15 Jun 2011

First Bite: The Sweet Lobby

Photo by María Helena Carey, who may write the next Great American Novel after eating one of these babies. Or not.

If you have ever awakened and wondered why Capitol Hill has a sad dearth of places where you can sink your teeth into the yielding but satisfying crunch of a macaron cookie, wonder no more, ye snooty masses: The Sweet Lobby is here to make your picky snacking dreams come true.

Once you walk into the tiny, cozy store, you are greeted by a posh palette of bright orange, chocolate brown and gold.  There are beautiful tea tins and lovely gift boxes that make you feel you are about to have a very, very special treat.  And then there are the glass cases, filled with all manner of perfect sweets –and more than a few savory treats– that confirm what the carefully orchestrated décor is trying to tell you: you are in for something good.

Photo by María Helena Carey

Winnette and Tony McIntosh are the brother and sister behind the Sweet Lobby –both chemical engineers using their education to make your taste buds dance and sing– and they have been deeply involved from the outset in every detail of the business, down to the beautiful own-label tea, which Winnette supervised to the tiniest detail to make sure it’s as fresh as it can be.

There are macarons –naturellement– in a rotating assortment of colors of the rainbow.  They are petite in size, so make sure to get more than one (and do try the Ginger-Orange, as it is their signature flavor). The same goes for Proust’s inspirational cookie, the Madeleine, which is buttery and spongy.  There are lovely shortbread cookies and savory little crisps if you have to have a palate cleanser in between goodies– these underrated treats are among their best and I cannot recommend them enough.  They also have cupcakes that look absolutely beautiful –although I must confess that the Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate was a little too over the top for even this chocolate fiend.

Phot by María Helena Carey

The only thing that would make this delightful teacup-sized store would be a nice place to sit so you can enjoy your treats and linger for a bit longer.  If you go, plan on taking your pretty treats home, so you can really enjoy them with due reverence.

The Sweet Lobby is located at 404 8th Street, SE.  For more information, visit their website at http://www.thesweetlobby.com/

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6 responses to “First Bite: The Sweet Lobby”

  1. Kate McFadden says:

    I’m so thrilled I don’t have to travel to Georgetown for my macaron fix. Is pistachio on the menu? Hazelnut?

    • I am pretty sure that they change up the flavors every day, and they seem to be announcing the daily choices on Facebook and Twitter. I had a lemon the other day and it was really delicious. And yes, they had pistachio too!

    • I am pretty sure that they change up the flavors every day, and they seem to be announcing the daily choices on Facebook and Twitter. I had a lemon the other day and it was really delicious. And yes, they had pistachio too!

  2. Mark Edwards says:

    I tried the macarons last night. They were so good my knees buckled.

  3. María Helena Carey says:

    They had pistachio and hazelnut the night I went, but seriously? The Orange-Ginger may make you tear up.

    @Mark– I hear you. I hope you had something to grab onto.

  4. Anonymous says:

    OMG-I bought a few macarons today and a couple of cupcakes, and the Salted Caramel macaron seriously almost made me faint-(I haven’t tried the others, saving those for later.) Deliciously tender/crispy cookie and finally, FINALLY a buttercream frosting that tastes like it’s supposed to-creamy, light and not too sweet. The CakeLove buttercream fraud that has been perpetrated on DC residents, lo these many years, will finally be exposed! The cupcake was terrific as well, I tried the dark chocolate (midnight?) cupcake and it was fantastic. Very much like a really good homemade cupcake that I make myself, but better. I embarrassed myself by nearly duking it out with my 8 yo for the crumbs. Those who know me, know that I am a severe critic of all these food fads (I will concede that Georgetown cupcake makes an excellent cupcake, but as to the others-meh.) and “bakeries” that have opened on the Hill only to have their product made at some unknown location and trucked in, but The Sweet Lobby is the real deal. If they can make this business work AND maintain the high quality and sheer delectableness of their baked goods, well then, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. This could become a real problem for me.

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