>> 7/29/13

62 Carmine Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-2240

The cupcake scene here in New York seemed to have peaked a few years ago when a new cupcake shop was opening every two days and Crumbs Bakery suddenly expanded to Starbucks proportions. That said, there is now and always will be a sweet spot for the urban cupcake place, even if they all end up blending together the way that Greek diners have. Every once in a while, a shop will open up and try to break the mold; try to come up with a new twist differentiating their buttercream topped risen dough from all of the others. Sometimes they sell hamburgers too. Sometimes they make each cupcake bite-sized. But, for reasons that I can only attribute to the hassles of getting a liquor license, the cupcake shop/wine bar isn't a concept that's exploded to its full potential. It's a good idea. Nay, it's a great idea.

Myna loves Sweet Revenge and it was she who introduced me to it. Cupcakes. Wine. Paired. Simple. Why isn't this being done everywhere?

Sweet Revenge's interior has its rustic charm with raw wood tables, vintage chairs, and the occasional fern. Unlike almost any other cupcake shop (shoppe?) that I've been to, there is table service and you can order brunch just in case you show up on a Sunday afternoon. And of course, they make espresso.

We ordered two cupcakes. Myna chose their signature Sweet Revenge because it's her favorite, while I went for one of the rotating "specials", the Tart. The tart initially feels like a simple lemon cupcake, but you'll soon learn that it's not. It's a lemon vanilla cake with a tart curd center and a lemon buttercream frosting topped with shaved lemon zest. Part of me wished that it had a raspberry jam center, but it was great as it was. Plus, the jam might be cliche. The sweet revenge cupcake couldn't have been more different. Its peanut butter cake, ganache filling and peanut butter frosting make it exceptionally heavy and intensely sweet; a whole meal and a dentist's wet dream. Don't order it looking for a light little dessert. The menu pairs each cupcake with a suggested wine, but we ordered each with a glass of bubbly prosecco. It was too hot out for red.

Cupcakes run $3.50 each. Wines are available by the bottle or by the glass for about what you'd expect to pay for wine at a cute wine bar in the West Village.

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