May 2008 Issue
Tea Time - The BonBonerie
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It’s hard to imagine what’s more whimsical at The BonBonerie, a bakery in the Queen City: its eclectic tearoom or its to-die-for decorated cakes and fancy cutout cookies.
Granted, with such signature desserts as the Opera Cream Torte –– a double chocolate chip cake filled and iced with vanilla cream, heaped with rich chocolate glaze and shavings, and garnished with white-chocolate diamonds and rosettes –– the establishment in Cincinnati’s O’Bryonville neighborhood is best known for turning pastries into works of art. But the sunny space that serves as its tearoom also has its share of devotees. Whether it’s the stylishly mismatched chairs, checkerboard floor and original artwork on the walls, or the more than 75 different types of tea, both the upbeat setting and the warm service promise to postpone life’s daily stresses.
Grandmothers and granddaughters, birthday celebrants, bridal and baby shower parties –– co-owner Sharon Butler says The BonBonerie’s vibrant tearoom is tailor-made for reveling in the company of others. Tea lunches are always available, where visitors can nosh on pastries and such filling, American fare as baked ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches (featuring a homemade dill mayonnaise and meat baked by the neighborhood butcher), and a bowl of the homemade soup du jour, served with a French baguette, fresh fruit and tea cookie. Naturally, diners complement their meals with one of The BonBonerie’s wealth of teas,
including a black tea infused with violet flowers, and the delicate variety known as Organic Snow Buds: a rare white tea with a complex flavor and aroma of toasted grains and baked sweet potato.
The tearoom also welcomes children who’ve hosted their share of imaginary tea parties with dolls and are now ready to graduate to a fun-filled afternoon with friends. Adults and little ones alike can enjoy the leisure of their very own Afternoon Tea service (reservations required). In addition to the fresh fruits, fruit bread, scones and pastries, grownups nosh on savory quiche, dill biscuits and finger sandwiches; kids get their own menu of peanut butter-and-jelly and turkey-and-cheese finger sandwiches. 2030 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, 513/321-3399. www.thebonbon.com