By Caroline Gentile ’17
Hidden away underneath O2 Yoga on Mass Ave is Violette, a gluten-free bakery that even gluten-lovers need to try. Violette offers a smorgasbord of cookies, cakes, pies, cupcakes, bread pudding, empanadas, sandwiches, and both sweet and savory breads—all hand-made from scratch, using gluten-free, organic, and locally-sourced ingredients. Though Violette’s treats are a little more expensive than typical bakery goods, they are worth the extra cash given the high quality of their ingredients and the great effort put forth to make each and every treat by hand. Violette’s main goal is to offer gluten-free baked goods that aren’t “good for gluten-free”, but just plain good. I would venture to say that they definitely achieve this goal, and in fact, surpass “just plain good”.
I had the pleasure of going to Violette on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. On a nice day like that, sunlight streams in through the windows, reflecting off of the glass cake-stands containing their delicious offerings. Strings of white Christmas lights line the walls and the display area, giving the whole place an angelic glow.
After I got over how adorable and inviting the décor was, I focused on why I was really there: the baked goods. Everything looked amazing. There was peanut-butter glazed apple bread pudding, chocolate chip walnut cookies, nutella macarons, cranberry oatmeal cookies, salted caramel cake with chocolate ganache, orange almond cake…the list goes on and on. I probably spent a solid 10 minutes trying to decide what I wanted to try, until I finally gave up and asked the server what their most popular treats were. “Our breads,” he said. “ I really like our bread pudding, but most people come here for our breads because they find it hard to believe that gluten-free bread is any good. Also, our cookies are pretty good.”
So my friend and I grabbed a loaf of chocolate chip banana nut bread, an assortment of cookies (peanut butter, peanut butter chip, chocolate chip walnut, cranberry oatmeal, and both raspberry and nutella macarons) and two cupcakes, one chocolate with dark chocolate buttercream and the other vanilla with apricot rose buttercream. Call us gluttons, but we hadn’t eaten lunch and simply had to try it all.
The highlights of our feast were the cupcakes and the banana bread. Usually, I am not a fan of chocolate cupcakes because the cake itself tends to be dry. The chocolate cupcake I had at Violette, however, was moist, intensely chocolate-y, and almost melted in my mouth—definitely the best chocolate cupcake I had ever had. As for the banana bread, I had to eventually hide it from myself so that I wouldn’t eat the whole loaf in one sitting. Fragrant, and also very moist, it was bursting with banana flavor, with the occasional hint of dark chocolate and crunch of candied walnut. The cookies that we tried were also pretty good, but they did not stand out nearly as much as the bread and the cupcakes.
With a great ambiance and delicious food, Violette is a must-try. Unfortunately, however, their landlord has tripled their rent, and on August 24th, they will temporarily close until they can find a new space. On their website, violettegf.com, is a link to an Indiegogo campaign to which anyone can contribute money to help them open a new bakery. With a loyal following of gluten-free dessert-lovers, which now includes me, I am sure that Violette will be back in business soon. We will keep you posted as to when exactly that is, but until then, try to get over there before August 24th and stock up on their banana bread and cupcakes!