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Todd English opening Beacon Hill Cupcake Shop in early 2010

LindaWhit Dec 8, 2009 02:54 PM

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.

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  1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: LindaWhit Dec 8, 2009 06:24 PM

    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
      smtucker RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 8, 2009 07:08 PM

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

      1. re: smtucker
        hotoynoodle RE: smtucker Dec 8, 2009 08:34 PM

        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
          LindaWhit RE: hotoynoodle Dec 9, 2009 04:59 AM

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

          1. re: LindaWhit
            fmcoxe6188 RE: LindaWhit Dec 9, 2009 06:04 AM

            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
              LindaWhit RE: fmcoxe6188 Dec 9, 2009 06:32 AM

              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
                pastrytroll RE: fmcoxe6188 Dec 9, 2009 07:12 AM

                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
              smtucker RE: hotoynoodle Dec 9, 2009 03:41 PM

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

          2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
            LindaWhit RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 9, 2009 04:55 AM

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

            1. re: LindaWhit
              yumyum RE: LindaWhit Dec 9, 2009 07:46 AM

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

              1. re: yumyum
                LindaWhit RE: yumyum Dec 9, 2009 08:15 AM

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

            2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
              rlh RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 9, 2009 10:26 AM

              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
                MC Slim JB RE: rlh Dec 9, 2009 11:37 AM

                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?


                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  rlh RE: MC Slim JB Dec 9, 2009 02:04 PM

                  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
                    MC Slim JB RE: rlh Dec 9, 2009 02:13 PM

                    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.


            3. nsenada RE: LindaWhit Dec 9, 2009 05:27 AM

              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
                trufflehound RE: nsenada Dec 9, 2009 07:07 AM

                Actually, that's what we really need.

                1. re: trufflehound
                  nsenada RE: trufflehound Dec 9, 2009 07:14 AM

                  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
                    Prav RE: nsenada Dec 9, 2009 10:28 AM

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

                    1. re: Prav
                      nsenada RE: Prav Dec 9, 2009 10:59 AM

                      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
                        StriperGuy RE: nsenada Dec 9, 2009 11:09 AM

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

                        They did not suck.

                        1. re: StriperGuy
                          nsenada RE: StriperGuy Dec 9, 2009 11:33 AM

                          Lard...welcome aboard, pardner!

                          1. re: nsenada
                            StriperGuy RE: nsenada Dec 9, 2009 12:23 PM

                            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. C. Hamster RE: LindaWhit Dec 9, 2009 07:21 AM

                He's going to DELIVER gourmet cupcakes?

                Spare me.

                1 Reply
                1. re: C. Hamster
                  LindaWhit RE: C. Hamster Dec 9, 2009 07:25 AM

                  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. t
                  tamerlanenj RE: LindaWhit Dec 9, 2009 07:52 AM

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

                  21 Replies
                  1. re: tamerlanenj
                    fmcoxe6188 RE: tamerlanenj Dec 9, 2009 08:14 AM

                    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
                      SaraASR RE: fmcoxe6188 Dec 9, 2009 08:24 AM

                      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
                        fmcoxe6188 RE: SaraASR Dec 9, 2009 08:39 AM

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

                        1. re: SaraASR
                          CreativeFoodie42 RE: SaraASR Dec 9, 2009 11:52 AM

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

                          1. re: SaraASR
                            tamerlanenj RE: SaraASR Dec 14, 2009 06:36 AM

                            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
                              CreativeFoodie42 RE: tamerlanenj Dec 14, 2009 09:44 AM

                              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
                                SaraASR RE: CreativeFoodie42 Dec 14, 2009 12:50 PM

                                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
                                  BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: SaraASR Dec 14, 2009 12:54 PM

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

                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                    SaraASR RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 14, 2009 05:02 PM

                                    Not entirely.

                                  2. re: SaraASR
                                    CreativeFoodie42 RE: SaraASR Dec 14, 2009 01:08 PM

                                    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
                                      Alcachofa RE: CreativeFoodie42 Dec 14, 2009 01:47 PM

                                      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
                                        tamerlanenj RE: Alcachofa Dec 14, 2009 05:51 PM

                                        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
                                          MC Slim JB RE: tamerlanenj Dec 14, 2009 07:13 PM

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


                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                            SaraASR RE: MC Slim JB Dec 15, 2009 05:45 AM

                                            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
                                              StriperGuy RE: SaraASR Dec 15, 2009 06:20 AM

                                              Phoenicia has NEVER been that good.

