And now, a look inside pastry chef Kristen D. Murray's much-anticipated, first-ever brick-and-mortar: After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Murray's "pastry luncheonette" Maurice debuted just before the holidays in the former Reading Frenzy retail space. The space's painted wood bookshelves have been replaced with bright white tile and a matching wooden bar and booths; zine racks make way for a pastry counter stocked with tea cakes, scones, and cookies designed for fika (the Swedish term for a leisurely "coffee break").
Murray, whose desserts have appeared on menus at Paley's Place and Fenouil, encourages guests to "celebrate the sweetness in life and at the table," and the metaphor extends beyond the desserts. A cafe menu features dishes like duck liver pate (served with brioche and gooseberry preserve), lefse wraps, brioche tarts, and wild boar bisteeya (a Moroccan spiced pie). Of course, there are plated desserts, too, like a black pepper cheesecake with vanilla sable and a chocolate licorice bar with anise-poached pear; and Murray also promises smaller sweet "bits" like créme brûlée pops and butterscotch chews.