BBQ Breakfast Cake – Eastern Q, Pimento Cheese
Dixie Cannonball – Cheddar, Sausage, Scallion, Sausage Gravy Center
Bourbon Pecan Pie Croissant
Chocolate Caramel Nut Tart – Orange Cocoa Nib Caramel, Walnuts, Pistachios, Cashews, Almonds
Coconut Cream Pie Choux Puff – Coconut Cake, Milk Chocolate Mousse
Carrot Cake Verrine – Cream Cheese Mousse, Spiced Pecans, Chai Cream, Cranberry
Recently opened in downtown Raleigh, and well praised by locals for its whimsical take on Southern cuisine reinterpreted through French Pastry, there was almost no doubt that lucettegrace was a place prone to impress and arriving early on Friday morning to find the brightly lit space almost empty while two young ladies behind the counter sang the praises of nearly everything offered it was eventually on seven items that our order settled, the $40 tariff after tax and tip admittedly steep but entirely justified by the goods.
Industrial-chic in design, with Edison bulbs and stools around high-tops plus a few heavy wood tables with actual seats, it was with items plated per our requests that dishes were carried to one of the later and able to watch the bakers work through a glass window as we indulged it seemed as though the large display up front was only a fraction of the team’s plan for the day – brass canele molds, items appearing to be sheet cakes, and several other semi-constructed desserts being created before our eyes.
Beginning first with savories, incidentally 2/3 of the items served warm, it can only be said that those interested in South’s culinary traditions are likely to be shocked while at the same time amused; the BBQ Breakfast Cake a dense cornmeal muffin packed with everything good about Carolina ‘cue and pimento cheese while the Dixie Cannonball harkened the technique of the egg centered chive biscuit at Craftsman + Wolves with warm sausage gravy turning the buttermilk shell into more delicious mess with each and every bite.
Largely underwhelmed by a Kouign Amann that was oversalted and flaccid it was with a second cup of Larry’s excellent coffee clearing the palate that the program got back on track and with a double baked shell that liberated boozy pureed pie filling upon shattering to the tooth I instantly wished we’d have visited lucettegrace earlier in the week – a thought furthered by the perfect puff of choux surrounding coconut cream and milk chocolate, as well as by the sweet meets salty nut tart and aromatic cylinder of cake amidst pudding that made me wonder why I’d not previously associated the spices of chai with carrot cake, nor why others had not tried cranberry where raisins have for so long stood.