It is fortunate indeed that Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Cafe is not located closer to my home. If it were, there would be a large pile of Levis, khakis and dress pants on the way to charity, and my closet would become home to more sweatpants than a sporting goods store.
With intense overindulgence a given if proximity permitted, the only question would be if the bread or the pastries would be my ultimate downfall.
A leading candidate would be the Gruyere Focaccia. Before tasting this cheesy circle of goodness, I had always thought the line "a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou" sounded like a pretty unsatisfying lineup. Now, it makes sense. And, truthfully, thou's absence means more focaccia for me, pushing "two out of three" well past "ain't bad" status.
Then again, getting a loaf of Walnut Levain would mean having enough to share. Granted, there may be some reluctance to do so, but there would be enough of the crusty, nutty bread to go around. Alongside a beef stew, it's hearty and perfect for a chilly night, as the loaf I took home proved.
If you're just pairing selections with a cup of coffee, the pastry choices will not disappoint. A highlight is the Chocolate Cork. Taking the cork name from its shape, the moist cake interior has nuggets of chocolate chips throughout and a dusting of powdered sugar on top. The flaky Chocolate Croissant, with two thin ribbons of chocolate running through its echo chamber interior, is a great alternative if you want a less chocolatey chocolate experience.
The Apple Almond Tart is a saucer-sized circle of flavor, as pretty as it is delicious. Crescents of apple arc across the top. Biting into it discovers the hint of almond mingled with the fruit. Almond fans such as myself may ponder the outcome if they practiced less restraint with the almond flavoring, but the dish is delectable as is.
There were other enjoyable choices as well. They included an item that was similar to a mini-apple crumble, with cinnamon and fruit, and a savory bacon herb scone.
Night Kitchen has only been open a short while and the space is not completely finished yet. When you walk in you'll find two sturdy plank tables with benches. With only two tables, you may well end up sharing space with strangers if you choose to dine in. However, based on the amount of empty area, I'm guessing there will be more seating available in the future. It will be needed when Night Kitchen follows through with plans to add sandwiches and such to its menu.
People are already discovering Night Kitchen. A recent weekday afternoon saw a number of customers come in to pick up a treat to take away. As word spreads, that number will grow. And sweatpants manufacturers' smiles will grow right along with it.
This article appeared in print with the headline "Temptations of the night"