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La Tulipe or Lulu's?

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I'm hosting a couple's baby shower in Greenwich and am looking to order a cake or possibly two (just for variety) for about 20-25 people. I've heard great things about La Tulipe and Lulu's but have never been to either. (I live in VA.) I'm looking for cakes that taste amazing, and are pretty but no specific design. Taste is the biggest concern. Also, any idea on what I should expect a cake to cost? Would really appreciate any advice. Thanks!

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  1. I have only had the cakes from La Tulipe and they are all flash, no substance, imo.

    If you want a different kind of cake, try a tiramisu cake from That Little Italian Restaurant in Greenwich, near the Portchester border. Outstanding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dolores

      Dolores - once again, I so agree with you. The cakes are beautiful but no taste. I find L'Anjou better, but I do like the croissants at LT.

    2. I have never been to La Tulipe, but I have ordered 3 cakes from Lulu's in the past 4 months. The most expensive was for my son's 1st birthday party. It was a 2-tier custom cake and it cost $225 (this was for about 50 people). Top layer was chocolate cake with cookies and cream filling (I think Lulu's call it cookie monster) and bottom tier was yellow cake with chocolate pudding filling.

      The next cake was for my daughter's 3rd birthday party and it was just 1 tier custom and it cost $150 for about (30 people). This time, all chocolate cake with cookies and cream filling.

      Last cake was for my husband's birthday, and this wasn't a custom cake, necessarily, but just a 6" cake with the chocolate cake and cookies and cream filling. They did decorate it really nicely, though, with fondant stars and silver thingies on it. This one was only $30.

      In case you couldn't tell, we LOVE the cookie monster cake!

      There are some naysayers here, and people who say that Lulu is difficult to work with. I have been nothing but pleased (obviously we keep going back!) and they have always been as nice as could be.

      And most importantly, we think the cakes are delicious.

      3 Replies
      1. re: valerie

        Thanks for the replies. I love tiramisu but the couple has requested chocolate. Sounds like the "cookie monster" is great. Chocolate but not too dark & rich. Thanks again.

        1. re: cameronTea

          My favorite at Lulu's has always been their Brooklyn Blackout cake. I read valerie's review of the cookie monster cake (belated thank you valerie) and had to try that one next...amazing. They are so friendly and great to work with.

          1. re: annemarie115

            We've loved just about everything we've ever had from Lulu's, including Cookie Monster and Brooklyn Blackout cakes - but our favorite is the After Midnight, a dark chocolate fan's delight, based on their intensely flavorful devil's food cake.

            Oops. I just noted the OP is not looking for dark & rich - which defines the After Midnight cake, so this may not be what's wanted - but overall, you just can't go wrong with Lulu's.

      2. without a doubt la tulipe. that guy martin is one talented guy, and the french macaroons are far and away the best i have tasted in my life, and i have tasted alot!!! plus, his artistic side is unbelievable.

        4 Replies
        1. re: 5pmshadow

          Lulu's......love the cupcakes!

          1. re: 5pmshadow

            But the OP is looking for cake. The cakes I've had from La Tulipe were decorated to the max (and uber expensive, I was told), in fact overdecorated, imo, and tasted like a mix.

            Their apple pie is sub-par as well.

            1. re: dolores

              Thanks again for all the responses! Has anyone tried the non-chocolate cake flavors at Lulu's? I was thinking of getting two flavors so the people who are not chocolate fans have another option.

              1. re: cameronTea

                Lulu's makes a coconut cake with marshmallow frosting that's really good if you're a coconut lover. I also liked their lemon-raspberry a lot.

                Also, I forgot to note their superlative German Chocolate Cake in the chocolate category - the best I've had anywhere, and I've eaten a lot of German Chocolate cake over the years! It's a lighter, milkier chocolate than the After Midnight.

                For a complete cake listing, select "menu" at their website:

                www.sweetsbylulu.com

          2. La Tulipe makes something called a Chocolate Extreme cake, that looks like a dome-- I've only had the mini version, but it blew me away. It's covered in ganache and filled with dense chocolate cake and the most amazing chocolate mousse.

            http://www.latulipedesserts.com/cakes...

