HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Todd English opening Beacon Hill Cupcake Shop in early 2010

  • 79
  • Share

A coworker got an Email from UrbanDaddy.com and forwarded it to me, because she knows how much I *love* Todd English. (NOT!)

It seems he's going to be opening a cupcake shop in Beacon Hill in early 2010 to be called "Curly Cakes": http://tinyurl.com/y95gx5u

And to get everything rolling before the store opens, he's going to be running a near-Olives' delivery service (within a 5 mile radius of Boston, I think) from his "cupcake laboratory" - Olives Restaurant. (Or you can pick up your order at Olives.)

Now - while I'm not overly fond of how schmarmy English seems to be - whether it's his website or on his shows - I do have to say that these cupcakes sound pretty damn good! Here's a PDF link of the cupcake choices: http://tinyurl.com/ylc368f Can I just say the Guinness Cupcake (from the UrbanDaddy article) sounds heavenly? So does the Nutcracker.

I won't be getting these cupcakes on a frequent basis, as I don't live in or very near Boston, but thought I'd pass it along. Also, my coworker is going to call them tomorrow to see if she can pick up a dozen to sample at the office. So hopefully a review in the near future.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Annnnnnd there's the death knell for the entire gourmet cupcake trend. Time of death: 6:54 p.m. EST, December 8, 2009. See you next time for the official end of short ribs.

    14 Replies
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      And if we are lucky, pork belly will be next so us mere mortals can afford to buy it again.

      1. re: smtucker

        bah -- i bought pork belly at ming's a few weeks back for like $2 lb.

        swan song for cupcakes, especially as a vanity project for todd's daughter? i'm happy to play the violin.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I didn't see the article say something about Todd's daughter running it?

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I heard that in an earlier release on the space. Its an English venture, to be managed by his daughter. They've been working on the space for quite some time now...

            1. re: fmcoxe6188

              Ahhh, thanks. But if the cupcakes are crummy, I'm thinking no amount of connections will help.

              Will have to ask my coworker if she's called them to get a sampling for here at work.

              1. re: fmcoxe6188

                Huumm. 'Managed by' : hope she doesn't manage like her dad. This makes me wonder who the chef and cooks are going to be. Huuummm.

            2. re: hotoynoodle

              Since I am a professional violinist, I can provide the soundtrack.

          2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            LOL! Exactly - when I first read about it, I immediately thought "Ummm, aren't you about 3-4 years too late?"

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Maybe Todd can get into craft cocktails next? Or, I know, I know ... FOAMS!!!

              1. re: yumyum

                yumyum - he should hire you as his consultant for the "next big thing"! ;-)

            2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              Is this also the official Shark Jump for Todd English - or was that quite a while ago - perhaps when Bonfire opened? or Olives in DC?

              1. re: rlh

                I still like Figs Beacon Hill, and I'd still dine at Olives Charlestown if it came within a country mile of its quality in the days when English actually cooked there. But that ship sailed, what, about 15 years ago?

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Olives in Charlestown can still be great, but it's luck of the draw now (vs. standing on the street for an hour with 100% certainty prior to 5:30p opening...) and the prices are much too high given the inconsistency - for me, it's only on expense account with visitors who request it now. This makes me realize I need to get to Figs again soon.

                  1. re: rlh

                    That's exactly the same boat I'm in with Olives Charlestown, but my last couple of visits have been really dreadful. Plus the physical plant looks really beat these days.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            3. All he needs to do to be ahead of the next wave is buy a fryolater, and call it a "Doughnut Bistro."

              7 Replies
              1. re: nsenada

                Actually, that's what we really need.

                1. re: trufflehound

                  So true - I am really obsessed with Doughnut Plant doughnuts, and would pay their exhorbitant prices in a heartbeat. Must have...PBJ, tres leches and creme brulee doughnuts.

                  1. re: nsenada

                    Holy lord, have you had a glass of the chai at Donut Plant? It's indescribably amazing.

                    1. re: Prav

                      No, but now I have yet another reason to go back (as if I needed any more). I am seriously considering trying to open up something like that around here. Need to find a doughnut mad scientist, first, though.

                      1. re: nsenada

                        Hmmmmm, I used to make my own homemade, lard fried donuts.

                        They did not suck.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          Lard...welcome aboard, pardner!

                          1. re: nsenada

                            Yah, they were amazing, I lost the recipe along the way somewhere, but they were very basic plain cake donuts with a touch of nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon. I would make 15 or 20 full sized donuts and between me, my dad, and my brother, they would all be gone in a day or two.

              2. He's going to DELIVER gourmet cupcakes?

                Spare me.

                1 Reply
                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Well, obviously not T.E. himself. :-) And the article does say delivery could take one to two days, depending on order size.

                  And the delivery is only while his "cupcake laboratory" is open at Olives Restaurant.

                2. The Spotted Apron already failed spectacularly in Beacon Hill, despite having good cupcakes (awesome red velvet).

                  21 Replies
                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                    Honestly I was never that impressed with The Spotted Apron. Their red velvet were the best of their cupcakes- but I've actually made better- and Im no baker! Their sandwiches were dreadful, and their coffee wasn't even that great. I just wish they'd turn that spot over!