                                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                                SaraASR RE: StriperGuy Dec 15, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                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
                                            Alcachofa RE: tamerlanenj Dec 15, 2009 09:11 AM

                                            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
                                              StriperGuy RE: Alcachofa Dec 15, 2009 10:55 AM

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

                                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                                Alcachofa RE: StriperGuy Dec 15, 2009 11:53 AM

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

                            2. re: tamerlanenj
                              BoDubya RE: tamerlanenj Dec 9, 2009 08:18 AM

                              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
                                Alcachofa RE: tamerlanenj Dec 9, 2009 09:23 AM

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

                              2. b
                                bostongal RE: LindaWhit Dec 9, 2009 09:34 AM

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

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bostongal
                                  nsenada RE: bostongal Dec 9, 2009 09:41 AM

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

                                2. b
                                  Biba RE: LindaWhit Dec 13, 2009 01:41 PM

                                  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
                                    LindaWhit RE: Biba Dec 16, 2009 08:57 AM

                                    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. pikawicca RE: LindaWhit Dec 14, 2009 05:57 PM

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

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                      LindaWhit RE: pikawicca Dec 15, 2009 05:39 AM

                                      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
                                        CookieLee RE: pikawicca Dec 15, 2009 09:11 AM

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

                                        1. re: CookieLee
                                          BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: CookieLee Dec 15, 2009 12:40 PM

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

                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                            galleygirl RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 16, 2009 09:18 AM

                                            In this New York mag article,
                                            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
                                              LindaWhit RE: galleygirl Dec 16, 2009 09:32 AM

                                              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
                                                nsenada RE: LindaWhit Dec 16, 2009 09:43 AM

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

                                                1. re: nsenada
                                                  MC Slim JB RE: nsenada Dec 16, 2009 10:48 AM

                                                  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.


                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                    justbeingpolite RE: MC Slim JB Nov 1, 2010 12:29 PM

                                                    Cavil! What a great word. Related to Kvetch?

                                                    1. re: justbeingpolite
                                                      Allstonian RE: justbeingpolite Nov 1, 2010 01:51 PM

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

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

                                            2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                              the modern serf RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 16, 2009 10:05 AM

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

                                        2. SaraASR RE: LindaWhit Jun 29, 2010 07:40 PM

                                          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
                                            LindaWhit RE: SaraASR Jun 30, 2010 05:53 AM

                                            It's STILL not officially open? LOL

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              hotoynoodle RE: LindaWhit Jul 4, 2010 10:51 AM

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

                                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                LindaWhit RE: hotoynoodle Jul 4, 2010 04:11 PM

                                                Not surprised. Guess daughter dear lost interest?

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  hotoynoodle RE: LindaWhit Jul 5, 2010 04:03 PM

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

                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                    Gets2PointA RE: hotoynoodle Jul 5, 2010 08:31 PM

                                                    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
                                                      hotoynoodle RE: Gets2PointA Jul 8, 2010 07:47 AM

                                                      "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
                                              Alcachofa RE: SaraASR Nov 1, 2010 11:48 AM

                                              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
                                                hiddenboston RE: Alcachofa Nov 1, 2010 12:07 PM

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

                                                1. re: Alcachofa
                                                  hotoynoodle RE: Alcachofa Nov 1, 2010 12:28 PM

                                                  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
                                                    LindaWhit RE: Alcachofa Nov 1, 2010 02:06 PM

                                                    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
                                                      jimmydingle RE: LindaWhit Nov 1, 2010 03:38 PM

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

                                                      1. re: jimmydingle
                                                        jimmydingle RE: jimmydingle Dec 10, 2010 04:52 PM

                                                        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
                                                      taves7 RE: Alcachofa Dec 21, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                      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
                                                        treb RE: taves7 Dec 21, 2010 10:22 AM

                                                        3.95?? Oh bother!

                                                  2. p
                                                    professor shorthair RE: LindaWhit Dec 22, 2010 11:26 AM

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

                                                    1. failingwannabevegan RE: LindaWhit Dec 22, 2010 12:20 PM

                                                      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!

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