Okay this is genius.
Cupcakes + wine. A perfect combination.
When my dear friend Claire from high school visited NYC, we decided to go to Sweet Revenge, a dessert bar that specializes in cupcake and wine pairings. It is small, cozy restaurant located in West Village. Unfortunately I was not able to snap a picture of it, but here’s an image I found online of the restaurant in daylight.
We went at around 9 on a Friday night expecting a long wait, but lucky for us we were seated right away. The interior is quite tightly spaced and intimate, with little wooden tables and dim lighting. The waiter handed us an menu with an extensive listing of cupcake flavors from Creamsicle to Mayan Chocolate, along with suggested wine or beer pairings. However, only four flavors are offered per day. I went with the “Dirty”, which is described as Valrhona chocolate cake with dark chocolate truffle frosting, and paired it with a sweet rose moscato. Claire ordered the signature “Sweet Revenge”, which is peanut butter cake and ganache filling with peanut butter fudge frosting, and paired it with a glass of Malbec.
I absolutely LOVED my cupcake. The dark chocolate was indeed dark, not overly sweet but incredibly rich. The cake itself was very dense, and on the drier side compared to most other cupcakes I’ve had. There was a generous amount of frosting on top, which I devoured. Funny thing is, frosting used to be my least favorite part of cupcakes. Now, it is what makes or breaks a cupcake for me. And this dark chocolate truffle frosting definitely made the cupcake!
The sparkling rose was a nice accompaniment to the cupcake. It was sweet and light, which really worked well in counterbalancing the heaviness of the chocolate. However, I find that taking sips of the rose and then a bite of the cupcake took the sweetness of the cupcake, which is not ideal since there was so little sweetness in the first place. I ended up just eating my cupcake first and drinking my rose “for dessert” haha.
Claire’s peanut butter cupcake definitely did not lack in the sweetness department. It was really delicious – there were small peanut pieces in the cake itself, and the frosting was absolutely positively peanut-buttery. That really is the most accurate way I can describe it – it was pretty much like eating a spoonful of sweet peanut butter. My mouth is watering simply writing about it. Even though I’m a die-hard peanut butter fan, the cupcake was a tad too sweet for me. Each of us ended up preferring our own cupcakes, though, which worked out well!
I wish I could have gotten better quality photos, but the restaurant interior was so dark and flash really took out much of the color.
Overall Sweet Revenge is a really great place to check out if you’re in for a laid-back night. The waiters don’t rush you at all, and the atmosphere is relaxed with almost a vintage feel. Don’t come expecting a big crowd or rowdy environment. The cupcakes that we tried were really good – I’d say that they’re on par with Magnolia cupcakes, but the Sweet Revenge cupcakes are larger and come in more creative flavors. I do want to go back in the future to try more of the pairings; there’s a pumpkin spice cupcake + pear cider beer paring that I have my eyes on