                    1. re: fmcoxe6188

                      I wasn't impressed with Spotted Apron, either, but it would be nice to have a neighborhood, independent coffee shop with good food, free wifi, nice atmosphere. B Good was thinking of going in there, but it's not happening.

                      1. re: SaraASR

                        Agreed Sara! An independent coffee shop in that area would be perfect.

                        1. re: SaraASR

                          From what I've heard, Joanne Chang was looking at the place but the rent is outrageously expensive.

                          1. re: SaraASR

                            Don't lynch me for saying this but a Boloco would be nice. They are sort of local, have free wifi, decent but not great food...sort of like a Panera with Burritos

                            1. re: tamerlanenj

                              I know that Boloco looked into another location on Cambridge Street area but met with opposition from Beacon Hill residents. They stated that they preferred a boutique instead of another fast food joint. Too bad the same storefronts are still empty now and complete eyesores for the neighborhood.

                              1. re: CreativeFoodie42

                                Not sure about the opposition from residents... BGood got the all-clear. How is BGood different than Boloco? Both local Boston businesses. I love BGood and Boloco- either would have been great.

                                Regardless, we need something!!!!!!!!!

                                1. re: SaraASR

                                  Aren't B Good and Boloco owned by the same people?

                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                    Not entirely.

                                  2. re: SaraASR

                                    To be clear, it wasn't the same location that Boloco was looking at but I'm in total agreement. Neighbors are holding hope for upscale boutiques and restaurants on that street and its just not going to happen! Like you, I'd rather have a local company with a good reputation for its community relationships fill an otherwise empty location instead of walking by to trash and unfortunately, the homeless sleeping in their doorways.

                                    1. re: CreativeFoodie42

                                      They are not looking for "upscale" necessarily. Is Cafe Podima "upscale"? Is Anna's? (Not that I'm a fan of Anna's.) But, like many historical areas, they do want to avoid chains, to keep the atmosphere unique. What is wrong with people not wanting a McDonald's on their block? Why do you assume that means that they can only accept a L'Espalier instead? If anyone is to blame, it is not the BH residents, but jackass real estate owners who keep rents delusionally high, even though the property sits vacant.

                                      The Cambridge St side still has some challenges, but is WAY better than it was just 10 years ago.

                                      1. re: Alcachofa

                                        I saw an op ed in the Beacon Hill times complaining that the Whole Foods had ruined the neighborhood there. It was good for a larf.

                                        1. re: tamerlanenj

                                          What was their objection to Whole Foods? Added car traffic?

                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                            They said Whole Food's prepared food bar has taken away business from the local restaurants... in particular, Phoenicia. While Phoenicia's atmosphere has always left something to be desired, their food has become inedible. Blaming their poor food preparation and quality on Whole Foods is ridiculous.

                                            1. re: SaraASR

                                              Phoenicia has NEVER been that good.

                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                Totally agree; but it used to be a convenient takeout option for simple salads with grilled chicken. It's not even good for that anymore.

                                          2. re: tamerlanenj

                                            That reminds me that when Whole Foods was moving in, there was a lot of griping about how it would not be a reasonably priced shopping option compared to the Stop and Shop. But, those people should have griped about Stop and Shop mis-managing and then abandoning the store that was there before.

                                            There's no reason Stop and Shop couldn't have made that location wildly successful. But they did nothing to it and abandoned it. Then, people had the nerve to complain about WF coming in. Complain to Stop and Shop!

                                            1. re: Alcachofa

                                              That Stop and Shop was a total dump by the end...

                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                Totally agree. But it didn't have to be.

                            2. re: tamerlanenj

                              i walked up and down charles street and beacon hill looking for a decent piece of bread, settled for a baguette from savenor's. but instead of a decent bakery the neighborhood gets a cupcake shop?!?! FAIL. i for one will never, ever, ever buy a cupcake ever again unless it's made by hostess!

                              1. re: tamerlanenj

                                The Spotted Apron failed because it was spectacularly poorly managed. I say that not to be snarky. It was very unfortunate.

                              2. Is it just me or is the name of the shop rather unappetizing? Ew...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bostongal

                                  Ugh - you're right (and I just ate).

                                2. Not sure that another cupcake shop in Boston is a smart move but, for what it is worth, I was able to sample some Curly Cakes this weekend and I was surprised. They were very good, the center was moist and the frosting was light and flavorful. I tried the red velvet and the chocolate/chocolate cupcakes (still have a peppermint chocolate cupcake to try but can't bear another bite of cupcake right now) The chocolate cupcake was dipped in chocolate which was a lovely idea but a bit overwhelming because it was a fairly thick layer.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Biba

                                    My coworker brought in a dozen (although they gypped her of one - she only got 11 cupcakes!) today at work.

                                    I just tasted two of them - the first was their Guinness cupcake (cut in half, so someone else could try it). Cake was a bit dry; not sure when the cupcakes were made - probably yesterday since she picked them up this morning after 10am. Anyway - it had more chocolate taste than Guinness, although there's a slight bitterness to the cupcake that could be the Guinness. Not bad. Nothing to write home about, though.

