"My initial idea was for a bakery, not food service," says John Emerman, who was surely thinking the same thing 18 years ago when he and wife Tatyana Rehn founded the Stone Oven, the Lee Road bakery that has long served its fervid following with much more than just bread. Now it's happening all over again: In late June, the duo christened Luna Bakery Café in the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood. Luna's calling cards are an assortment of pastries — from decadently topped cupcakes to brilliantly iced butterfly sugar cookies and bountiful lemon tarts, the creations of chef-partner Bridget Thibeault (who formerly flung the flour as pastry chef at Fire and still heads up the gourmet baking service Flour Girl). But little Luna also entices with a modest menu of panini sandwiches, salads, and crepe plates: Think grilled portobellos and autumn vegetables wed with tangy fresh goat cheese and artichoke pesto, then quarter-folded into a pancake the size of a Buick rim and served with a piquant fresh salsa. With each plate priced at 7 bucks or less, Luna's catching on in a hurry. "The biggest surprise is we're selling more savory food," says Thibeault. As for the crowds that keep the vibrant space hopping seven days a week? No surprise there at all.
At 2482 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-231-8585, lunabakerycafe.com.
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