• A perfect shining gem, hidden no longer: Bakery on the Hill

    by  • January 10, 2012 • Food & Drink • 3 Comments

    I was going through shops in the East End, and at ever single one, I had the same conversation. “Have you checked out Bakery on the Hill yet? It’s amazing.”

    When your neighbors consistently talk you up so highly, what can a poor blogger do but follow their advice.

    Bakery on the Hill did not disappoint.  On a snowy morning, I visited for a cup of tea and a snack.  I also had a nice chat with Wolf Gonier, who serves the roles of baker and host.  Bakery on the Hill is a labor of love, the culmination of a dream … and also a very fine bakery.

    Portland is full of bakeries. If I want a fresh loaf of bread, it’s pretty likely that I can walk five minutes in any direction and get one. But fancy pastries? Chocolate eclairs? Fancy birthday cakes? There’s a definite shortage. More than twice I’ve had to resort to a supermarket birthday cake simply because I couldn’t find one from a real bakery. I don’t think I’ll have that problem anymore.

         

    Bakery on the Hill is in a gorgeous space, with a gold-plated tin ceiling, fabulous floors, big windows, an open view of the kitchen, and a bakery case so beautiful that it will take you a full ten minutes to select just one thing.  Simple cupcakes, chunky cookies, bite-sized raspberry hazelnut caramels, elegant chocolate mousse squares, Pot de Creme (!) and dozens more to choose from… everything looks perfect and handmade and inviting and delicous.

         

         

    And it is. After a long struggle, I chose a hot cup of tea and an apple square. Here it is:

    It actually looked so good I forgot to take a picture before I’d had two bites from it.  It was firm and perfectly spiced, with just the right balance of sweet and tart. Perfect. Completely perfect.

    They’re also going out of their way to be open to artists in the community, currently hosting a fairly unique project around art inspired by and created at the bakery, and with a vision for more community based activities to come.  If the endorsements of their neighbors are any indication, this is already a business that has imbedded itself in the fabric of the East end community, one that will hopefully last for years to come.

         

    Bakery on the Hill is located at 253 Congress Street in Portland.  You can visit them on Facebook, or read a great article about them in the Portland Daily Sun. Or you can read about them in this cupcake blog (with additional photos on the blog’s Flickr feed). Oh, and they have an astonishing number of Yelp reviews for a shop open for just a couple of months.

    Still having trouble finding them? Here’s a map!

     

    About

    "Oh, that's one of my favorite places to visit!" - living in Portland, Maine I hear that all the time. So, when you visit, I want you to see more than just the tourist stuff that everyone sees. I want you to see the Portland I love. So, I write about it.

    http://instantportland.com

    3 Responses to A perfect shining gem, hidden no longer: Bakery on the Hill

    1. Bob
      January 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

      “But fancy pastries? Chocolate eclairs? Fancy birthday cakes? There’s a definite shortage. More than twice I’ve had to resort to a supermarket birthday cake simply because I couldn’t find one from a real bakery.”
      This bakery sounds good, so I’ll have to check it out. But have you tried Foley’s in Monument Square has all these things, plus fantastic croissants.

      • January 11, 2012 at 8:44 am

        Bob, thanks so much for your comment. I agree that Foley’s is great, but it’s pretty much the only place in Portland (short of the supermarket) to get these things. Compared to the dozen or so bread places, there is definitely a shortage of fancy banking in Portland. Bakery on the Hill has effectively doubled the number of fancy pastry bakeries in the city.

    2. February 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Congrats to Bakery on the Hill! Everything looks fantastic! Portland will have more fancy desserts soon.. Y-Lime’s Gourmet Desserts is coming to the Public Market House in March! Check out http://www.ylimesgourmet.com for pics of fancy cupcakes!

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