            Oh, and if you need something more chocolatey to go along with it, as 5pmshadow said, the macarons-- ESPECIALLY the chocolate-- are incredible.

            6 Replies
            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

              You guys have it all wrong....hahaha! (just kidding) The Glazey River is the BEST cake , if you want light and dreamy, at Lulu's. How can you go wrong with nutella and crunchy pieces of hazelnut(? ) A close second would be the BEFORE midnight, made with some sour cream light and slightly tangy yellow cake, nice tender crumb, filled with mousse and ganache. Outrageous!

              Have tried La Tulipe a few times and not terribly impressed, rather go to La Rennaisance if I want something more "French" even though their product is not as good as it used to be. I think we had the chocolate dome cake at La Tulipe, and while I must admit, it was GORGEOUS, the cake tasted o.k. and there was left-over cake, which never happens with a Lulu cake!

              On another note, however, the french macarons at La Tulipe are outstanding!

              1. re: RawTunaFan

                I can definitely see there being leftovers of the dome cake-- so rich. That's why the mini one was perfect! Yay for their macarons!

                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                  Is the dome cake the one with the masses of stylized chocolate decoration? If so, that's the one I had.

                  I think there were leftovers because it was not a very good cake.

                  1. re: dolores

                    It was very plain, not many decorations. The mini cake I had was delicious, so either we had different cakes, or to each her own.

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      I will have to also defend the Chocolate Extreme - very rich but excellent and decadent. Not fancily decorated - I believe it's glazed with a ganache and has a small chocolate decoration in the very center, with chocolate macaroons around the edge. Tasteful and delicious. That said, to me it's more of a mousse-like dessert than a true cake like the OP was requesting. But overall I've had a very positive experience at La Tulipe - have not yet tried Lulu's to compare!

                      1. re: kerryfood

                        Then it wasn't the Chocolate Extreme. This thing had layer upon layer of sheet choclate piled on top of a cake. It made cutting the cake extremely difficult, unless all of that decoration was taken off.

                        Quite a yawner.

            2. Ive only had Lulu's so im gonna say GO LULUS!!!
              Yesterday, i tried the Coconut Cake with Marshmallow Frosting... it was so insanely goood! I think everything that involves a yellow cake is divine.... its super moist, but NOT GREASY! and the perfect sweetness... i find all their cakes to be so perfectly balanced in terms of flavors!
              My favorite cake though was the Dulce De Leche.... First of all, the caramel frosting is perfection and it has slivered almonds in between the layers of cake..... a nice little crunch! I LOVE IT!

              1. You should really check out the awesome picture's on lulu's website- everythinglulu.com. Their shower cakes look really sweet. I don't know about the prices though- I guess you'd have to call.
                But when you say it has to be a cake and "taste is the biggest concern"- I'd go lulu's. Theirs are the only cakes around that are actually moist, which makes such a difference. I've had a few of their cakes, and my friends actually recently had a pretty big one for a birthday party (a 2-tier... I didn't ask them how much they paid, but this was a medium-to-flashy birthday party). I've never before seen people actually finish a cake at a party- it was pretty funny. I've heard nothing but mediocre things about la tulipe's taste, but if you want to take a chance, you could at least report back to me haha- my boyfriend's birthday is coming up!
                Another note, lulu's cakes are really customizable- I always hear people ordering off-menu flavors when I'm in there. They work with what you want. When I look at the la tulipe cakes, they're gorgeous but I can't imagine that they're customizable. But I don't know that for sure- maybe someone else does.

                I also don't know how old you are, but lulu's is definitely hipper. I always feel like I should be fifty and full of money when I walk into la tulipe... everything's gold and gorgeous but... not friendly. Lulu's is more spacious to me. And I think they rennovated, but I haven't seen it yet- I should get down there this week, though.

                Hope that helps. Let us know which way you go!

                4 Replies
                1. re: Sourise

                  Tulipe has one as well. Jfood almost took a trip over the hill to MK to do a joint Tulipe & Smokehouse run but decided on a Burger in Greenwich instead.

