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.
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.
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/