A sweet dream come true in historic Milford
George Carroll always wanted to be a baker. Even as the regional manager of a chain of housewares stores in Massachusetts, he pined for that early morning “time to make the doughnuts” moment. If you remember that classic TV ad, you know that baking is a labor of love. George and his partner Chuck Stanko even opened a bed and breakfast for a time, with George whippin’ up the pastries and breads. But that was the only part they liked, so they sold it and moved on.
Chuck was a jack-of-all-trades at the Cape Cod Chronicle newspaper. They wanted to preserve their small-town existence, so after much research, they finally settled on Milford. They loved the history and the personality of the garden town that straddles Kent and Sussex counties, and - it didn’t have a bakery. In 2003 George’s dream finally came true on N. Walnut Street. And its name is Dolcé.
These guys are nothing if not creative. In addition to being a coffee shop, ice cream parlor and local hangout, Dolcé is also a venue for George’s signature recipes. One of the most delicious is the Philadelphia Buttercake. They hadn’t been open for a week when a customer urged them to fabricate their own version of this impossibly rich and delicious confection. Ten years later, this enchanted amalgam of cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla and cream is a best seller. Words can’t do it justice. Go and try it.
Another exceptional bite is the Gooey Chocolate Cookie. And that’s not just my opinion: This cross between chocolate pudding and a brownie has secured second place at the Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival for the last three years. Interestingly enough, as deeply rich as it is, it is gluten-free (for those who are allergic to that wheat protein) and almost completely fat-free. Now before you gobble up a dozen for dinner, keep in mind that there is some sugar in there.
Another best-seller is the Breakfast Cookie. This one’s of the oatmeal-raisin variety, but with Grape-Nuts and shaved almonds thrown in for a breakfasty slant. In fact, were it not for the nuts, it would be virtually fat-free. But it sure doesn’t taste like it.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Catherine and Kevin Hester, the new owners of Teller Wines in Lewes. Steve Kogler, Teller’s original owner, now devotes himself full time to his first love: Bread. His Old World Breads are served in many local restaurants, and Dolcé is one of the few retail outlets for Kogler’s products. The sourdough is better than any I’ve ever had, and the country loaf works for everything from sandwiches to panini to croutons to just tearin’ off a hunk and munching it with a dollop of unsalted butter. Culinary educator and gourmand James Beard said it best: “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods. And good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” Another labor of love, you see.
This year’s Chocolate Festival bestowed even more awards on Dolcé. They took first place for the Stick in the Mud Brownie, second place for the Gooey Chocolate Cookie (of course) and third place went to the Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake. If the Philadelphia Buttercake contained chocolate, I’m sure it would have thrown the festival into chaos. Give Dolcé a try. If you’re lucky, you might even catch Milford guitar picker Jason Beale (of Jason Beale and the Dystractions) up by the front window, lending a musical perspective to this sweet oasis. And don’t forget the bread!