4B - Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
This DecemberLa Dolce Vita will have been in Ann Arbor for 15 years.
All of the buns, cakes and pastries sold at Eastern Accents are homemade daily.
offers novel treats
Decadent La Dolce Vita
Owners Ben and
Carol Sun present
By NATHAN WOOD
Daily Food Columnist
Hand-crafted Asian pastries
is the name of the game at East-
ern Accents. Claiming to be the
first Asian bakery in Ann Arbor,
this joint specializes in those
desserts you would normally
expect to find only in China-
"Ben and Carol Sun found-
ed Eastern Accents 17 years
ago," said longtime employee
Charles Lindsay. "(He) grew up
in China, and has always loved
Lindsay explained how, after
mastering his family's tradi-.
tional pastry recipes, Ben Sun
moved to Boston to pursue a tra-
ditional patisserie education. It
wasn't long after that the young
baker met Carol, a University
grad. The couple married and
opened Eastern Accents.
"To this day, Ben comes in
every morning at 3 a.m. to start
baking," Lindsay said. "Every-
thing here - all of our buns,
cakes and pastries - are made
The bakery itself looks a lot
like a coffee shop: There are
small tables and chairs scat-
tered about. People sit near the
front windows sipping hot bev-
erages, lackadaisically typing
on MacBooks and periodically
pausing to watch jaywalking
One wall is covered with
an Asian-inspired painting of
mountains and flowers, Anoth-
er sets the backdrop for a comi-
cally snall electric fireplace.
The space is cozy and relaxed
- just the spot for a fresh-baked
good to go along with a warm
cup of tea.
For your sweet tooth, there's
the red bean moon cake - a
dense, chewy cake surround-
ing a thick and grainy red bean
paste. The Asian-style cakes,
which aren't as sweet as you
might expect, are. made with
fluffy frosting spread thinly
upon two layers of sponge cake
stuffed with whipped cream
The sesame balls are also
Spootfuls of tacky rice flour
dough are fried and artfully
dotted with crunchy seeds.
These greasy and thick, gum-
my-sweet treats would make
an ideal mid-afternoon metabo-
lism boost and, of course, are
easy on the taste buds, too.
Other dim sum favorites
include the egg tarts, mango
pudding - a big seller at East-
ern Accents - and sweet cream
buns. Everything is authentic
and - best of all - homemade.
So whether you're craving
hard-to-find Chinatown good-
ies, looking for something a
little different for dessert or
are just bored with the clich6 of
chocolates for Valentine's Day,
there's something for you at
Lindsay sums itup best:"This
is a great place for an afternoon
dessert, a hot spot for a couple
who wants a quiet corner in the
heart of Ann Arbor."
Daily Arts Writer
Dim mood lighting and cozy
love seats welcome visitors to La
Dolce Vita - one of Ann Arbor's
few purely dessert eateries. The
menu, though admittedly short
and selective, offers diners a
choice of perfectly executed clas-
La Dolce Vita, along with
its neighbor and adjoining res-
taurant The Chop House, will
have been in Ann Arbor for 15
years in December. In that time,
explained District Manager of
Mainstreet Ventures Sue Burke,
price hasn't deterred people from
making the restaurant a must-
visit destination for an occasion
"It's a perfect place to come
and relax ... and be all cozy while
you enjoy your dessert experi-
ence or your cocktail, or whatev-
x pleasure is after dinner," you want to celebrate the inti-
said. I macy of Valentine's Day at a high
rst glance, none of the des- caliber place like La Dolce Vita,"
eces on the menu have the said LSA senior Lauren O'Keefe.
pretentious, often-French Name makes a big impres-
that mean almost nothing sion, and both The Chop House
largely budget-conscious and La Dolce Vita have created
crowd of Ann Arbor, and a comfortable spot for them-
te would expect to find in a selves at the top of Ann Arbor's
nd restaurant. Some of La extensive list of dining opportu-
Vita's staple items include nities. Conscious of its student
s such as cheesecake, tira- c-owd, La Dolce Vita also offers
reme brulee and chocolate a healthy dessert of the day, sea-
cake. Their selling point sonal desserts and special occa-
er, is the execution of these sion desserts for holidays. For
ts and their decadent taste. Valentine's, they plan to include
a special dessert for two accom-
panied by a cocktail or specialty
They have mrii
When asked what makes
)cktails too! La Dolce Vita a perfect venue
for lovers this Valentine's Day,
Burke had only three things to
say: "House-made, from-scratch
considered one of the best desserts, exceptional service
rants in Ann Arbor ... and and amazing atmosphere."
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