- Roasted Red Pepper, Parmesan and caramelized shallots with a Red Pepper Dipping Sauce. (The parmesan chunks were DF's favorite)
  • Croque Monsieur- Ham and Jarlesburg with a Dijon mustard dipping sauce. (Just like the sandwich, but all in one bite!)
Along with the cakes Marlo served up cheese, crackers, fruit, spiced nuts and a fantastic green salad. Two of her artisan sandwiches also graced the menu. There are still a few left in my fridge :)

And now, for the cupcakes...
Marlo was kind enough to let me choose three cupcakes to be served during the get together, unfortunately I couldn't make up my mind and that 3 turned into 4. Thank you :) !! Whatever you're doing, stop and read over her cupcake menu. It is unreal. I steered away from all the normal cakes and went for the cupcakes that really peaked my interest. Although you know full well that I love all things tiny and frosted, I will rank the party cupcakes from my personal favorite to just plain yummy.

  1. The Sweet Revenge: No wonder this cupcake is named after it's home. In my humble opinion, this is the my delectable treat on the menu. A peanut butter cake, filled with chocolate ganache and frosted with a peanut butter frosting, it's the best of both world, salty & sweet. The frosting is totally additive.
  2. The Dirty: Dark, dark and darker! Who doesn't like their dessert to be a little dirty? This is a Vahlrona chocoalte cake with Dark Chocolate Truffle frosting.
  3. Spice Island Carrot: Spiced Carrot Cake with Carrot Cream Cheese Frosting.
  4. Malaysian Coconut: Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream.
I think the true test of a good party is whether or not your guest are smiling and the night reflects your personal flare. Smiles...check. Flare...check. Come on, cupcakes and wine...it just screamed food & femininity!

My friends and family have slowly turned into a panel of expert cupcake connaisseurs over the years. If they think a sweet is scrumptious, it's a good indication that it's worth a taste. Here we have the spectrum of judges: my cousin Eli above and Carrie & Lee below! Lee loved the Carrot Island Cake...she's a fan of all things spicy. Remember her birthday Lee Leche Chai Cupcakes? Carrie savored the Dirty. With all of that chocolate, I'd say she made a wise decision!

Carrot Cupcake in the process of inhalation.
Take a peek at the dense chocolate ganache center of the Sweet Revenge.

Katherine, the hostess with the mostess.

Being at Sweet Revenge really inspired me to kick my "cupcake inventing" up a notch. Can't wait to share the latest and greatest with you guys. Enjoy!

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