For decades, the square stone building around the corner from Trio downtown was home to Janet Russell Candies—a funky old sweet shop that catered to a loyal clientele. Then along came Xocolate, ushering the new millennium in with a sleek look and the kick of dark chocolate infused with hot chiles. Today, the beautifully renovated space with south-facing glass walls and two big communal tables is home to Tulie Bakery—a brilliant pastry shop and café.
Lest pastry aficionados fear that Tulie is a twisted spelling of the thin French cookie called a tuile, you should know that Tulie is named for a cat, and that owner/self-taught pastry wizard Leslie Seggar knows exactly what’s she’s doing—on every level, from croissants to hot-pressed sandwiches. The very thought of a warm Tulie morning bun with a freshly brewed café Americano is one of the best reasons I know of to get out of bed. With a feathery texture, judicious sprinklings of sugar and cinnamon and perfectly gooey inner swirls revealing fragrant orange peel, this spiral bun compels those of us with no shame to unravel it and eat the center first.
Seegar starts with local, pure and— whenever possible—organic ingredients. She spins creme fraíche into her coffee cake, pure vanilla into her soft, buttery yellow cake. Her tarts, from fresh fruit to lemon cream, are cradled in the flakiest of pastry shells. Tulie’s glass cases house a bevy of gorgeous one and three-layer cakes, from Orange Poppy to German Chocolate. Some have balked at the prices, which go up to $58 for a 9-inch triple layer cake, but consider this: A 9-inch single layer cake like the orange poppy is so rich and dense, it can make up to 18 people very happy. Sweet.
863 E. 700 South
Thursdays, 6 p.m. Continues through Aug. 28 / Free