                  Both sites look outstanding.

                  1. re: jfood

                    another plus for lulu....

                    i have to admit i was about to order a special custom cake from la tulipe before i read a review on here about lulus cake boutique. the cakes at la tulipe are really pretty, but too rich for my taste and the designs werent as trendy and fashionable as lulu.

                    after reading a review on this site by valerie, not only did i follow her rec on lulu, but also catering by standing room only, so thanks valerie for your in depth post on your positive experiences at both places, as it was valuable and single-handedly created a successful event for our party. (sorry i wanted to thank you earlier, but couldnt seem to find your post buried on this site.)

                    jack at standing room only was incredibly helpful and did a bang up job preparing and catering my mom's special event at her home in eastchester, and lulu created a 3-d handbag that was top notch and utterly delicious. i was at first nervous when designing my cake with the guy at lulu, but he told me to trust in his design and the cake would be perfect --and it was. the only complaint i would have is that they didnt keep a record of the flavor on file (it was the best cake for all 60 of us at the party) but nobody seems to remember what flavor it was, it had chocolate and nuts in it!

                    im hoping my wife reads this post and gets me their yankee stadium cake!

                    1. re: Sammy Diaz

                      Sammy, I am so glad that it all worked out and that your party was a success! I have to admit, it was sort of disheartening after I posted that review and got no feedback whatsoever, but I'm glad that from this thread I learned that my post was helpful to you (and annemarie115 above). I have to give credit to RawTunaFan, since it was at his suggestion that I used those places.

                      I went back and looked for the discussion and pictures that I posted, and in this thread, you mention a caramel cake with white chocolate peanut butter ganache. Maybe that will help you...

                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/454596

                      I have a "big" birthday coming up this summer and while I'm opting to go to Europe rather than have a party, my husband will most certainly order a cake from Lulu's for a family celebration (he better!).

                      1. re: valerie

                        Since no one has mentioned it yet, I will throw in my 2 cents... The Lemon Lulu is a GREAT cake for an alternative to their amazing chocoloate cakes. It has a really light meringue forsting. I have never, ever had anything from Lulu's that wasn't top notch!

                2. I have seen the guys at Lulu be condescending and nasty to customers so I have mixed feelings about them. They sure know how to bake, though!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: howmanycupsinaquart

                    Its funny you should mention this. Was just there this morning standing in line for scones, when a woman walked into the bakery, in FRONT of the line, and demanded that they pack her a bag of breakfast goodies since "she was double parked and her kids were in the car" Needless to say she devoured their entire inventory and the other people in the store were mad at the woman and the poor people behind the counter. The scene was straight out of a movie.

                    You have to feel sorry for people who work in neighborhoods where clients feel they are "entitled" such as in Scarsdale, I know this living in Scarsdale first-hand. Thats still no excuse for people to be condescending, yet I have never had a problem with them and they have always been patient (sometimes disorganized) and kind, considering the snobs that go in there snapping their fingers.

                    We settled for cupcakes for breakfast instead!

                    1. re: RawTunaFan

                      Hi RawTunaFan,

                      LOL! I’m jealous of your breakfast!

                      I have seen but never tasted Lulu's cupcakes. I’m a little intimated by them based on their size, but am sure that as soon I bit into one, their size – what would be left of it in a New York minute – would not be an issue. They are definitely on my “to eat” list. The lacquered sheen of their chocolate icing, the silver baubles of sugar floating on top… come to think of it, big is not a problem!

                      The morning scene you describe does sound cinematic. While I’m not defending the woman, the store should have made her wait her turn like everyone else. Customers with good manners rely on stores to defend them against customers without, and enforce first come first serve in the face of ruthless double-parkers who would devour an entire shelf of pastries with all the civility of a black hole. But sometimes, I guess, these things just unfold in their own way. Given that the fallout was cupcakes for breakfast, perhaps it was all for the best.

                      As for feeling sorry for “people who work in neighborhoods where clients feel they are "entitled" such as in Scarsdale,” I don’t. Lulu’s located in Scarsdale on purpose, targets those customers, and makes a lot of money from them. And most customers are nice! I don’t doubt the occasional customer rudeness, but personally I’ve only seen rudeness from the guys who work there, and have heard similar accounts from friends.

