Asheley Carey Hayes and I met for coffee this morning at Karen Donatelli Cake Designs & Cafe. It’s the first time I’ve been, but WILL NOT be the last!
Donatelli’s is a destination bakery that fills their cases with exceptional treats like larger-than-life plain and chocolate croissants, orange marmalade brioche, fresh-fruit tarts, petits fours and cakes. I say destination bakery because once you’ve been, you’ll find yourself heading in to town for no other reason than to visit Donatelli’s.
The kitchen door in back is open, offering a glimpse into the heart of the operation.
Ashley’s ridiculously crisp-flaky croissant was served piping hot, right out of the oven. Buttery and airy inside, it tasted (thanks for sharing, Ashley) like a big honkin’ crescent-moon shaped piece of happiness.
Brioche is wonderful all by itself. Bake orange marmalade into it, and it’s that much better. This is true whether you’re an orange marmalade freak like me, or not. In a word, fantastic. It was fun pulling buttery, soft, bite-sized pieces from the loaf, revealing how the ball of dough had come together before being put into the form for baking.
This is what the cases looked like today:
Lattes are surprisingly good considering Donatelli has said she would serve espresso drinks, but that her focus would be the bakery side of things.
Epicurean Notes: If you think you’d like something from Donatelli’s for holiday gatherings, better order now!
Karen Donatelli Cake Designs & Cafe
57 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801