                                    Also tried half of the Nutcracker Sweet. Again, cake was rather dry but a nice dark chocolate cake. Had a salted Caramel Frosting (just barely a hint of salt), dipped in chocolate, topped with ground candied nuts (cashews/walnuts). Not bad. But definitely SWEET.

                                    I think what my coworker and I noted the most was the size of the cupcakes. While we're both glad they aren't gargantuan (like Gingerbread Construction Co. muffins), for the price point, you're paying a lot for a little. But the cake itself, IMO, could use a bit more moistness. Again, if these were made yesterday, it's understandable that they're a bit dry today.

                                    So - nothing to write home about. It will be interesting to see how long the shop lasts. I'm inclined to side with Barmy on this one - probably not going to last until NYE 2010. Unless, for some reason, the Beacon Hill folk swarm this shop because it's a Todd English place. Which doesn't make sense to me, but enough people seem to go to his restaurants, so it's not that out of the question.

                                  2. No matter how good his cupcakes might be, he's way too late to the party.

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                      Oh I agree on the timing of opening a cupcake shop! My coworker has placed an order she'll pick up tomorrow; will be interested to see how they taste. At the price they are, however, I suspect it'll be a one-time thing.

                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                        Sure makes for an interesting contrast, what English has come up with for his next enterprise vs Lynch.

                                        1. re: CookieLee

                                          And yet I'd lay money down that neither makes it to New Year's Eve 2010.

                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                            In this New York mag article,
                                            http://nymag.com/restaurants/features...
                                            he says,
                                            "We thought it would be good for her college application, good for her self-esteem. She really has done everything: the layout of the shop, logos, the name—CurlyCakes, because we always kid her about her curly hair. "

                                            More than enough reason for me to stay away...

                                            1. re: galleygirl

                                              Very interesting. So this is being done to boost her self-esteem and help her get into college? @@ How about she do it ALL on her own - including finding the location, arranging for financing, etc.?

                                              Well, as I said in my review a few posts up - the cakes are just fair. Not sure if it'll last until she's out of high school. (And who's running the show when she *is* in school?)

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Wasn't this a SpongeBob episode? I think the restaurant was called the Kuddly Krab.

                                                1. re: nsenada

                                                  You Chowhounds! Can't you see that Todd English *just wants to help* the poor benighted souls of cupcake-deprived Beacon Hill? And all you can do is carp and cavil. Tsk, tsk. Again I say, tsk.

                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                    Cavil! What a great word. Related to Kvetch?

                                                    1. re: justbeingpolite

                                                      "Carp" is related to "kvetch," but "cavil" is more like "nitpick."

                                                      I feel like I'm prepping for the SATs again...

                                            2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                              So he'll be opening up a tart frozen yogurt shop next year, right?

                                        2. Like, really? Is this place ever opening? Beacon Hill is seriously getting the shaft on the lack of new, fun places that are opening in the neighborhood. Sigh.

                                          14 Replies
                                          1. re: SaraASR

                                            It's STILL not officially open? LOL

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              i've heard it may never open. plans for the boston store on "indefinite hold."

                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                Not surprised. Guess daughter dear lost interest?

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  i'm guessing financing dried up for a teenager's vanity project.

                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                    Well every one in creation is going to "Lyndell's" fairly new location on Hanover Street in the North End for their cupcakes these days. They're awesome from there & for a lot less $$$, they have the right idea, they're awesome.

                                                    1. re: Gets2PointA

                                                      "everyone"? lol. i've walked by numerous times and never been in. i have never had a commercial cupcake i liked, so have given up trying them.

                                            2. re: SaraASR

                                              You know what's funny? This place still is not open, yet Todd and daughter have managed to open up a Curly Cakes in NYC.

                                              1. re: Alcachofa

                                                I guess Boston is #2 on their speed dial....

                                                1. re: Alcachofa

                                                  yup. quite sure there weren't already enough cupcake shops in nyc before this trend even jumped the shark.

                                                  lol. talk about vanity projects.

                                                  1. re: Alcachofa

                                                    What a surprise. Larger market, I supposed, especially when it's conveniently located in Daddy's Plaza Food Hall (which looks to be a take on Harrod's Food Hall).

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      saw some serious painting going on inside on my way home charles 20 mins ago

                                                      1. re: jimmydingle

                                                        was open tonight, i tried the door at 630 it was locked and the guy yelled to me that they ran out of cupcakes come back tomorrow lol

                                                    2. re: Alcachofa

                                                      It's definitely open. Had one of their cupcakes today--cost me $3.95. It was tasty but messy. There were about 6-7 cupcake varieties available.

                                                      1. re: taves7

                                                        3.95?? Oh bother!

                                                  2. I tried the red velvet. It was quite good. Granted the price was a littel high but it is Beacon hill!

                                                    1. I tried the chocolate peanut butter cup one and the pumpkin pie one this week. The chocolate cupcake on the peanut butter one was really dry. The frosting was okay., but not great. I wouldn't get it again. The pumpkin pie one was *really* good though. Very moist and pumpkiny, and the cream cheese frosting was good too. I would recommend that one!