                      Apparently they’re developing two reputations: one for their food, and one for their ‘tude. For most, however, I suppose the Amelia Bedelia effect rules the day: one bite of pie, and all is forgiven.

                      This compared to Renaissance and Jespersens where there is (was) loveliness on all levels.

                      1. re: howmanycupsinaquart

                        I agree that you can't "feel sorry for people who work in neighborhoods where clients feel they are "entitled" such as in Scarsdale", particularly the people at Lulu's. They obviously chose the location on purpose, knowing the lay of the land, and the clientele.

                        But the thing is that I, too, live in Scarsdale, and I am as nice as can possibly be. And as I've said in a a post above (and several times before), I've always had wonderful customer service at Lulu's. And, wonderful custom cakes, and other items that I've just bought off the shelves.

                        So I guess my point is that maybe the people who say that they are rude are rude to them first. I'm sure that the woman in the scenario above walked out saying how they were so awful to her, when in reality, someone should have kicked her ass to the back of the line and then called the authorities on her for leaving her kids in the car.

                        I would have been happy to put her in her place. I'm nice, maybe not that nice!

                        1. re: valerie

                          Hi Valerie,

                          I've never had a problem with them either. They've always been nice to me too and I've always been nice to them. My comment is based on seeing snarky reactions from them to others who did not seem to deserve it.

                          A friend of mine observed the same thing. She's been buying stuff from Lulu's since they opened and enjoys a friendly chatty relationship with them. However, she's seen some things from them towards others that surprised her too because they've always been so nice to her, and that made her feel uncomfortable.

                          1. re: valerie

                            I think valerie's probably right... I've seen some pretty "interesting characters" in scarsdale myself, and I would have loved to have seen the people at lulu's put them in their place. They're always fine with me, and I like how they're not all fake. Maybe that's what's mistaken for "rudeness"? I can't imagine that they'd just lash out at somebody unprovoked... I used to waitress and no one likes serving someone who thinks they're entitled to special treatment, and I'm sure a lot of those types end up in scarsdale. I don't feel bad for them, but I don't feel like they have to be peachy-fake nice if they aren't being respected. But that's just the waitress in me talking...

                            And, to paraphrase howmanycups, one cupcake and all *is* forgiven...I don't think anybody could be mean enough to spoil my appetite for those sweets!

                    2. Thanks for all the advice! I did manage to stop by Lulu's last weekend and they were incredibly nice. We managed to grab a cupcake, yodel, & some croissants while we were there. Everything was delicious, and the croissants were heavenly! The cakes were gorgeous, but a bit pricey. I was told they charge a minimum of $225 for a "custom cake" which is too much for me considering this is a baby shower for 20 people. I will probably go with a 12 inch cake from them with less details in the design which they said will run around $100. Now if I could only decide what flavor to get!

                      1. I want to order a cake (nothing customized, just one listed on their website). Should I call ahead to order it? There's no price list on the website, for one of their standard cakes, how much do they range from? The only prices I see in the thread is all customized cakes for over $100.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sash007

                          If you are asking about La Tulipe or Lulu's? If you are asking about Lulu's, definitely call ahead to order whatever it is that you want, even if it's just a particular flavor. Most of the cakes I have ordered have been well over $100 but they were very customized. The one time I ordered a small cake for my husband's birthday (no outrageous design but still very pretty with sparkles and stars), it was $30. The size was fine for a small family celebration (and by small, I mean 4 of us) with some left over. It was, as always, delicious.

                          1. re: valerie

                            Forget Scarsdale. Go to Riviera Bakery in Ardsley. Cakes just as good at half the price.

                            1. re: markduffer

                              Soory, but no way.

                              I've had baked goods from both Riviera and Lulu's (cookies, cake, speciality items). Riviera's doesn't come close. Their stuff looks good (great decorators), but the textures and tastes suffer in comparison to Lulu's, where we've never been disappointed. Do you pay more at Lulu's? No question - but you definitely get what you pay for.