Saturday, August 18, 2012
Georgetown Cupcake Comes to NYC
For those of you who know me well are familiar with how enamored I am with cupcakes. Having tried most well-known cupcakeries in Astoria and NYC, I'm always looking for that next little decadent taste of perfection, and I've recently found it at Georgetown Cupcake, which is now open in NYC.
Being a huge fan of cupcakes, I naturally not only eat them or bake them, I also love to immerse myself in cooking shows that feature them. One of the better ones out there is TLC's DC Cupcakes, highlighting two sisters and friends who own a bakeshop called Georgetown Cupcake. It's needless to say that I'm always drooling each time I watch them make their decadent treats, but also marveling at the challenges they constantly overcome that come with owning your own small business.
It's exciting to see that their cupcake empire is growing, a new outpost opening right here in NYC in the Soho area where I work. Having now sampled these cupcakes on three occasions, and recently buying them for my friend Dianne's bbq, I just had to tell you about my experience.
A common challenge with fancy bakeries in NYC is that they're super small and often cramped with people (including tourists). You'd expect Georgetown Cupcake to fall into this category, but it's nice to see they were pretty selective with their space and chose a really long, high-ceiling space on Mercer street, in the heart of Soho.
Not only is there enough room up front to admire their display case, there's also a nice seating area for people to relax and enjoy their treats on the premises.
Overall, I adore the space and its embellishments, which are really colorful and feminine. The cupcakes are the main showpiece, as they should be, and they deck the front counter with some pretty elaborate displays. Good cupcake art is hard to come by, but at Georgetown, they've nailed it with a gargantuan mural of fancy cupcakes, somewhat reminiscent of a Warholian style. The blinged out pink stand mixer is also something to admire and I just couldn't not snap a photo to record the memory.
With about 16 different regular flavors as well as daily specials, choosing a dozen cupcakes here is no easy feat. But it can be done! Some of the flavors vary only slightly and I think it's good to go for a couple of classics and then finish off the assortment with some interesting stand-outs. That's just what I did when picking out my dozen. While I naturally didn't get to try them all, here are the three that I did:
Red Velvet - The signature Georgetown red velvet cupcake is really sweet, and not in the literal sense. I like the soft, spongy texture of the dough that's perfectly moist and actually quite simple. Where things really kick up a notch is in the vanilla, cream cheese frosting that's a wonderful combination of tangy and sweet. All this goodness is sealed with a red fondant heart, which helps to communicate its red velvetiness.
Banana Split - Because I'm a sucker for banana desserts, I just had to get two of these cupcakes in my dozen to make sure I get to try it. The inside was made of fresh banana cake with an injection of dark fudge while topped with vanilla buttercream frosting, chocolate fudge, sprinkles, hazelnuts and a maraschino cherry. The combination was reminiscent of a good quality banana split sundae, just without the ice cream. I can see kids really going for this one, due to its festive appearance and delicious filling.
PB Fudge - Let's face it...almost everyone loves peanut butter, and especially on desserts, so naturally I could not, not get this cupcake. Combining a classic valrhona chocolate dough with an airy peanut butter mousse on top as the frosting, it was simple and nostalgic. While it didn't need much else to add to it, I think fresh slices of banana may be a nice suggestion, as I thought it needed something to cut that richness.
Service and Cost:
Georgetown's experience definitely shines through, as they had a great system down for ordering and picking up your cupcakes. All the ordering is done up front, after which everyone gets a number and you wait and watch your cupcakes being assembled. I liked the way this all worked because each order was really arranged with care, each person receiving great customer service.
Costs are expensive, but absolutely worth every penny:
$15 for 1/2 dozen
$29 for 1 dozen
Georgetown Cupcake - 111 Mercer Street, New York NY 10012
N/R Train to Prince Street