March 7, 2011
New gourmet dessert shop opens today on L Street

The bustling block on L Street between 18th and 19th is about to become an even better destination for dessert lovers with the opening of Trey B Cakes Gourmet Bakery and Eatery.

There's already the renowned Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates and the ever-popular Yogurt A-Go-Go.
Today, Trey B Cakes opens its doors at 7 a.m. Great hours, dog friendly, serious about coffee and a focus on such treats as cakes, pies, fruit tarts and cookies.

In addition to sweets, there will be a range of savory items, including something owner Trey Luzzi is calling the "Stud Muffin" - meatloaf wrapped in phyllo and topped with mashed potatoes and parmesan.

"It's a whole meal on the go," he told me.

I called Trey on Friday after walking by the shop and noticing several folks inside. They weren't open yet - they were taking photos and going through final testing of the recipes.

All of the baked goods will be made from scratch on site, including a special red cake (not red velvet, Luzzi says) that is based on a recipe passed down by his grandmother. It's topped with rich butter cream and sugar frosting.

"I think people will just love that cake," he said.

Other lunch items include salads and several kinds of sandwiches, including steak, chicken and meatball.

For Luzzi, opening a gourmet dessert shop is a major career departure and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. He grew up in state service, beginning as a civil servant at 18 and working his way up to hold two positions under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger - deputy cabinet secretary and chief deputy to the senior advisor.

Luzzi always wanted to own a restaurant and, when the time looked right for a move, he sold his house, left his new job with the state and focused on a business venture catering to sweet tooths.

He has hired two pastry chefs and, though he will be wearing many hats, he will keep a close eye on the cooking and baking.

Luzzi knows he is in a prime spot. This block, for years an empty field, has become one of the focal points of the city's rejuvenated midtown nightlife and dining scene. Also there is the very appealing L Wine Bar and Urban Bistro. Ironically, my dentist's office is on the same block, across the street.

As for hours, Luzzi says he will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, except Friday, when he will close at 1 a.m. Saturday will be 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

He also says the place will be dog friendly, with outdoor seating and water bowls available for dogs.

Since Trey B Cakes won't be duplicating what Ginger Elizabeth or Yogurt A-Go-Go is doing, this will make for a powerful addition to the block. Groups of friends can walk here, for instance, and fan out according to what desserts they are looking for, then meet at one of the outdoor tables.

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