Claudia’s Bake Shop, a New York-style bakery, is coming to Carytown, along with a new dinner series at Alewife | To eat

By Megan Marconyak Special Envoy

Claudia’s Bake Shop is coming to Carytown

The new bakery opening at 3027 W. Cary St. in the former home of The Melt fulfills the dreams of city dwellers looking for New York-style baking in the city and owner Claudia Strobing. Strobing went to culinary school in New York, then worked in restaurant kitchens for a few years, including at the famed Ritz-Carton Buckhead near Atlanta under pastry chef Jacques Torres. She took time off to have children, then when they grew up she continued her baking career as a cake decorator at Publix. After that, she moved into management while running a small business focused on catering desserts.

“But I always wanted to have a real bakery,” she says. After securing crowdfunding through Mainvest, a community investment platform, she is finally making her vision a reality. Claudia’s Bake Shop will feature black and white kosher dairy cookies, rugelach, babka, challah, danishes, croissants, all made in-house. Thanks to Strobing’s cake expertise, custom wedding cakes and adult cakes will also be available by special order.

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Strobing is in the home stretch of the location’s renovation with cool crates to fill with treats and seating for around eight people. She might add more eventually, but for now she’s keeping the capacity small and socially distant. Permits permitting, Claudia’s Bake Shop will be open from mid-March to the end of March. “All these great people have invested in my business. I am very happy to say thank you,” she said. www.claudiasbakeshoprva.com

Guest Chef Series Feast of the Seven Fishes at Alewife

Starting this month, Alewife in Church Hill is launching a guest chef dinner series to raise funds for the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program, a collaborative, community-based restoration program run by Virginia Commonwealth University. Rice Rivers Center to collect oyster shell waste. businesses and the public and divert it to the Chesapeake Bay to support oyster reef restoration. Each dinner will consist of four courses for $75, plus tax and tip. The range is as follows:

March 20, Boby Pradachith, Thip Khao, Washington, DC (sold out)

May 22, Devin Rose, Adrift, Whitestone

July 24, Opie Crooks, No Goodbyes, Washington, DC

September 18, Andrew Manning, Longoven

November 13, Johnny Spero, Reverie, Washington, DC

Tickets are limited for each dinner and reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant at (804) 325-3426. Reservations for future dinners will be released closer to the event dates. www.alewiferva.com

Megan Marconyak has been enthusiastically devouring all the fresh flavors she can find and capturing them in writing for over 15 years. Drool over her culinary adventures and send her your #RVADine tips on Instagram @MeganMarcoStyle.

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