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'Burgh bakery recs for Anniversary celebration

Looking for feedback on great bakeries or caterers that provide a variety of choices for specialty desserts. My parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in December and my siblings and I are planning a small party. I would love to find something other than run of the mill cake to serve for dessert.

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  1. I generally go to Prantl's (Shadyside) for my bakery needs. I've liked everything I've tried there. I had a coworker get cupcakes from Vanilla Pastry Studio on Centre Ave. for a baby shower and RAVED about them. I haven't tried them yet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goldy12

      I'll second the vote for Prantl's.

    2. Prantl's Almond torte is the way to go. You can't go wrong with anything from there ! Also... The French Tart (unsure of locations... but I know there is more than one.) They have regular size goodies as well as nice "little" pies/cakes for one or two to share. YUM!

      1. If you wanted to go with the Pittsburgh cookie table tradition, Annamarie's is excellent.

        1. The French Tart has locations in Mt. Lebanon and PPG Place. I've only had their quiche, so can't comment on desserts.

          I'll second Vanilla Pastry Studio. They recently moved to East Liberty, next to Kelly's Bar, near Whole Foods. Prantl's is located nearby on Walnut Street, so it would be a nice afternoon of taste-testing.

          There is also a French bakery in Millvale (?) which is supposed to be good. I forget the name...I think Marc is in it.

          1. I know it's an institution, but I've generally been unimpressed with Prantl's.

            Vanilla has fantastic cupcakes, so I'd trust their cakes to be good as well. They have some samples in the shop that look beautiful.

            Food Glorious Food is sort of a neighborhood secret - their bakery is only open on Saturdays, and everything I've gotten there has been unbelievably good. I know they do custom orders, so it's worth a call - http://www.foodgloriousfoodonline.com/

            1. The French Bakery in Millvale (off Route 28, north of the Allegheny River) is Jean-Marc Chatellier's Bakery (http://www.jeanmarcchatellier.com/) -- fantastic! We got our wedding cake there ~10 years ago, and attended a wedding 2 weeks ago with another of his cakes.

              1. You might try the Party Cake Shop - they have locations in Brookline (Brookline Blvd.) and Mt. Lebanon (Beverly Road). I recently purchased a rum cake for a special occasion and it was a huge hit...I believe they are special order only. They also have burnt almond tortes that are as good or better than Prantl's. I have also taken their individual carrot cakes, petit fours and other treats to friends' and relatives homes and they've been devoured. And I get my daughter's birthday cake there every year!

                1. Well, Prantl's has been properly praised, so I'll make some other suggestions. (Prantl's certainly deserves said praise, but it's definitely not the only bakery in town.)

                  Oakmont bakery's burnt almond torte blows Prantl's out of the water, IMO. If that's what you're thinking of, go with Oakmont. On other baked goods, Prantl's edges them out, but if you want burnt almond torte - go Oakmont. It used to be less expensive, as well.

                  Jean-Marc Chatellier does some pretty good pastries as well, but he has a reputation for being less than pleasant and closes for a couple of weeks at some point in the spring, I believe.

                  (We haven't lived full-time in Pittsburgh in years, so all of this info is assuming it hasn't changed.)

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: geecka

                    Please do yourself the favor of at least stopping by, taste testing and considering
                    Jean Marc's. I've never dealt with him on a one to one basis so don't know about his possible less-than-pleasant tendencies. However, give him credit for suffering through 2 floods and bouncing back both times. Perhaps some slack is deserved under the category of "artist temperment"! Plus you can grab breakfast or lunch at the Millvale Pamela's location.

                    1. re: 42duffy

                      Totally agree, Jean Marc's is a great bakery, definitely worth a try. Cakes and pastires are very, very good. His bread is as well, different than most of the breads from Breadworks and Mediterra in that its very light and airy. No disrespect to the French Tart but it doesn't compare at all to Jean Marc's.

                    2. re: geecka

                      I have to second Oakmont. Everything we've gotten from there (especially the Oakmonter which is an unholy union of cake, cheesecake, and fudge which redefinies decadent) has been delicious. If you're looking for fudge/chocolate I don't think they can do any wrong. We've also realy enjoyed their lady locks, carrot cake, and napoleons.