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Chocolate heaven in cake form

Autumnal blessings on us all, especially those in proximity to the forthcoming R and M Dessert Bar. Landing at 601 East Pike Street, this cafe promises a whole array of baked goods, specialty sweets, confections, and savory offerings, too. 

Marc Adams and Rod Gambassi have long dreamt of opening a treat-filled cafe. The couple has been in the baking game for, oh, over a decade, making custom cakes and towering creations for weddings, parties, and events, plus developing recipes for Disney Springs and popping up at places like Williams Sonoma and West Elm. But for the past seven years, Adams and Gambassi have been looking to their families for inspiration. "We each took our grandmother's recipe books and started seeing which recipes we could modernize a little bit." Adams is from Pennsylvania, so flavors might skew German or Pennsylvania Dutch, while Gambassi, who originally hails from Brazil, pulls from Brazilian, Italian, Polish, Japanese, and other European influences. "You're going to find that we try to use as few ingredients as possible," says Adams, "which is why we're going back to our grandmother's recipe books."

Those influences might come in the form of fruit tarts, French macarons, a slew of specialty cakes, among other baked goods. But don't be fooled: This isn't just a bakeshop. R and M Dessert Bar will be a full service cafe with humble seating. Still, stay and dine on savory fare like a golden-brown zucchini bake—here, a cross between a quiche sans crust and souffle—that's served with an arugula salad topped with housemade granola, red wine–pickled onion. There will even be suggested pairings with beer, wine, cider, coffee, and nonalcoholic drinks too. You don't have to get dessert afterwards, but most savory items will be on the light side. And that's intentional, says Adams, "We do want people to always have room for dessert of course." 

Besides the cafe proper, there will be a walkup window on Pike, where you can pickup preordered desserts or order from a special menu of grab-and-go items that'll be available until the wee hours. Indeed, R and M's hours will be about 3pm until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 3pm to 2am on Friday and Saturday. Consider this your late-night sweet spot.

With much ready to go, Adams expects R and M Dessert Bar (yes, the "R" stands for Rod and "M" for Marc) to open mid-October. Follow their Instagram page for updates—but be warned: Don't go scrolling on an empty stomach. 

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